Sports

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Nooses aren’t cool.

Posted by SPN on 01/22 at 04:00 PM
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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Taking the ‘Foot’ Out of Football

I’m certainly in agreement with this.  There is no reason, whatsoever, that this game should be called football when feet have hardly anything to do with the game.

Morning Edition, August 29, 2007 ·
By Frank Deford
Now that football season is upon us again, I would like to start off by saying: Let’s get the foot out of football. It’s time to call it, say, passball or smashball. Then we Americans could — like everyone else — call soccer by its proper name, football. Everybody would be much happier this way.

The trouble with our football is that the foot has gotten too prominent. If the feet in soccer were as accomplished as the feet in football, scores would be 9-8 or 12-11 and we’d all be watching Monday Night Soccer. But when I see an American football game now, I’m reminded of the old Fats Waller classic, “Your Feet’s Too Big.” What the football “feets” is doing is too big for the good of the game.

For decades now, the extra point has been called automatic. But no more is that just a hyperbole. In the NFL now, 99 percent of point-afters split — as they say — the uprights. That’s ridiculous. Nothing else in sports is automatic. Nothing in sports should be automatic. For that matter, nothing in life should be automatic.

If football must have the point-after, I say it should be done this way: Have each team that scores a touchdown celebrate in the end zone, and then have people like those awful judges from American Idol determine if the celebration merits an extra point. Certainly, end zone celebrations are much more entertaining than those little one-trick ponies in clean uniforms who come trotting out and kick automatic points.

Field goals have gotten almost as tedious. Now, 80 percent of attempted field goals in the NFL are successful. Good grief, two-thirds of field goals tried from at least 40 yards out split the uprights. Make field goals count only two points. Or, since the goal posts can’t fight back, let the defense jump up on each other’s shoulders and form pyramids, like those walls in soccer. Make those kickers have to learn to bend it like Beckham.

And punts. Aren’t you tired of scaredy-cat coaches with fourth and inches always punting? You got these great running backs churning out yardage down the field, but as soon as it’s close, the coaches punt. You might as well have cleanup hitters in baseball bunt. Kicking makes wimps out of football coaches.

Kickoffs are fun to watch, but they’re automatic, too — automatic mayhem. You got 22 guys averaging about an eighth of a ton each, wearing armor and colliding at full speed. The soldiers at Antietam and Gallipoli had a better chance.

The colleges are moving kickoffs back to the 30-yard line this year in order to create more fun and brutality. Some coaches have already professed deep concern. The Department of Orthopaedics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York is decrying this insane added danger.

What we should do is only allow those squibbly little onside kicks, where the ball bounces around all crazy, and it’s fun and goofy and altogether un-automatic. Or hey, let’s just kick the foot outta football and play the game with the good hands that God gave us red-blooded Americans.

Posted by SPN on 09/02 at 02:14 PM
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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

“Black Ice: The Lost History of The Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895-1925”

My cousin sent me this link.  This is something I was very interested in hearing about.  Talking about taking it to the next level!  Go to the nxt page to learn more about the history of hockey.

Posted by SPN on 05/01 at 09:01 PM
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Friday, June 09, 2006

The World Cup of Soccer starts today.

So I thought that I would share a video that I found about why Football is fun to watch.

Posted by SPN on 06/09 at 12:03 PM
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Sunday, May 28, 2006

“Ironhead” Heyward loses battle with recurring tumor

SO, so, so young…

By Len Pasquarelli
ESPN.com

ATLANTA—Former NFL fullback Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, who played 11 seasons in the league with five different franchises, died here Saturday after a seven-year battle with a recurring brain tumor.
Heyward, who retired from the league following the 1998 season, was 39.

Craig Heyward played for five different NFL teams, including the Colts in 1998. 
Given the severity and aggressiveness of Heyward’s tumor, known as a chordoma, and the inability of surgeons to completely remove it during two operations, his death was not unexpected. Heyward also suffered a stroke a few years ago that left him partially paralyzed.

But friends who had visited recently with Heyward, including one-time NFL quarterback Bobby Hebert, a former teammate in both New Orleans and Atlanta, certainly did not expect his death to come so quickly.

Hebert told ESPN.com two weeks ago that he was apprised that the tumor had wrapped itself around Heyward’s brain, that further surgical attempts were not planned, and that the once-mighty fullback would likely survive another three to five years.

“The one thing he’s still got and that hasn’t changed a bit,” Hebert said at the time, “is that devilish sense of humor of his. Hopefully, that will keep him going for a while.”

