Today, in Toronto, the Grey Cup will be awarded for the 100th time, to the CFL champion. What is it? What is the history? Who is playing? Why was someone riding a horse in the best hotel in town? [more inside]
With the NHL locked out for the foreseeable future, the Montreal Gazette has decided to cover Canadiens games simulated on EA Sports NHL '13 as if they were real games.
"We have little trouble recognizing that a chess grandmaster’s victory over a novice is skill, as well as assuming that Paul the octopus’s ability to predict World Cup games is due to chance. But what about everything else?" [Luck and Skill Untangled: The Science of Success]
Ronda Rousey - the first American woman to medal in judo at the Summer Olympics - is widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound female MMA fighter in the world. She has won all six of her professional fights - all but one of them in less than a minute - using a trademark armbar that is usually described as "devastating". [more inside]
Internet sensation: Nine-year-old girl shredding defenses to the tune of 25 touchdowns Sam Gordon just wanted to run with the older kids. The coaches in the local tackle football league figured, hey, why not? Maybe they could turn it into a drill: Who can outrun Max's little sister? They were shocked to find the answer: no one. "Some kids, right before the contact, they stop," Sam told her father. "I don't. I just hit 'em."
C'mon over to Lucky's Amazing Sports Lists and kill a little time. The front page is impressive enough, but how about a list of all American football field goals in excess of 60 yards (including a long list in 6 pt type of all female place kickers in American football)? Looking for more focus? How about this page detailing the career of Dave Myers, the 1929 quarterback for the NYU team, who was Black. Basketball more your thing? Check out the history of the Gruman Aircraft Company pro teams, integrated in the 1940s! Or you could just peruse the list of basketball players who have scored 100 points in a single game. The design is crude, but there is far too much information to do justice to in a short post. (Via Stephan Fatsis on the Oct. 29 Hang Up and Listen sports podcast.)
Baseball or Football? How Your Sports Choices ... Reveal your Politics. StubHub crunched their ticket data and found that baseball states tend to vote blue and football states tend to vote red. [via PostRoad's very excellent linkblog (nsfw)]
NFL Chiefs player Eric Winston rants (audio) against stadium fans who cheered when Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassell was knocked out during game play. "We are not gladiators and this is not the Roman Colosseum. This is a game."
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?
Nico Calabria plays soccer and wrestles for Concord-Carlisle High School in Massachusetts. He summitted Mount Kilimanjaro at 13 [Vimeo] as a fundraiser to provide wheelchairs to people in Tanzania, he does some parkour, and this week he's in a race to have the "Best of the Best" video on ESPN's SportsCenter for a goal he scored in a recent game. Calabria was born with one leg and uses carbon fiber crutches when he plays; he's a starting forward on the US Amputee National Team.
The NFL has reached an agreement with the Referee Union (NFLRA), guaranteeing regular refs will be calling games starting tonight. League commissioner Roger Goodell has formally apologized. The agreement comes on the heels of a blown call this past Monday. How do we know the returning refs won't be rusty? Ed Hochuli, arguably the most famous ref, has been holding weekly conference calls. [more inside]
Since June, the NFL has locked out its referees as their union and league management have failed to come to an agreement over a range of issues, most notably the future of the referees' pensions. In their absence, the league has resorted to using replacement refs to officiate games. The results have not been pretty. [more inside]
Billy Gillispie, once a rising star in the USA collegiate basketball coaching ranks, is under pressure, scrutiny, and possible termination from his position as Head Coach at Texas Tech University as allegations of mistreatment arise and a current star player vows to leave the program if BCG returns. The coach is currently on sick leave... Meanwhile, some former players and colleagues defend him... [more inside]
In January 2003, Esther Vergeer, a 21-year old Dutch wheelchair tennis player lost her singles match to Daniela Di Toro in the quarter-finals of the Sydney International. What no one knew at the time was that this was the end of an era. Now 31, Vergeer hasn't lost a singles match since. The world's most dominant athlete in an individual sport, she's going for her 470th consecutive victory today, in the gold medal match at the Paralympics. [more inside]
On September 15, 2001, at the American Memorial 500, Champ Car driver Alex Zanardi lost both legs, and 70 percent of his blood, in a horrific crash (around 1:40, not for the squeamish). Yesterday, he won gold in the 2012 Paralympics. [more inside]
Marathon Man: A Michigan dentist’s improbable transformation.
