Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday - September 30, 2009



Fantasy Football: Here is the part of the year where I whine about fantasy football. I can't really complain too much - I've spent too much time actually living in the real world as opposed to the make-believe to be in any danger of winning a week. I literally set my lineup on Friday or early Saturday and go surfing/golfing for the weekend. I thought I would have a decent showing with Tom Brady and LaDainian Tomlinson on my team. Yeah, right. Talk about stinking up the place. Matt Schaub has been racking up the points for me while Brady sits on the bench. Awesome year ahead!

NFL: Speaking of the NFL, can you tell that I'm just not into it this year? For the past few years my love affair is definitely cooling off. It sounds cliche but I'll go ahead and say it...things are just not like they were when I was a kid. I used to have so much fun watching Sunday games with my dad and talking about it with my friends in school all week.

Clinch Already:
...and to whine some more...why have the Dodgers not clinched the West yet? What the heck are they waiting for? Every morning the news says the same thing - the team blew another chance to clinch. It shouldn't surprise me though, this is just to warm us up for the disappointing post-season to come. Heaven forbid we actually have a productive team that brings a title!

Today In Sports History

1947 - Yankees beat Dodgers 5-3 in front of the Largest World Series crowd to date (73,365) and in the first World Series that was televised

1988 - Los Angeles Dodger Orel Herschiser breaks former Dodger Don Drysdale's mark by pitching 59 consecutive scoreless innings

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tales From The Inbox - September 29, 2009



Mother Nature: Serena Williams will appear in a new print advertising campaign starting in October 2009 for Tampax. The images bring to life Tampax’s “Outsmart Mother Nature” campaign, further illustrating the brand’s commitment to celebrating today’s women and empowering them to live life on their own terms every day. Williams will be featured in a series of playful, lighthearted advertisements and online videos. In each piece, Williams defeats Tampax’s Mother Nature character, who tries to deliver her “monthly gift” in an unsuccessful attempt to throw Williams off her game – on and off the tennis court.

Life Rolls On:
On what would have been Christopher Reeve’s 57th
birthday (September 25), Life Rolls On Foundation (LRO) and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation have announced a merger. Effective immediately, Life Rolls On Foundation, based in Los Angeles, will serve as the West Coast headquarters and division of the Reeve Foundation. The Reeve Foundation is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to finding cures and treatments for spinal cord injuries and improving the lives of people living with paralysis. Life Rolls On, founded by Jesse and Josh Billauer, is dedicated to improving the quality of life for young people affected by spinal cord injury (SCI) and utilizes action sports as a platform to inspire infinite possibilities despite paralysis. Both organizations’ mission and focus will remain the same. LRO will continue to produce unique quality of life programs, including its award-winning, adaptive surfing program, They Will Surf Again, as well as education, motivation and awareness initiatives.

Don't Forget The Contest: Don't forget to enter the Andy Murray's HEAD Radical Messenger contest. Be patient for a minute and let the video load and talk you through what you should do. It's pretty cool as are the messages it sends.

Monday, September 28, 2009

1 Question For A Contest



ANDY MURRAY’S Head Radical Messenger application offers you the chance of winning three top prizes.

The fun new app features Murray talking about his new racket – the YouTek Radical Pro as well as some amusing sketches with the British number one.

All you have to do to enter go to this website, follow the on screen instructions and ’shoot a message’ to my email address:

sportswriterchick(at)gmail(dot)com

with the answer to the following question..

What is Andy Murray’s current world ranking?

Three correct entries drawn out at random will win either a Microgel Raptor OS Racquet, a HEAD Radical backpack, or a HEAD limited edition wrist band.

So what are you waiting for?! Click here now to be in with a chance of winning some top Head equipment.


MAKE SURE YOU ENTER THE CORRECT INFORMATION IN THE FIELDS AND THEN LISTEN TO ANDY TALK YOU THROUGH SENDING THE MESSAGE. BE PATIENT - IT TAKES A FEW MOMENTS BUT IT IS PRETTY FUNNY!

The contest is open to all readers and you have until Friday, October 9th to enter. Three winners will be announced on Monday, October 12.

Please make sure I have your name and email address in the message so that I can get you your prize if you are a winner. Winners are chosen at random. Good luck!




Here are the three prizes that are up for grabs!





Friday, September 25, 2009

Stay Classy



Have you heard the Thamail Morgan story? He's a high school football player that got himself into a bit of trouble and had to change schools in order to be eligible to play. He was on the radar of many top NCAA schools prior to the incident but would now have to start over. He's got a good atart...

Earlier this month, the small co-op team Yelleville-Summit had a pep rally. Five of it's football team left when it was over to grab some food. One didn't survive the trip.