In a statement released by the University of Pittsburgh, coach Dave Wannstedt, who helped direct Heyward to the school and also coached him with the Chicago Bears, said: “I will always remember him as a tremendous player who had an irrepressible attitude on and off the field. We spoke just a few weeks ago and I was struck by the typical upbeat ‘Ironhead’ attitude he displayed despite his health. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Pitt family are with Craig’s loved ones during this time of sorrow.”

Heyward departed Pitt as an underclassman to enter the NFL draft and was the first-round selection of the New Orleans Saints in 1988. He played from 1988-92 for the Saints and then had stints with Chicago (1993), Atlanta (1994-96), St. Louis (1997) and Indianapolis (1998).

In 149 games, Heyward registered 1,031 carries for 4,301 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also posted 177 receptions for 1,559 yards and four touchdowns. His finest season came with the Falcons in 1995, when he rushed for 1,083 yards and six touchdowns and earned his lone Pro Bowl berth.

Posted by CHANNI on 05/28 at 04:02 AM
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Saturday, May 20, 2006

BARRY BONDS HITS 714th HOME RUN

Barry Bonds tied Babe Ruth for second place on the career home run list Saturday with his 714th homer, a solo shot into the right-field seats leading off the second inning.

The 41-year-old Bonds hadn’t homered in nine games — a stretch of 29 at-bats — since hitting No. 713 with a 450-foot drive May 7 in Philadelphia. His teenage son, Nikolai, a Giants bat boy, was waiting for him at home plate and they embraced.

Bonds was quickly greeted by his teammates, who surrounded him at the top of the dugout. Bonds tipped his cap and blew a kiss toward his 7-year-old daughter, Aisha, then came out of the dugout and raised his hands.

Left-hander Brad Halsey became the 420th pitcher to give up a homer to Bonds, who was San Francisco’s designated hitter in an interleague series against the Oakland Athletics.

Posted by CHANNI on 05/20 at 03:53 PM
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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Chris Byrd lost the fight to Vladimir Klitschko.

7th round TKO.  Chris got beaten up. Vladimir was holding a lot during the early part of the fight until he figured out how to easily beat Chris.

His face doesn’t look like this now.

His face is pretty much the same.

Posted by SPN on 04/22 at 04:48 PM
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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Beat the computer at tennis and win a million dollars!

Try it and see.

Beat the computer at tennis and win a million dollars!

Posted by SPN on 04/01 at 01:10 PM
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Saturday, March 25, 2006

SPECIAL DELIVERY, JAZZ UNVEIL KARL MALONE STATUE, RAISE NO. 32 TO RAFTERS

Hank Aaron, Michael Jordon and now Karl Malone joins the elite!  I am extremely proud for all of the brothers.  ALL OF THESE GREAT PLAYERS HAVE TAKEN THERE GAME TO ANOTHER LEVEL.  I just wonder when are we going to take the same pride if not more pride in some of the educators, the mothers and fathers who always pushhes the children to the next level,

Thursday March 23, 2006 9:37PM; Updated: Thursday March 23, 2006 11:05PM

SALT LAKE CITY (AP)—As much as he tried to credit others, Thursday in Utah was all about Karl Malone.
The Jazz honored Malone on Thursday by retiring his No. 32 and unveiling a bronze statue of the power forward who played 18 of his 19 NBA seasons in Utah.
The “Mailman,” the second-leading scorer in NBA history, grinned at the pregame statue ceremony and again at halftime of the game against Washington when the jersey was unveiled.
Malone thanked the Jazz for taking him with the 13th pick in the 1985 NBA draft and his former teammates, who helped him score 36,928 career points.
“I realize you knew where the ball was going all the time and you accepted it. Thank you,” Malone said at halftime.
Appropriately enough, Malone’s number hangs right next to former point guard John Stockton’s No. 12. Malone’s statue also stands just a few feet from one of Stockton, just off the corner where John Stockton Drive and Karl Malone Drive intersect southeast of the arena.
The pick-and-roll combination is now permanently fixed in bronze.
“It all worked because of the big fella in the middle,” Stockton said.
Stockton kept his remarks short, as usual, and Malone had the spotlight as he was warmly greeted by the fans. The standing ovation during the halftime ceremony lasted several minutes.
Malone, dressed in black from his boots to cowboy hat, had a wide grin through both celebrations and was joined by his wife and six children.
Malone also thanked the fans and the state of Utah—which he mistakenly referred to as a city after he was drafted.
“I realize now, 20 years later, that it’s a state,” Malone said, poking fun at himself.
The statues are encircled by two rings of bronze plaques listing the accomplishments of Malone and Stockton.
“We had a tough time narrowing it down to what we have,” Jazz owner Larry Miller said.
Stockton and Malone spent part of the day arguing over who made who better, each giving the other credit. Stockton is the NBA’s career leader in assists and steals. Malone scored more points than anybody other than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

