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Archive for the ‘Round Up’ Category

Some Good Wood

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In honor of tonight’s revenge game for New England Patriots running back Danny Woodhead, arguably one of the best feel-good stories of this year’s NFL season, I present to you the 5 Greatest Woodies of All Time. Sorry Ron Jeremy, you or your pals aren’t eligible for this award.

5. Kerry Wood, pitcher

Wood burst on the scene for the Chicago Cubs in 1998. It took him no time at all to start his domination, throwing a 20-strikeout 1-hitter in just his 5th major league start. He went on to have 200+ strikeouts in 4 of his first 5 seasons. Wood might be a little higher on this list, but arm troubles have derailed his career, at least as a starter. He continues to draw interest though having reinvented himself as an effective, yet injury-prone reliever.

4. Clu Heywood, first baseman

Played by 1982 Cy Young winner Pete Vuckovich in the move Major League, Heywood was a big time Indians killer until Ricky Vaughn manned up and blew three straight fast balls by him and the Indians won the pennant. One of my favorite movies of all time (and another post entirely).

3. Charles Woodson, defensive back

In 1997 Woodson became the first defensive Heisman Trophy winner, though he did make some appearances at wide receiver as well. He led Michigan to the national championship which led to me declaring Michigan’s fight song as the greatest ever.

More wood after the jump >>

High School Basketball Game Turns Ugly


This is all over the tubes this morning, but I thought I’d share anyway. The video depicts an ugly, ugly brawl between two Alabama high schools that started on the basketball court but ended up in the stands. The game was a state tournament match up between Carver-Montgomery High School and Valley High School and the fracas started when two players from each team — Carver’s Roquez Johnson and Valley’s Enrique Florence — got in a shoving match.

Next thing you know, we’re playing the feud. AL.com fills in some details:

More on the brawl after the jump >>

Google Confirms Giants Domination

Giants

Google released their 2008 Year-End Zeitgeist, and as expected, names like “Obama” and “Sarah Palin” represented quite well.

Oh, those feisty hockey moms.

Speaking of hockey, Google also analyzed search terms related to sports and as one might expect, the New York Giants had the highest search volume, reaching a peak in January that couldn’t be overtaken in the following 11 months:

Google

More on Sports Zeitgeist after the jump >>

The ESPYs = The Dog Days Of Summer

ESPYs

ESPN’s ESPY award show was filmed last night (will be shown this Sunday) and it’s a good reminder that we, as sports fans, are fully in the grips of the summertime sports blues. While the sporting world waits patiently (or not) for college football to return, we are left with some average soccer as the MLS continues to defy the odds and keeps existing. OK, that’s a little harsh, but still, the fact remains — the MLS is obviously not the EPL. Not even close:

It was very different,” Beckham said. “I haven’t been involved in a game like that since I was 9 or 10 years old, where there were so many goals.”

- David Beckham talking about the 5-4 LA/NY game from last year

We are also waiting for MLB to get closer to its conclusion; or at least for a time where it’s not the only show in town.

If you aren’t a baseball purist (and there are plenty in the sports blogosphere) then all you can do is wait. Fortunately, we do have the 2008 Summer Olympics coming up but the interest isn’t what it used to be. Whatever. I’ll be fine watching Tyson Gay and Usain Bolt go at it to determine who actually is the world’s fastest man. Of course, there are the team sports in the Olympics as well.

Things like basketball, soccer and baseball are represented and should generate some buzz. However, in order to enjoy the Olympics this year, you’ll probably have to get up at the butt-crack of dawn (13-hour time difference from Kansas City) to see many of these events live — or you could wait for NBC’s evening/pre-taped coverage. By then, you’ll probably already know who won the event you’ve been wanting to watch.

For you golfers out there, The British Open started today, but if a golf tournament is played without the presence that Woods guy, will anyone be around to watch it?

So what we are left with is essentially our ability to be patient. Be patient for the return of football. Be patient with the MLB and its seemingly never-ending march towards the postseason; because, the closer it gets to the World Series, the closer we are to football and basketball returning. In the meantime, we simply have to tolerate the Brett Favre stories of the world — and just think, NFL Training Camps haven’t even opened yet.

Lord knows what the reaction will be like when the Packers begin. Can you say, “media circus?” I thought you could. For now, try and enjoy the upcoming Olympics. Yes, I know the coverage is going to be hard to keep up with but 08 Games have a number of storylines worth following.

Think of it like this — the Opening Ceremonies are on August 8th and the Closing Ceremonies are on the 26th, which is a Tuesday. College football kicks-off the following Thursday. If nothing else, you can use the Olympics as an unofficial timekeeper, counting down the last few days before Tim Tebow takes over the sports world.