Morgan's school, Cave City, would be the first school to play the small co-op after their tragic loss. Cave City got out in front immediately and although Yelleville-Summit wanted to play to get back to a normal life, they also seemed to want it to be over.

The score was 34-16 with only seconds to go in the 4th quarter when the losing team kicked the ball off. They kicked right to Morgan, something nobody expected. He easily passed midfield and was headed for another score. But then...he stopped...just before the goal line and took a knee. Instead of running up the score even more he decided to be classy. The ArkansasVarsity.com article tells it this way:

"Before the game, we as a team talked about being classy,'' he said. "We did not want to come out in a game like this and not show any class.

"As I was running, some of my teammates told me not to score, and I knew that scoring was not the right thing to do."

He was glad to be a part of what happened.

"I just want to thank my teammates for not only being classy all night, but pushing me to be classy as well,'' he said.

The gesture was well received.


Stay classy everyone and have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Fresh Air Fund Summer 2009



Earlier this summer I posted some information about the annual half-marathon fundraiser for the Fresh Air Fund. This event and the summer was a big success for the group:

* Nearly 8,000 children enjoyed their best summers yet
* 370 students participated in the Career Awareness Program
* 11 counselors-in-training spent three days on the Appalachian Trail
* 168 young people were Leaders-in-training

“Camp has way more trees, a lot more things that you can see than New York City.” – Yaramyah, 11

“I learned how to swim…I didn’t know how before.” – Malaysia, 9

“I learned a lot of different things from the counselors – I learned how to trust each other, how to respect others, to treat everyone the same.” – Jeremy, 14

“It’s beautiful up there. I could never get tired of waking up to the perfect sunrise and going to sleep to the perfect sunset.” – Francine, 16

Since 1877, The Fresh Air Fund, a not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences in the country to more than 1.7 million New York City children from disadvantaged communities. Each year, thousands of children visit volunteer host families in 13 states and Canada through the Friendly Town Program or attend one of five Fresh Air Fund camps.

For more information on the Fresh Air Fund visit their website, follow them on Twitter, or become a fan on Facebook.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday - Bobby Jones Post-A-Thon



Since this is the week the Tour Championship makes its annual return to East Lake, the course where Bobby Jones grew up and learned to play golf, several members of the golf blogging community decided to pay tribute to the legend. Ten different blogs (including this one) are featuring posts devoted to the life and legacy of Bobby Jones, each focusing on an aspect of Jones' life related to his or her blog. You'll find the complete list of who else is participating after the story about Bobby and Alexa Sterling below.

Before you watch the tournament, learn a few new things about the man who inspires it. But first, give credit to Mike at Ruthless Golf for putting this all together. It was his brainchild and diligent emailing that got this thing together!



And now - Bobby Jones, Alexa Sterling, and WWI


Is it Alexa Sterling or Alexa Stirling? I guess it would depend on where you look or who you ask. What is certain is she was an exceptional golfer and lifelong friend of the legend Bobby Jones. Alexa was born in Atlanta in 1897 and won her first Women's Amateur Golf Championship in 1916 and went on to win two more. Through her career, she placed very high in US, British, and Canadian events.

During WWI there were no tournaments held and Alexa played matches around the country with Bobby Jones and the "Dixie Kids". This was a group of golfers that raised money for the Red Cross and in 1917, Alexa, Bobby, Perry Adair, and Elaine Rosenthal brought in $150,000 for the organization.

In addition to raising money, the appearances by the foursome are credited with helping the game of golf gain popularity in the United States.

Check out these online archives with some clippings of this time period:

Miss Elaine Rosenthal and Perry Adair win a Red Cross match against Miss Alexa Stirling and Bobby Jones.

Bobby Jones Spans Era in Behalf of Red Cross

Alexa carried the nicknames "The First Lady of East Lake"and "The Empress of Golf" (to match up with Jones' "Emperor" moniker). She is remembered as competitive but quiet and has been inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame. Alexa married a Canadian doctor and made a life in Ottawa and was an honorary member of the Royal Ottawa Golf Club.



Here's that list of blogs participating in today's post-a-thon:


Gayle Moss over at Golfgal has posted My Favorite Bobby Jones Golf Tips. She writes, "His swing was a bit unorthodox, but no one can deny his amazing talent. Here are some of my favorite swing tips from the self-taught legend - Bobby Jones."

Art Murphy from LifeandGolf gives us ...We Play the Ball Where It Lies, a collection of miscellaneous quips and quotes about golf and golfers from Bobby Jones.