But without Malone there to complete the pick-and-roll, Stockton doesn’t get 15,806 career assists. Without Stockton’s passes, Malone wouldn’t have scored as many points as he did.
“Those numbers are way out there and if just a few things changed, he could have put them out there even further,” Stockton said.
Malone, sixth on the career rebounding list, was also the league’s MVP in 1997 and 1999 and he and Stockton led the Jazz to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998, losing to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
Before the ceremony, Malone spoke for himself and Stockton and said they didn’t look back on coming up just short of an NBA title. Malone also said he didn’t regret leaving the Jazz for one season with the Los Angeles Lakers and a final run at a championship after Stockton retired in 2003.
We don’t wish. That’s just not who we are,” Malone said.

Posted by CHANNI on 03/25 at 02:26 AM
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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Now maybe you agree a little more…?

I’ve said for years now that you all are fools to believe that professional athletes actually earn all the money that they make.  It would be great to make millions of dollars a year, but for any athlete to actually say that their money is actually EARNED is asinine.  The US team with all of those millionaires couldn’t even beat the poor ole Mexican team.

Read the statistics yourself.  http://ww2.worldbaseballclassic.com/

Posted by SPN on 03/21 at 03:16 PM
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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Twins legend Puckett dies after stroke

Associated Press
Posted: 5 hours ago



MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Kirby Puckett, the bubbly, barrel-shaped Hall of Famer who carried the Minnesota Twins to two World Series titles before his career was cut short by glaucoma, died Monday after a stroke. He was 45.

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Puckett, whose weight gain in recent years concerned those close to him, was stricken early Sunday at his Arizona home. He died at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.

“He was a Hall of Famer in every sense of the term,” commissioner Bud Selig said. “He played his entire career with the Twins and was an icon in Minnesota. But he was revered throughout the country and will be remembered wherever the game is played. Kirby was taken from us much too soon - and too quickly.”

Text of Kirby Puckett’s Hall of Fame plaque

KIRBY PUCKETT

MINNESOTA, A.L., 1984-1995
A proven team leader with an ever-present smile and infectious exuberance who led the Twins to World Series titles in 1987 and 1991. Over 12 seasons hit for power and average, batting .318 with 414 doubles, 207 home runs. Also a prolific run producer, scored 1,071 runs and drove in 1,085 in 1,783 games. A six-time Gold Glove winner who patrolled center field with elegance and style, routinely scaling outfield walls to take away home runs. The 10-time All-Star’s career ended abruptly due to irreversible retina damage in his right eye.

Puckett was the second-youngest person to die already a member of the Hall of Fame, Hall spokesman Jeff Idelson said. Only Lou Gehrig, at 37, was younger.

Puckett led the Twins to championships in 1987 and 1991. He broke into the majors in 1984 and had a career batting average of .318. Glaucoma left the six-time Gold Glove center fielder and 10-time All-Star with no choice but to retire after the 1995 season when he went blind in his right eye.

“I wore one uniform in my career and I’m proud to say that,” Puckett once said. “As a kid growing up in Chicago, people thought I’d never do anything. I’ve always tried to play the game the right way. I thought I did pretty good with the talent that I have.”

He was elected to the Hall of Fame on his first try in 2001, and his plaque praised his “ever-present smile and infectious exuberance.” Yet, out of the game, the 5-foot-8 Puckett let himself fall out of shape.

“It’s a tough thing to see a guy go through something like that and come to this extent,” former teammate Kent Hrbek said.

“That’s what really hurt him bad, when he was forced out of the game,” he said. “I don’t know if he ever recovered from it.”

Asked what he would remember the most from their playing days, Hrbek quickly answered, “Just his smile, his laughter and his love for the game.”

Puckett had been in intensive care since having surgery at another hospital. His family, friends and former teammates gathered Monday at St. Joseph’s. He was given last rites and died in the afternoon, hospital spokeswoman Kimberly Lodge said.

Puckett wanted his organs to be donated. In a statement, his family and friends thanked his fans for their thoughts and prayers.

“It’s tough to take,” Twins general manager Terry Ryan said from the team’s spring training camp in Fort Myers, Fla. “He had some faults, we knew that, but when all was said and done he would treat you as well as he would anyone else. No matter who you were.

“When you’re around him, he makes you feel pretty good about yourself. He can make you laugh. He can do a lot of things that can light up a room. He’s a beauty,” he said.

A makeshift memorial began to form Monday night outside the Metrodome, with a handful of bouquets laid on the sidewalk.

“This is a sad day for the Minnesota Twins, Major League Baseball and baseball fans everywhere,” Twins owner Carl Pohlad said.