SI’s Contextual Ads are Really Accurate

While perusing the CO-ED Magazine post about the NBA Playoff Dancers (you know, research), I was struck by just how accurate SI’s Quigo-powered contextual advertising service really is. I mean, it apparently knows enough to pair NBA Cheerleaders and teeth-whitening reports.

SI Teeth
Click for bigger image

Is that a definition of irony or damn good accuracy? Perhaps the teeth-whitening reports client used simply selected the “cheerleader” keyword to associate their ads with, which in and of itself is a good idea (you don’t think ALL of those brilliant Dancer smiles come naturally, do you?).

Whatever the case, Quigo’s service appears to be doing quite well on the contextual placement front.

The Derby Shows Beauty, Horror of Horse Racing

While the Big Brown celebration is legitimately deserved — his performance was incredibly dominating; so much so it seems his opponents have thrown in the towel for the Preakness — the sadness concerning Eight Belles is legitimately deserved as well. The only filly to appear in the 134th running gave an incredible performance as well.

Unfortunately, her run ended in despair after she broke both front ankles after crossing the finish line. Because the damage to her legs was so extensive, Eight Belles was euthanized on the track. In light of the horrific ending to Eight Belles’ promising racing career, PETA has, of course, shared their opinion with the rest of the free world.

And while it may be a bit misguided, the fact of the matter is, seeing Eight Belles succumb like she did is enough to make any animal lover question the need for horse racing. While Mike Vick gets vilified for his role in a dog fighting ring (deservedly so), the horse racing industry continues on its path unimpeded.

What makes this even harder to take is it’s doubtful Eight Belles will be remembered with the same passion devoted to Barbaro, especially after the initial buzz tapers off. Personally, I’d prefer to remember her like this instead of debating whether or not NBC should have shown more footage of her horrific ending.

Eight Belles

But maybe that’s just me.

Weighing In On Blogs

Because of a long Doctor’s appointment yesterday, I didn’t really get to weigh in on the HBO/Bob Costas/Buzz Bissinger/Will Leitch hoopla that went on over at HBO on Tuesday night. However, when I got to work, my Google Reader was more than happy to catch me up on what I missed.

And boy, there was a lot.

Blogger

As for my feelings, well, I’ve been in this industry (the Internet, not sports blogging) for a little while now and the only thing I can say is people like Buzz Bissinger and Bob Costas must feel incredibly threatened by the presence of sports blogs and blogs in general. You can tell this by the way they try to lump them all together like sports blogs are a hive community similar to the Borg.

Or perhaps, something like this (NSF Eyes).

The difference being, we peddle smut and softcore sports stories while the ESPN’s of the world cover real news (Hey Tafoya, get over yourself. Like now.). Whatever the case, this fear is palpable. I mean, what else can explain Bissinger’s juvenile behavior? It was reminiscent of a kid who didn’t get his special toy for Christmas.

While I’m not going to get into a big response here, I’d like to point out one of the better ones I’ve read, written by the awesome Sarah Schorno. As per usual, Sarah hits the nail DIRECTLY on the head in regards to this little back and forth that’s been going on between the two mediums. Like so:

What they, and most blog critics, fail to understand is that both mainstream media and blogs can co-exist peacefully. Bloggers aren’t set out to replace print journalists. They exist to add commentary and color to the news that is reported in print and online every day. Readers don’t use blogs to replace the news they get from the mainstream. They use it to add substance.

Nail, meet hammer. Get used to us guys. Because, to quote one Sean Combs, “We ain’t. Going nowhere. We can’t be stopped. We’re bloggers for life.” We are legion. OK, I’m starting to come off like the Anonymous guys who target Scientology.

But the point remains.

Were Nike Sparqs Designed By Adidas?

We’ve all seen the new Nike commercials telling us if we train using the Sparq method, our better will be better than yours, we’ll have strong all day and we’ll be quickiefied quick, quick (or whatever she says). However, the one thing Nike hasn’t told us is who the hell made their shoes because the Nike Sparq trainers look more like adidas than they do Nike — even with the Swoosh. Observe:

Nike
Nike Sparq

adidas
adidas Bounce

Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels that way either. I don’t know about you, but if I was designing a shoe that I wanted to explode across the pop culture universe, I don’t think it would like anything like my competitor’s offering.

Maybe Nike was banking on their commercials being the selling point instead of, you know, the actual product they are trying to get people to buy. Perhaps Nike’s version smells like French toast as opposed to new leather and plastic (French toast?).

Or maybe Nike is trying to say, we can take your style, adidas, and make it fresher. Whatever the case, just remember, I’ve got strong all day.