For the first time since 1874, the Travers Stakes ended in a dead heat (tie) when Golden Ticket and Alpha finished together. Unlike 138 years ago, however, there was no run-off following the races, and both horses got a turn in the winner's circle this year. Video of the race (SLYT) [more inside]
From Paul Lukas of Uni Watch, a list of the 25 best uniforms in the four major North American professional sports. [more inside]
Team Spirit is a short documentary by Errol Morris about the funerals of passionate sports fans. (SLYT)
Who is the world's greatest athlete? Is it Kelly Slater? Is it Jesse Owens? Maybe. If you ask Josh Wilker, proprietor of Cardboard Gods, one thing is certain, it will be a player from his childhood baseball card collection [more inside]
"I don't want to die doing drugs. I don't want to be that kid who was the son of the head coach of the Eagles, who was spoiled and on drugs and OD'd and just faded into oblivion."
"Garrett Reid, the oldest son of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, was found dead Sunday morning in his room at training camp at Lehigh University." Garrett's legal troubles and struggle with addiction were widely publicized over the years due to his high profile father. After leaving prison he fought hard to change this legacy and was employed as a trainer with the team at the time of his death. "Garrett’s road through life was not always an easy one. He faced tremendous personal challenges with bravery and spirit. As a family, we stood by him and were inspired as he worked to overcome those challenges. Even though he lost the battle that has been ongoing for the last eight years, we will always remember him as a fighter who had a huge, loving heart." [more inside]
Tonight, for only the third time in Major League Baseball history, a player (Kendrys Morales of the Los Angeles Angels) hit two home runs in the same inning, one from each side of the plate. Morales' second home run of the inning was a grand slam, his first since the ill-fated events of 5/29/10, when he suffered a freak ankle injury jumping onto home plate in celebration of his game-winning hit, just as his career was really beginning to take off. Morales subsequently missed nearly two full seasons of baseball, returning just this year.
In 2009, Sports Illustrated investigated the strange and perilous financial lives of professional athletes. [more inside]
Just because you don't like a study doesn't mean it's wrong. Gawker takes the rest of the blog world to task for misinterpreting this new paper on women who watch televised sports. [more inside]
"The last European monopoly, in any area, is crumbling. This recently-opened transfer window has underscored, more than anything else, that it is no longer the European football clubs’ birthright to sign the greatest players in the world." -- Leander Schaerlaeckens on the growing clout of Chinese, Brazilian, and (WTF?) Indian soccer leagues in grabbing the top talent
Lance Armstrong: Victim? The embattled cyclist says USADA is out to get him—using powers that it really shouldn’t have. Brian Alexander says he’s right.
ESPN: The Body Issue 2012 (nsfw)
The BBC's new Olympics 2012 ad (full 2m40s version; SLYT) is a CGI masterpiece for the video gamer era. (best viewed with YouTube HD resolution settings on) [more inside]
The Strongest Woman In America Lives In Poverty. Weightlifter Sarah Robles is an incredible athlete, but outside the world of squats and snatches, barely anyone knows her name.
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."
Adaptive sports are generally limited to people with disabilities. What if everyone participated in adaptive sports?
The Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup on Monday night. This morning, a local radio station (KSPN 710 AM) had on the team's hall-of-fame announcer Bob Miller to be interviewed and take calls. A certain special caller turned out to be another hall-of-famer -- long-time Los Angeles Dodgers baseball announcer, Vin Scully, who has been with his team for over 60 years. The audio is special. [more inside]
An hour after winning a state track championship in the 1600-meter open, Ohio high school runner Meghan Vogel tried for a second title in the 3200-meter. She came in last. [more inside]
"If you go into a Web browser and type the full city-nickname combination and add a .com, 27 of those URLs will take you to the official team page." Not so for CharlotteBobcats.com. (autoplaying audio)
A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education tells the story of The Education of Dasmine Cathey, a 23-year-old football player for the University of Memphis. Writer Brad Wolverton met Cathey, who taught himself to read his second year of college, while doing research on student-athletes with severe reading, writing, and learning problems.
Former major leaguer and current minor league manager Wally Backman says some very colorful things. The full censored episodes are online (starting with Episode 1: Where's Wally Backman?) Mostly NSFW. [more inside]
I've been dreading this day since I became manager in 1997," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. This day, today, Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom retired from the game of professional hockey after 20 NHL seasons. Lidstrom is considered to be one of the best defenseman ever to play the game. [more inside]
NYTimes: The Glory and Pain of Pitching. Bobby Ojeda, starting pitcher for one of the greatest games in the history of Major League Baseball, takes us into the mind of the career athlete and his relationship with a constant companion -- pain.
"I'm just looking for a second chance. Other people get second chances. Alcoholics. Drug addicts. Spousal beaters. Not gamblers, though. But, if you want to put something on my tombstone that was very important to me, it’s 1,972. That’s how many winning games I’ve played in. So that makes me the biggest winner in the history of sports. No one else can say that." Here, Now is a short documentary that looks at baseball legend Pete Rose, as he lives his life today. [more inside]
"A great ballclub, a beautiful demonstration of what talent can do when assembled with planning and guided by intelligence." - Bill James, on the 1986 New York Mets [more inside]
Always backed by the 12th Street Rag, Marv Albert has brought us "wild and wacky moments in the world of sports (compiled by his crack staff and producer Dave Katz)" for just under thirty years. [Caveats: Some dates are approximate. Some of the more famous clips appear multiple times. Hockey violence, boxing referees getting hit, borked slides into third, etc.] And we start with the early 80's — 1984: a b — 1985 — 1985-86: a b c — 1986 (in review) — 1987: a b c d — 1988 (in review) — 1989: a b — Review of the 80's — Early 1990's — 1997 — 1999's Wild and Wacky Millenium — 2008 — 2009 — 2010 — 2011 — first half of the 2011 NFL season — a 30-minute compilation — another compilation — baseball compilation
NFL great Junior Seau, who spent the majority of his career with the San Diego Chargers, with additional runs with the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, was found dead today of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. [more inside]
The game that you fell in love with as a child will seem lost; a thump on the floorboard of your new Mercedes, swerved at high speeds to avoid a shadow in the night. The sights and sounds and smells of football, sensual memories that stir the passions in the soul, will be reconceived and recategorized, buried behind newer, odorless versions.
Former Bronco Nate Jackson offers wisdom on the trappings of stardom to two young draftees.
Former Bronco Nate Jackson offers wisdom on the trappings of stardom to two young draftees.
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.
Fenway Park, in Boston, is a lyric little bandbox of a ballpark. Everything is painted green and seems in curiously sharp focus, like the inside of an old-fashioned peeping-type Easter egg. It was built in 1912 and rebuilt in 1934, and offers, as do most Boston artifacts, a compromise between Man's Euclidean determinations and Nature's beguiling irregularities. So wrote John Updike in his moving tribute to Red Sox legend Ted Williams -- an appropriately pedigreed account for this oldest and most fabled of ballfields that saw its first major league game played one century ago today. As a team in flux hopes to recapture the magic with an old-school face-off against the New York
Highlanders Yankees, it's hard to imagine the soul of the Sox faced the specter of demolition not too long ago. Now legally preserved, in a sport crowded with corporate-branded superdome behemoths, Fenway abides, bursting with history, idiosyncrasy, record crowds, and occasional song. [more inside]