Puckett’s signature performance came in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series against Atlanta. After telling anyone who would listen before the game that he would lead the Twins to victory that night at the Metrodome, he made a leaping catch against the fence and then hit a game-ending homer in the 11th inning to force a seventh game.

The next night, Minnesota’s Jack Morris went all 10 innings to outlast John Smoltz and pitch the Twins to a 1-0 win for their second championship in five years.

“If we had to lose and if one person basically was the reason - you never want to lose - but you didn’t mind it being Kirby Puckett. When he made the catch and when he hit the home run you could tell the whole thing had turned,” Smoltz said.

“His name just seemed to be synonymous with being a superstar,” the Braves’ pitcher said. “It’s not supposed to happen like this.”

Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk echoed Smoltz’s sentiment.

“There was no player I enjoyed playing against more than Kirby. He brought such joy to the game. He elevated the play of everyone around him,” Fisk said in a statement to the Hall.

Puckett’s birthdate was frequently listed as March 14, 1961, but recent research by the Hall of Fame indicated he was born a year earlier.

Perhaps the most popular athlete ever to play in Minnesota, Puckett was a guest coach at Twins spring training camp in 1996, but hadn’t worked for the team since 2002. He kept a low profile since being cleared of assault charges in 2003, when he was accused of groping a woman at a suburban Twin Cities restaurant.

The youngest of nine children born into poverty in a Chicago housing project, Puckett was drafted by the Twins in 1982 and became a regular just two years later. He got four hits in his first major league start and finished with 2,304 in only 12 seasons.

Though his power numbers, 207 home runs and 1,085 RBIs, weren’t exceptional, Puckett won an AL batting title in 1989 and was considered one of the best all-around players of his era. His esteem and enthusiasm for the game factored into his Hall of Fame election as much as his statistics and championship rings.

He made his mark on baseball’s biggest stage, leading heavy underdog Minnesota to a seven-game victory over St. Louis in 1987 and then doing the same against Atlanta in one of the most thrilling Series in history.

The Twins returned to the Metrodome that year after losing 14-5 in Game 5, needing to win two straight to get the trophy. Puckett famously walked into the clubhouse hours before Game 6, cajoling his teammates to jump on his back and let him carry them to victory.

Sure enough, after robbing Ron Gant of an extra-base hit with a leaping catch against the wall in the third inning, Puckett homered off Charlie Leibrandt to send the Series to Game 7.

“There are a lot of great players in this game, but only one Kirby,” pitcher Rick Aguilera said when Puckett announced his retirement. “It was his character that meant more to his teammates. He brought a great feeling to the clubhouse, the plane, everywhere.”

Puckett’s best year was 1988, when he batted .356 with 24 home runs, 42 doubles and 121 RBIs. A contact hitter and stolen base threat in the minors who hit a total of four homers in his first two major league seasons, Puckett developed a power stroke in 1986 and went deep a career-best 31 times.

He became a fixture in the third spot in Minnesota’s lineup, a free-swinging outfielder with a strong arm and a flair for nifty catches despite his 220-pound frame that made him look more like a fullback. The man known simply as “Puck” was immensely popular. Fans loved his style, especially the high leg kick he used as he prepared to swing. Public address announcer Bob Casey, who became a close friend, introduced him with vigor before every at-bat, “KIR-beeeeeeeeee PUCK-it.”

As free agency and expansion turned over rosters more frequently in the 1990s, Puckett was one of the rare stars who never switched teams.

Hit by a pitch that broke his jaw on his last at-bat of the 1995 season, Puckett woke up one morning the following spring and couldn’t see out of his right eye. It was eventually diagnosed as glaucoma, forcing him to call it quits that July.

He received baseball’s Roberto Clemente Man of the Year Award for community service that year, and the Twins - trying to boost sagging attendance during some lean seasons in the late 1990s - frequently turned to Puckett-related promotions. He had a spot in the front office and sometimes made stops at the state Capitol to help stump for a new stadium.

Though he steadfastly refused to speak pessimistically about the premature end to his career, Puckett’s personal life began to deteriorate after that. Shortly after his induction to Cooperstown, his then-wife, Tonya, accused him of threatening to kill her during an argument - he denied it - and described to police a history of violence and infidelity. In 2003, he was cleared of all charges from an alleged sexual assault of a woman at a suburban Twin Cities restaurant.

He kept a low profile after the trial and eventually moved to Arizona. The Twins kept trying to re-establish a connection and get him to come to spring training again as a guest instructor.

Puckett, who was divorced, is survived by his children, Catherine and Kirby Jr.

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Posted by loni on 03/07 at 07:38 AM
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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Those crazy footballers.

Just how talented must one be to handle the ball like this?

Posted by SPN on 02/11 at 01:19 PM
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