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Archive for July, 2010

Kevin Durant To Burn FIBA Worlds To the Ground

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Kevin Durant

While the non-baseball honks wait patiently for football to start, there’s something else sporting-wise to look forward to: The FIBA World Championship, which goes from August 28th through September 12th in Turkey. Granted, the FIBA Worlds won’t be as popular or fanatically followed like the soccer World Cup — I kind of miss vuvuzelas — meaningful basketball is always a good thing.

It’s true players like LeBron, Kobe, D-Wade and Chris Paul won’t be participating, and because of that, casual fans will probably overlook FIBA’s tournament, but there’s one very, very good reason to tune in when Team USA tries to win the World Championship for the first time since 2002:

The opportunity to watch Kevin Durant burn the FIBA Worlds to the ground.

Further reading after the jump >>

And We’re Back… Again

After years-long struggles with the new Ticket Solutions redesign, I’m happy to say IF is back on the air. Please allow the soothing sounds of Kool and The Gang to enhance this joyous occasion. Cancel the search party.

England’s Pain: A Fan’s Perspective

England's Pain

Yes, the World Cup is over, and with today’s attention span being as long as a Twitter post, it’s already long forgotten, especially by American World Cup watchers. Sure, some will remember Spain won, although, it’s doubtful they’ll remember who scored to put Spain over the top of the Netherlands (Andres Iniesta, for those of you who forgot). While I’m still fascinated by how quick the news cycle works, this post isn’t about that. Instead, I’ve asked a great friend of mine to share her feelings about England’s less-than-stellar showing in South Africa.

After the jump, Deb Harrison, a loving mom, wife, and an underrated Internet marketer — British readers, if you have any web marketing tasks, you should check Deb’s services out here — and a voracious football fan gives us a glimpse into the disappointment the English team returned home with after such a lackluster appearance. Her perspective also reminds us being a fan doesn’t always mean cheering for championships.

There’s a lot of sorrow involved as well, right Cleveland fans?

A British fan’s take on a failed World Cup appearance >>

March Madness Changes To Accommodate 68 Teams


Thankfully, the NCAA avoided depth-charging the preferred college basketball tournament by not expanding it to 96 teams, something that was quite feared shortly after Duke beat the Butler Bulldogs. While the basketball committee did decide to include more teams in upcoming editions, it won’t be a glut of schools that have no reason to challenge for a National Championship, regardless of name recognition.

According to a new article from Andy Katz, the expansion plans call for the addition of a new first round, one that will pit the last four at-large bid teams against the last four automatic qualifiers, in a newly-created round called the “First Four.” Some details:

The “First Four” will be played either the Tuesday or Wednesday after Selection Sunday. The winners of the four games will advance to what will now be called the “second round” on either Thursday or Friday. The newly named third round — with 16 games — will be Saturday and Sunday. The rest of the tournament — regional semifinals (Sweet 16) and regional finals (Elite Eight) — will remain as they have been, as will the Final Four, which is set for Houston in 2011…

[Tournament selection committee chairman Dan] Guerrero and [NCAA vice president Greg] Shaheen said the last four at-large teams would be put on the seed line the committee decided they earned. So, this could mean that two could be considered No. 12 seeds playing for the right to play a No. 5 and two could be No. 11s vying to play a No. 6 in the second round.

Essentially, these last eight teams will play each other in the “new” first round and the winner advances to play what we recognize as the old first round (now the second). Think of it this way, two teams will fight for the right to be a “12-seed” with the winner facing the traditional “5-seed” in the second round. The other two games will be an extension of the current “play-in game” scenario.

The “First Four” games will be shown on TruTV earlier in the week so they don’t interfere with the traditional start of the Big Dance.

Dan Gilbert’s Rage Needs a Remix

Dan Gilbert's Rage

Because of the LeBron James fallout, specifically, Dan Gilbert’s now-legendary response, I now have a new goal/desire in my life: to hear the guys who did the “Dramatic Reading Of A Break-Up Letter” YouTube classic read Gilbert’s letter in the same manner.

In case you haven’t heard the inspiration for this post, watch, learn and laugh:

After the jump >>

Josh Cribbs Has A Message For LeBron

Bigger Image

While the city of Cleveland continues to burn as the reality of LeBron James leaving for Miami sets in, one particular Cleveland resident isn’t pleased with James’ abandonment, and is letting the world know his feelings. And no, I’m not talking about some random, jersey-burning Cavaliers fan, either. Try Josh Cribbs, the best player on the Cleveland Browns, and now, it looks like he’ll be the city’s new favorite son — especially if his anti-LeBron invectives continue.

First, there was the awesome “True To My Word” banner idea as a replacement for all the “Witness” billboards in Cleveland, and while that, alone, is awesome enough, Cribbs’ next move trumped.

Before the decision, the address for Cribbs’ personal site was Now, if someone goes to that URL, they are redirected to a site with the following URL: Evidently, Cribbs feels just as betrayed as other Cavaliers fans, and he has the resources to effectively relay his disappointment; although, I’m not sure “disappointment” is the right word.

Hatred, perhaps.

A quick glance at the new site reveals a deep sense of disappointment, if not downright disgust. For instance, there’s a YouTube of fans burning James’ jersey, which fits nicely with the site’s look and feel. It’s rare to see another professional athlete react in such a manner towards another pro, especially one that doesn’t play the same sport. Of course, Cleveland fans — and yes, I’m referring to Cribbs as a fan at the moment — are a different breed than you and me.

A fanbase can only take scalding rejection and failure for so long before they lash out.

Obviously, Josh Cribbs, now the best professional athlete in Cleveland, is not immune from those kinds of reactions. A word of advice, however:

Don’t leave town for a bigger contract or a better chance to win, Josh; unless, of course, you want to look like a hypocrite.

Usain Bolt Makes Me Shake My Head in Wonder

Imagine what it would be like to run a best-in-the-world-for-2010 time in the 100-meter dash when you have a sore hamstring. It sounds fairly impossible, but then again, we are not Usain Bolt, and well, he is. Oh, and he just accomplished such a feat in Lausanne, Switzerland by posting a 2010-best 9.82 in the 100-meters.

Just in case you didn’t quite get the significance, I’ll repeat it: Usain Bolt just ran a sub-10 second 100-meter on a bad hamstring.

Think about that for a second. Bolt makes a feat that’s faster than all but four 100-meter world records look like a leisurely jog in the park.

While everyone in the free world is riding the nuts of LeBron James, perhaps we should take a moment to recognize the best athlete in the world — one that holds the world hostage with his jaw-dropping athletic performances, and not his decision-making exercises; although, I seem to remember a time when LeBron wowed us too, but that seems like 20 years ago.

DiCaprio Doesn’t Suck, He Blows

Leonardo DiCaprio

Vuvuzelas, that is; and if you’re any type of follower of IF, you already know we approve of anything having to do with the World Cup and vuvuzelas, unlike those hating gossip blogs. Plus, Leo stars in Inception which, quite possibly, looks like the best movie ever. According to the gossip post, the image(s) of DiCaprio and his trusty vuvuzela came from the Germany/Argentina game.

Hopefully, Leo was pulling for ze Germans, otherwise, he didn’t have much reason to toot his own horn.

More images here.