Mike Southern at Ruthless Golf wonders Could Bobby Jones Have ‘Cut It' Against Today's Pros?, and shows us what science and Jones's own notes have to say about the debate.

Vince Spence from The One-Eye Golfer writes about An Affair to Remember - Bobby Jones and St. Andrews, as he looks at the affection of the champion golfer for the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland which started in 1921.

Greg D'Andrea at From the Rough talks about Golf's Proper Place. "Bobby Jones played competitive golf only three months of the year, always keeping in perspective the game's original intent - 'a means of obtaining recreation and enjoyment.'"

Charles Boyer from Me and Old Man Par has chosen Bobby Jones' Competitors: Many of Them Were Good, One Was Great. "It is often thought that Bobby Jones showed up and crushed his competition on the way to another victory," Charles says. "The truth is that he had many worthy competitors and one, Walter Hagen, stood above all the others as Jones' most worthy competitor."

Michael Green at Aussie Golfer tells about Searching for Bobby Jones, where a search for Bobby Jones in Australia finds remarkable similarities to modern day golf.

Jon Blackburn from The Common Golfer looks at Bobby Jones: Golf's Original Common Golfer. It's a celebration of Bobby Jones' life, and what made him unique amongst his golfing peers.

And Ryan Ballengee from Waggle Room sends us a vlog from East Lake about how Jones' spirit influences the club and community today.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

CALLE Street Soccer



Check out CALLE, founded by five semi-professional soccer players who’d lived in Bolivia, Brazil, and Spain. They wanted to bring the passion and creativity of street soccer to the US and have created the first urban lifestyle brand rooted in the game they love. Fortune Small Business named CALLE one of the top 3 Student Business Startups of 2007. In 2009 Steve Nash chose CALLE to be the official apparel sponsor of his charity event The Showdown in Chinatown. CALLE is street soccer gear designed to change the way the game is played.

CALLE is is involved in street soccer events all over the country and recently held one in the New York area. For more information, check out their website here and blog here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

5 Questions Golf Re-Runs



In honor of the FedEx Cup finale starting up soon I thought we could revisit some fun golf interviews that have appeared here. They're all worth a read if you missed them the first time. If you don't get your golf fix from this then you must be truly addicted. Here are 5 Questions with:

Swing Reminders Golf

Real Women Golf

Sweet Spot Golf

The First Tee

GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher

Class A Certified PGA Professional

The One-Eyed Golfer

Business Golf Country Club

Golfgal

Ladies On The Tee

Golf Instructor

Do you want to be on 5 Questions? Send me an email!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Double-Dip Blogspotting In The Surf



One thing I wanted to point out is surf blogs - or the lack of. You'll notice that every sport has an entire army of blogs covering it: golf, basketball, football, soccer, etc. So why no overload of surf blogs? I'm pretty sure it's because surfing enthusiasts are out there surfing and mostly get online to check Surfline and off they go.

Here are a few online surf spots I check:

Oak Foils only has pictures of what this shaper has been up to. That is all it needs!

Transworld Surf is full of information, contests, videos, and so much more.

On Surfari has periodic updates on the surfing adventures of the McIntyre family.

I always check the Surfrider blog that is dedicated to the Marine Life Protection Act.

Do you know of another cool surf site? Tell me about it!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Time To Go Blogspotting



Have you visited Chicks in the Huddle lately? There are many more chicks covering more teams and even talking some smack back and forth. Just in time for the NFL season.

What does the One-Eyed Golfer think about a recent public outburst? Go visit the link and see.

Speaking of golf, I thought I was the only nut that wiped off her tee and then stuck it in her hair between shots. Not so - Heather at Real Women Golf does also.

I really love Waggle Room's rant about overpaid players. Tell it!

One more golf blog - go check out Ruthless Golf. Mike also has an ebook that you can buy called Ruthless Putting that I really will get to reviewing here soon. Really. Promise.

Did you know that Nathaniel Curran is your bro? He is.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday - September 16, 2009



While everyone is back to school and starting to think about fall temperatures (except Florida, of course) it is in the high 70s in Los Angeles by the coast and close to 100 inland. When the weather stays warm like this and I know the water temp in South OC is nice enough to not wear a wetsuit I can only think of surfing. Hence, Sofia Mulanovich is in the video today at a spot near me.

Life Rolls On - Night By The Ocean: The sixth annual Night By The Ocean is on October 4th at the Kodak Center in Hollywood. Rob Machado is just one of the big names involved in this event that benefits Life Rolls On. To see where the funds raised are used check out this link or visit the LRO website.

College Football and Murder:
Jay Busbee of Devil Ball Golf is rolling out a novel for the fall called Run & Shoot. A new chapter will be revealed each week and can be read on this website. "Football. Murder. And other Southern traditions."

