This past Sunday, Philadelphia's Taney Dragons
punched their ticket to the Little League World Series
behind the complete game shutout pitching performance of Mo'Ne Davis
, who at 13-years-old already throws a 70 MPH fastball
. Davis will become only the 17th girl to play in the LLWS in 68 years
. She has become an inspiration to others as she redefines what it means to "throw like a girl"
The large got larger. The small got smaller. The weird got weirder. When you look at sporting achievements over the last decades, it seems like humans have gotten faster, better and stronger in nearly every way. Yet as David Epstein points out in this delightfully counter-intuitive talk, we might want to lay off the self-congratulation. Many factors are at play in shattering athletic records, and the development of our natural talents is just one of them.
TED talk, 14:53
Curious about which sport has the best odds of a male or female High School or College player going pro? OSMguy
has a data visualization for that
. [Via Tableau's Viz of the Day
Nightmare in Maryville
- The Kansas City Star investigates the backlash against the victims family after rape charges were brought (and dropped) against local atheletes. The pattern of victim blaming and local indiference have brought comparisons
to the Steubenville, Ohio case (previously
) and anger on the internet
. Meanwhile the Grand Jury investigation into Steubenville has brought it's first charges against an adult involved with the cover-up
T. Boone Pickens and other wealthy, elderly Oklahoma State alums decided to participate in a scheme named "Call of a Lifetime", where they would allow the university to take out $10 million life insurance policies on them. What could go wrong?
Clearing the Bar Is the Easy Part: [NYTimes]
"Mark Hollis is a pole-vaulter, and while he and his competitors here feel significant pressure as they compete for a place on the Olympic team, the anxiety they experience just trying to get their equipment to meets is sometimes even more excruciating."
are generally limited to people with disabilities. What if everyone participated in adaptive sports
Not content with displacing the poor
, menacing photographers
and blocking ambulances
the london olympics now wants ground-to-air missiles
, presumably to shoot down rogue skywriters who might misuse it's brand
Are Big Time Sports a Threat to Student Achievement?
A study by 3 University of Oregon economists suggests that male University of Oregon students’ grades drop during successful seasons for the UO football team, as students study less and drink and party more to celebrate Duck victories. [more inside]
Serum hemoglobin is related to endurance running performance. Smoking is known to enhance serum hemoglobin levels ... alcohol may further enhance this beneficial adaptation.
A recent paper
by Kenneth Myers in the Canadian Medical Association Journal
reviews the potential benefits of smoking for endurance atheletes. [more inside]
Here's the deal: If you don't play for, or you are not an employee of, the team in question, "we" is not the pronoun you're looking for.
"They" is the word you want.
is the most overused term in sports.
The unlevel playing field
- "Contrary to popular perception, poverty and broken homes are underrepresented
in the NBA
, not overrepresented. ... We believe that skills always trump circumstances. But that's a myth
In 2006, Joss Naylor ran 50 miles up and down seventy Lake District
fells, ascending more than 25,000 feet in 21 hours. Not his best performance, but to be fair, he was 70 at the time.
Cumbrian shepherd Joss Naylor
(warning: Youtube link; Cumbrian accent, impossibly adorable sheepdog) is one of the greatest British athletes most people have never heard of, and perhaps the greatest competitor ever in a sport most people have never heard of either: fell-running. [more inside]
Bulgaria is not what you'd call a wealthy country. It has a smaller population than New York City. But Bulgaria utterly dominates the sport of Olympic Weightlifting.
A full explanation of this prowess is beyond the scope of a simple blog post, but I will share with you this six-minute video about a man who built a nationally-ranked team training his athletes with barbells made of pipes and cogs and assorted industrial junk.
I hope this goes at least a little way towards explaining their remarkable accomplishments.
is a website featuring dozens of articles on just about every aspect of sports science, including large sections devoted to cycling
and sports psychology
. Some of my own favorites deal with the beneficial effects of Omega-3 fatty acids
, the Chinese government’s plan to dominate the Olympics
, Veronique Billat’s 30-30 running workouts
and how to increase growth hormone levels naturally
On sunday, Rush Limbaugh commented that Donovan McNabb, quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, was overrated and was only seen favourably by the media because they want to see a black quarterback do well. McNabb responded
, and earlier tonight Limbaugh resigned
from his post on ESPN's pre-game show. N.D. Kalu, one of the Eagle's defensive ends, offered this choice quote: "He speaks well, he's well-read, but he's an idiot."
Great feat, but not a great athlete.
Let the Cyclist bashing continue.
As a follow up to the pointless Bicycles and cars don't mix
column, Ron Borges over at MSNBC
wonders if Lance Armstrong is even an athlete.
He says Athletes must do more with their bodies than pump their legs up and down. For his money, being the greatest athlete in the world involves strength, speed, agility, hand-eye coordination, mental toughness and the ability to make your body do things that defy description.
Anyone who has ever been in a bike race (Road or MTN) knows it does indeed take all that and more. Anyone who writes about sports, rather than participating, would of course have no clue it takes more than moving your feet up and down.
Run faster, jump higher.
What happens when you cross stilts and pogo sticks? The next 'extreme sport' on the verge of the big time, or a new and fun way to really injure yourself?
ESPN hosting show on the world's sexiest athletes.
32 men and 32 women vie for the big crown(s), to be announced Jan. 27. The website has profiles on all 64 and will have a place for you to vote for your favorites. Don't all chime in with who you're going to vote for (that's what espn.com is for, not MeFi), but who'd they leave out?
I say race-car driver Dario Franchitti
and track star Suzy Favor Hamilton
is at it again, but this time they know not with whom they trifle. PETA's Kristie Phelps sent a letter to Dr. John Palms, president of the University of South Carolina
, requesting that USC "bench" their athletic teams' moniker "The Fighting Gamecocks," because, well, it's funnier to read the press release and letter for yourself
. The letter elicited this response
and this news story
in The State
, our local paper. (Note the further link from there to the readers' forum, which is pretty damn hilarious in its own right.)