Vote For Heather: If you have a Facebook account help out my golf bud Heather win some irons from Adams Golf. Come on, she deserves them!

Today In Sports History

1957 - LA City Council approves 300-acre site in Chavez Ravine for Dodgers.

1960 - Amos Alonzo Stagg retires as a football coach at 98

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

UKRAINE CROWNED MILAN 2009 HOMELESS WORLD CUP CHAMPIONS



Ukraine defeated Portugal over the weekend by a score of 5-4 in the final of the Milan 2009 Homeless World Cup. This is the annual international football tournament that gives people who are homeless the opportunity to change their own lives. 48 nations, 500 players from all 5 continents of the world were united in the Arena Civica, Milan, Italy for the 7th Homeless World Cup from 6-13 September 2009.

Mel Young, President, Homeless World Cup, closing the competition said: "Congratulations to the players. Your spirit of fair play, courage and determination is a true example to the human race. This is what the united nations can look like. People standing together creating real significant change in their lives. A ball can change the world."

Milan officials handed over to Brazil for the Rio 2010 Homeless World Cup in a high energy display of samba and color with the Brazilians promising to deliver the best tournament ever next year.

77% of players involved in the Homeless World Cup experience a significant life change; no-longer using drugs and alcohol, moving into homes, jobs, education, training, repairing relationships and becoming coaches or players with semi-pro teams. 94% claim to have a renewed motivation for life.

You can get all of the results and more information on the HWC website.

Monday, September 14, 2009

5 Questions About Lisa Leslie and the WNBA



This past Friday was Lisa Leslie's final regular-season home game for the Los Angeles Sparks. Hubby and I caught the game with some sweet seats and truly enjoyed watching this piece of Los Angeles sports history.

Earlier that day, I was walking around in an old Lakers t-shirt because I realized that I didn't own a Sparks shirt. Some fan I am. A colleague asked me why a Lakers shirt when the Dodgers were making a post-season run and the NFL season was upon us. When I replied it was to attend the game that evening since the colors matched he told me, "I would have given you grief if you had a Sparks shirt!"

What? Grief? Why?

Here was a normally "cool" person that was going to razz me for being a fan of the WNBA?

Ugliness aside, as I mentioned, hubby and I had a blast.

We stopped in at ESPN Zone first for dinner (food was so-so but the place was AWESOME). When we headed in to the game my lack of Sparks shirt was cured immediately as they handed out the Lisa Leslie Pass The Ball To The Girl shirts. We also got a bracelet and mini-poster with the same phrase.

The game was sold out and the opening ceremony for Lisa was amazing. Her friends, family, and teammates all presented her with mementos and other gifts. About 75% of the way through the presentation, Lisa asks everyone if they recalled that there was still a game to play.

It was one of those presentations that makes Los Angeles sports fans go nuts. The USC Marching Band was in the stands playing at the right moments and Magic Johnson came out to honor Lisa.

Oh yeah, then there was the game. Oh my - if you have never been to a WNBA game in person then you are really missing out. I realize how lucky I am to have witnessed Candace Parker flip the ball behind her back to Lisa Leslie for a basket.

The Minnesota Lynx could not stop the Sparks on that night (although Candice Wiggins is definitely the real deal). Sparks took the game 90-61. In true Los Angeles sports fashion that Randy Newman tune played afterward as the crowd was showered with streamers.

So here are my five questions for you:

1. Have you ever been to a WNBA game or even watched one on television?


2. Did you know that Lisa Leslie is one of the greatest basketball players of all time?

From her website:

While at Morningside High School in Inglewood, CA, she led the team to two state championships. In college at the University of Southern California, she was the all time Pac-10 leader in points, rebounds, and blocked shots. After college, Leslie launched her modeling career, signing with the prestigious Wilhelmina Agency in 1996.

She was a member of the gold-winning U.S. Olympic teams in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. In 2001, Leslie was the first WNBA player to win the regular season MVP, the All-Star Game MVP and the playoff MVP in the same season. That year, she also led the Los Angeles Sparks to their first WNBA victory. In 2002, she was the WNBA all-time leading scorer and was named MVP of the WNBA Championship and All-Star Game. Leslie is the first woman to slam-dunk in a professional game and the first team sport athlete to win four consecutive Olympic Gold Medals.

In 2002, Lisa Leslie helped the Sparks win their second straight world championship, winning the WNBA MVP Award that year and again in 2006. She became a commentator for ESPN in 2004, covering the NCAA Women’s Tournament.


3. Did you catch that about Magic Johnson? Yeah, he wasn't at the Hall Of Fame festivities for that other basketball legend.


4. Did you realize that WNBA games are a great family activity?

I was amazed at how much more relaxed and happy the crowd was at a Sparks game compared to other sporting events. There were groups of teen boys and girls all there to witness history and hang out with their friends. I could see the looks of inspiration in the young women's faces next to me as Lisa spoke. There were fathers with their daughters, families of four, mothers with their sons, and couples from all walks of life taking in all in. There was a definite, "we are all a big family" vibe.

5. What is stopping you from watching the WNBA? Are you afraid of what people might think?

Friday, September 11, 2009

California Girls Rock Long Beach (NY)



We are treated to one more from guest Zach Smart today.

Long Beach, N.Y. – It didn’t take long for Lee Whitwell and Joslynn Burkett to register their savvy on the Beach Tennis USA circuit.

Together, the fundamentally sound tandem created the perfect storm, catapulting to national championship victories in both the paddle battle and racket version of the Ladies Pro Division.

On paper, the Whitwell-Burkett team contains all the indispensable ingredients and immeasurable intangibles. One is a southpaw, the other a grenade-launching right-hander. This throws teams off balance and spreads the court.

Burkett is rangy and long, the build of a power forward. This proves problematic at net.

Whitwell, on the other hand, is short but strapped. Her bulldozing, bruising build is supplemented by athleticism and years of playing with a racket.

That’s right.

Whitwell shoulders a long tennis pedigree. The San Diego, CA native was recently tapped into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Francis Marion University. At FMU, Whitwell dominated the NCAA Division-II circuit to the tune of two national championships.

Burkett also has a tennis background. She was a four-year player at Arizona State, where she posted 16 singles wins her senior campaign, registering a 9-5 record in conference play.

The California-bred women have made a seamless transition to the world of beach tennis. Playing a commanding, strategic, high-octane and cerebral brand of ball Sunday, Burkett-Whitwell managed to send the previously unstoppable Nadia Johnson (a highly-decorated local player) and Nicole Melch home with naked fingers.

Whitwell-Burkett, who captured the Long Beach open in Long Beach, CA in July, stymied the blink-quick Johnson and Melch, gutting out a 9-8 (5) win in the tiebreaker. This catapulted Whitwell-Burkett to their second national championship victory in as many days.

After cruising to the first place victory in the paddle battle, Burkett was asked how she felt.

"I’m ready to go again,” the jacked up Burkett responded.

Check out Beach Tennis USA’s hottest new team on the video atop today's post and visit the Beach Tennis USA website!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Team USA Wins Beach Tennis National Championship



Zach Smart is back today to give us the latest news on beach tennis.


Long Beach, N.Y.--They did it.

Years after playing second and third fiddle to Team Italy, Team USA re-staked its claim as the top Beach Tennis squad in the nation.

Phil Whitesell and Chris Henderson captured the 2009 Beach Tennis USA national championship, before a standing-room-only crowd amidst windy, tornado-like conditions at Long Beach.

USA defeated Team Italy,which ate up competition in shark-sized bites the past two national championships, to end a long streak of Italian dominance.

With the win, Whitesell and Henderson hand Alex Mingozzi and Matteo Marighella (Ravenna, IT) their first loss on U.S. soil.

Team USA ran off with a jaw-dropping 8-6 victory to regain the crown.

It's the team's first national championship since 2006, when a younger Whitesell surfaced as the sport's poster boy.

The tables turned in recent years, with posters of Marighella--his eyes burning, his body floating somewhere between the sand and the sky--slamming a ball down an opponents' throat painted all over the city.

Whitesell-Henderson fended off cranked-up wind pressure and flying sand. They capitalized on opportunities at net. They kept their lead intact, handcuffing the Italians with hard, head-spinning serves.

Marighella, nicked up with a wrist injury, was neutralized. The defensive-minded team couldn't handle the ball-mashing Whitesell, who took matters into his own hands during crucial transitions.

Mingozzi, who garnered the nickname "The Gorilla" from announcer Marty "Kodiak" Salokas, was also kept at bay. It was in stark contrast from last year's championship, when the Italians made Team USA work for every point.

The negation of the two-time world champions shifted the momentum pendulum in the Americans’ direction, en direct route to an epic win.

It was the blood feud renewed. A regal rematch the Beach Tennis culture had heavily anticipated since last season.

The boys from Charleston, S.C., climbed out of an early hole in dizzying fashion.

The result?

A Labor Day weekend barn-burner, easily one of the best, heart-racing matches
in Beach Tennis USA's five-year history.

Whitesell and Henderson had Labor Day weekend circled in on their calendars for quite some time now.

The Americans shouldered lofty aspirations all summer long, throughout a national tour which spanned 10 cities.

“For the first time in four years, we talked about celebrating,” said Henderson, the rotund rail-splitter who had trouble finding his rocket serve (he encountered difficulty with the wind pelting him in the face) before recovering it in the semis.

“We planned how to celebrate (the win). We never even talked about how we were going to celebrate before. I think that is a step in the right direction.”

Said Whitesell, “We've been humbled. We’ve been underdogs to the Italians for too long. Matteo is a little hurt with an injured wrist, that gives us a little more opportunity. Is it our time? I certainly like our chances."

The Americans capitalized on those chances Sunday.

BTUSA president Jim Lorenzo, who’s been pegged as a biased, undercover fan of Team Italy, has told Whitesell and Henderson this could be their last season on the pro tour. The loquacious, longtime emcee said Whitesell-Henderson should make the transition from the sand to the broadcast booths next season.

Of course, this was all in jest.

Now Whitesell and Henderson are laughing their way to South Carolina, the glistening trophy sitting next to them on their trip home.

Team USA, which scored major victories at The Windjammer and the Virginia Beach Blast, are both on the wrong side of 30.

So, if the final chapter in the Beach Tennis careers of Whitesell and Henderson is nearing...

If their days are truly numbered on the BTUSA professional tour, the championship couldn’t have come at a better time.

“We’re ecstatic right now,” said a sweat-soaked Whitesell.

This titanic win shows that Americans have caught on to the sport that's super-popular over the waters.

It seems the old phrase "it's hard to beat a team three times in a row" came
back to haunt Matteo and Alex, who've ascended to superstar status in
Italy.


WHITESELL'S WORLD

David went after Goliath with a tennis racket and emerged victorious this Labor Day Weekend.

The matrix-like Marighella, he of the springy bounce (the kid jumps out of the beach), and the mammoth Mingozzi, sold the store before a national audience on the Tennis Channel.

Nobody could have foreseen this, even with Marighella’s wrist injury triggering a trace of doubt.

The energy pumped through the Whitesell's veins like gas pumps through SUVs.

The high-octane player was soon over-saturated with it, screaming like a mad dog every time he hit the deflated tennis ball. Before every serve, he muttered "Phil The Thrill" to himself.

Yeah, the guy's super-sized ego seems to weigh more than his paper-thin frame.

That ego and will to win helped catapult Team USA to a 2009 National Championship.

With that, the patriotic tandem (sporting nifty American flag bathing suits
which may have been purchased at Target) tossed their rackets in the air, embracing each other in the triumphant state of euphoria.

It’s been a long enough wait for Team USA.

The Italian-bred monkey is finally off their back.

To learn more about Beach Tennis USA, please visit the official website here

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday - 9 9 09



Today is one of those days where superstition and speculation are in overdrive. What are you doing for 9/9/09?

USA Baseball: Katharine pointed out to me that she doesn't think we follow USA Baseball much here in the States. The Baseball World Cup was last won by the USA in 2007 and they try to defend their title this week. I'm going to try to catch it if I can stop stressing out about the Dodgers long enough!

Golf Humor: A friend of mine sent me this link with some golf humor. If you are easily offended don't click the link.

To Surf or To Spectate:
This Saturday the MSA Classic is happening at Surfrider Beach in Malibu. I can't decide if I want to go watch this or to catch waves myself a few miles down the coast. I'll probably surf myself - watching others just gives me the uncontrollable urge to do it.

Today In Sports History


1850 - California became the 31st state. Okay, that isn't sports history but if you know anything about me then you'll know why some friends call me a "California Nationalist". I'm definitely in love with my home state. While I'm at it, the Santa Monica Pier turns 100 today.

1965 - Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitched a perfect game in a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Catch The Homeless World Cup Now!



Over the weekend the Homeless World Cup kicked off in Milan, Italy. Teams will compete all week to make it to the final round this weekend. Sunday, September 13 will be the last day.

There are several ways to keep up with the HWC this year:

Check their website for fixtures, results, press releases, and other multimedia. You can also sign up to get the latest news via email while there or even donate to support the HWC.

Become a fan on the HWC facebook page.

Follow the HWC on Twitter

Subscribe to their YouTube Channel

You can find information on past events on this blog by entering the term "Homeless World Cup" in the search bar near the top, right side of this page. I will also see about catching up with the HWC to get some post-event info.

Monday, September 7, 2009

5 Questions For Labor Day



1. Why are you sitting on the computer?

2. Are you merely browsing online before heading out?

3. Isn't the weather nice enough to be out of the house?

4. What do you think I will be doing today (hint: it involves water)

5. What are you doing today?

I hope you are getting out to the beach to surf, the course for a round, or the lake for a session. You can also pick up on sweet deals today on equipment regardless of your sport. If you surf in the Venice area check out Rider Shack and if you're in the South Bay stop by E.T. Surf. Rider Shack has a holiday sale happening and E.T. always does price matching and has a great selection.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Reigning National Champs Eyeing Repeat



Zach Smart is back again today with more beach tennis!

LONG BEACH, N.Y.—Beach Tennis USA’s 2009 national tour has watched numerous teams capture tournament crowns and register their first-ever BTUSA titles.

Let’s face the facts.

Twin sisters Laura and Lisa Maloney are the ones playing with the house money. They are the ones with the odds stacked in their favor. They are the ones who’ve garnered national visibility and staked their claim as the fiercest tandem in the land.

This could just as well give the other contenders extra juice, as the bullseye on the Maloneys’ back could make it their tournament to lose.

The defending national champions --who've carried an unblemished record on the Beach Tennis USA circuit since 2007--have become the hunted in the women's pro division.

New promising teams have surfaced, however, one which has scorched the sun-splashed beaches.

Nicole Melch and three-time national champion Nadia Johnson (a Long Island native who’s essentially playing on her home court) have proved there's a new sheriff in town.

The duo’s impassable desire and fiery focus has produced a winning formula.

Still, memories of last year's national championship are all but swept underneath the rug.

Johnson has never been a player who harps on wins and losses (there's also just a few losses which stand out in the loss column).

Reminding Johnson of Laura and Lisa Maloney's national championship under the lights in Long Beach, N.Y., has been akin to tossing a match into a fuel-drenched bucket.

She's burning to re-write the script this summer.

At the same time, don’t sleep on the fresh faces.

Joslyn Burkett and Lee Whitwell (San Diego, CA) defeated Renee Brigden and Jessica Baker (Hermosa Beach, CA) 8-3 during the Long Beach Open. However, they circumvented the task of having to play the twins, who were in California at the time.

During the Virginia Beach Blast in June, Charlene Haarhoff and Nadine Fahoum defeated Linda Zaragosa and Megan Plinktin in the Women’s Pro division, 8-6, punching their ticket to this weekend’s National Championship.

Most recently, at the Windjammer in South Carolina, Erika Krisan (Atlanta, GA ) and Alice Kryder (Charleston, SC) defeated Ashley Farrior and Corrin Enwright 9-7, automatically qualifying for a National Championship spot.

Sorry fellas, but you guys have absolutely no shot against these ladies.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Beach Tennis USA championship: South Carolina Combo Ready To Roll



Today's post is from guest Zach Smart. He's been here before and brings us more news of beach tennis:


It takes two guys from the Bible Belt to know that you don’t need a prayer to win this year’s 2009 Beach Tennis USA national championship.

Phil Whitesell and Chris Henderson, two South Carolina natives who’ve spent this summer shredding up opponents in the sand, are typically giving each other verbal beatdowns and ripping each other before matches.

Of course, it's all in good fun.

Whitesell constantly takes shots at the hefty Henderson and says that Henderson has always been the Robin to his Batman.

He describes his partner as a rotund railsplitter who bails himself out via his powerful blast of a serve, one which few on American soil can counter.

It’s no laughing matter this week, when the tandem hopes to stake their claim as the top Beach Tennis USA team in the country.

Henderson’s serve is so hard that he accidently shattered someone’s glasses while serving at a recent event. Whitesell’s work ethic and feel for the game is so potent, you would think he’s been playing for a decade. Of course, he does have a tennis background. Whitesell played at Southern California before making the transition from the gravel to the sand.

This week in Long Beach, N.Y., the Henderson-Whitesell tandem looks to avenge a loss from last year’s champions, Italians Matteo Marighella and Alex Mingozzi.

Marighella and Mingozzi have ruled the Beach Tennis USA circuit with an iron fist. They are coming into New York eyeing their third straight national championship.

While the outspoken team of Marty Salokas and Donnie Young have already said they will deny the Italian stallions a threepeat, it is Whitesell and Henderson who truly want the monkey off their back.

“We gave them the best game any team has ever given them (during last year’s national championship),” said Henderson. It was Henderson who kept the dream of defeating the champs alive with his “sock save” and other eye-popping plays before the Italians pulled away.

“Any time they (Mingozzi and Marighella) are on U.S. soil, we’ll be ready to play them.”

With their trademark sunglasses and headbands, Marighella and Mingozzi have risen to surefire stardom.

The dominant duo will look to reach the zenith of their young careers this year at the National Championship in the scorching sand.

Here’s a look at their monster work ethic and unmatched skill set that keeps them above the competition:



They were virtually untouchable the past two seasons in Long Beach, head-and-shoulders above the competition and untested until the title match.

For more information, please visit Beach Tennis USA.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday: It's Not a Double Standard, It's Just a Man's World



In the spirit of hijacking the regularly shceduled posts lately I bring you this guest opinion in place of the usual Wild World of Wednesday.


Yesterday I had a guest post from Lindsay about double standards in sports. There were comments as I expected but I also received an email with another guest post on the subject.

Mike Southern is the author of Ruthless Putting and he first contacted me to review his book (which will be a later post). Last night, he sent me the following in response to Lindsay's point of view.


Do men treat women differently? Yeah, they do... but not really any differently than they treat older men.

Correction-make that men older than they are. When Tom Watson nearly won the Open Championship a couple of months ago at the age of 59 the reaction of many in the sports media was to question whether golf should be considered a sport at all. That's insecurity talking...what does it say about me if a 60-year old can beat the best names in golf and I can't even hit the fairway?

Every man believes he is youthful and immortal and better than everybody else. Of course, I really am youthful and immortal... but at 51, I've learned that I'm not better than everybody else. I've also learned that it's ok not to be better than everybody else. Being able to accept your limitations, work within them, and respect rather than resent people who surpass you is important to one's personal growth.

My experience is that most men never learn that.

I was fortunate to grow up in a family where both sides had strong male role models who married equally strong women. That's unusual these days; most men aren't so lucky. Rather than growing up secure, they struggle with low self-esteem; and, to my point, if they aren't particularly gifted athletes themselves... well, nobody expects them to match up to a paid male athlete. But watching women with whom they can't compete... are you kidding?!?

Regardless of what the world may say, there is a glass ceiling. Only men live above it, and they constantly work to make it thicker so they can convince themselves that their effort means something. For example, a woman like LPGA golfer Annika Sorenstam can make it in business because men spell her name like this: $$$$$$. One woman can succeed without threatening them; in fact, the man who signs the deal with her will be heralded for his marketing savvy. The fact that she gained that value from superior athleticism will not enter into the equation.

This is an issue that will become increasingly important in the golf world for one simple reason: Players like Watson and Sorenstam prove that, although Tiger may play a power game, that's not the only way to win. Eventually it will become apparent that golf is in a unique position to become the first truly "flat playing field" in sport, one where age or sex isn't a deterrent to playing against the best. Already, golfers in their 40s are beginning to ‘show up' at the major tournaments in a way they never have before; and men are watching women players like Lorena Ochoa blast the ball down the fairway, then shaking their heads and muttering, "But she's so small!" Within the next ten years, someone like Michelle Wie (who is 6'1" and capable of tremendous clubhead speed) is going to get her game in shape for the special conditions of the PGA Tour and take it to the men in their own backyard.

And when that happens... well, most men will just turn the TV to a football game. At least there, the women stay on the sidelines "where they belong."

Welcome to the world of the male ego, ladies. It can be a lonely place sometimes.

So what do you think? I welcome all opinions, comments, and guest posts on the subject so let's hear it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Still A Double Standard



Today we have a guest post from Lindsay, writer of the blog That Mutt. She's an active, outdoors-type and a sports fan. She writes about a recent experience she had:

"So, you're a lesbian?"

Apparently because I wanted to switch the TV from baseball to women's basketball, I am attracted to women.

I was sitting at the bar with my boyfriend (yes, boyfriend) and a male friend of ours. The friend obviously knew I am dating a guy, but he was serious about what he implied: Women who watch women's sports are gay.

What the?!

So men can watch other men playing sports - very attractive men - and there is nothing gay about that? Yet, if I want to watch a bunch of chicks play basketball, I am a lesbian? Hmm...

I thought people watch men's and women's sports because watching sports is fun, competitive and an excuse to hang out with friends and family members.

And yes I do prefer to watch female athletes. It's the same reason why most men prefer to watch other guys.

God forbid I want to watch other strong women competing professionally. Even worse, my boyfriend watches women's sports once in awhile (shh, don't tell anyone).

But on a more serious note, if 25-year-old men are clearly insecure about women's sports, are boys afraid to watch female athletes? Do they feel this is somehow wimpy, dumb or even "gay"?

Do girls hesitate to watch women's sports for fear that someone judges them?

Do we really need every TV at the bar turned to the Twins game when there are multiple other games going on?

Am I the only one who sees a problem here?

I've always wondered why some people have this need to classify others. I'm interested to hear what readers have to say about this. What do you think?