Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Duke Defeats Carolina 69-63; Readies For ACC Tourney

(Photo: Gerry Broome/AP)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Duke traveled to Chapel Hill to face Carolina in game two of this years rivalry. Carolina lost the first meeting with Duke, 96-56, in Durham. Duke, on the other hand, won the ACC regular season title and clinched the #1 seed for The ACC Tournament, by virtue of their 74-64 victory over Miami a few days ago. Motivation coupled with playing on their home court, seemed to favor Carolina-at least on paper.

Coach Joanne P. McCallie and her Duke team must not read the papers. Duke led Carolina 44-30 at the end of the first twenty minutes. The Tar Heels regrouped and played a determined 2nd half. Duke withstood a furious rally in the closing minutes of the game, to sweep the season series with The University of North Carolina Tar Heels. North Carolina Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell said it best, “You know, if we had played the first half like we did the second half, we’d be a lot happier right now.”

Tricia Liston (15 points), Elizabeth Williams ((13 points), Chelsea Gray (12 points), and Allison Vernerey (10 points) led Duke in scoring. What’s interesting is, Liston and Verenerey, scored their points off the bench. Duke’s bench became very important in the game when starter Haley Peters was inadvertently elbowed by Carolina’s Chay Shegog, and knocked to the floor. Peters mouth was flowing with blood from the contact. She was led to the locker room where the doctors stitched both the inside and outside of her mouth. Coach McCallie commented on her teams fortitude, “ It was a great basketball game. It was sort of a season in a game, relative to some of the adversity. I didn’t think we could get more adversity, but we did and I think the team handled the game very, very well.” Peters returned to the game in the 2nd half and was a key contributor down the stretch.

Next up for Duke and Carolina is The 2012 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament starting March 1, in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The schedule is:

Game No. 1 - Seed No. 5 North Carolina vs. Seed No. 12 Clemson 11:00 a.m. (RSN)
Game No. 2 - Seed No. 8 Florida State vs. Seed No. 9 N.C. State 3:00 p.m. (RSN)
Game No. 3 - Seed No. 7 Wake Forest vs. Seed No. 10 Virginia Tech 6:00 p.m. (RSN)
Game No. 4 - Seed No. 6 Virginia vs. Seed No. 11 Boston College 8:00 p.m. (RSN)

Game No. 5 - Seed No. 4 Georgia Tech vs. winner of Game 1 11:00 a.m. (RSN)
Game No. 6 - Seed No. 1 Duke vs. winner of Game 2 3:00 p.m. (RSN)
Game No. 7 - Seed No. 2 Miami vs. winner of Game 3 6:00 p.m. (RSN)
Game No. 8 - Seed No. 3 Maryland vs. winner of Game 4 8:00 p.m. (RSN)

Game No. 9 - ACC Semifinal 1 11:00 a.m. (ESPNU)
Game No. 10 - ACC Semifinal 2 1:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

Game No. 11 - Championship Game 2:00 p.m. (ESPN2)

Read more: http://technorati.com/sports/article/duke-defeats-carolina-69-63-readies/page-2/#ixzz1niWCUNpa

Read more: http://technorati.com/sports/article/duke-defeats-carolina-69-63-readies/#ixzz1niVzm8KG

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kate Upton-Too "Chubby" For A Supermodel?


Kate Upton, newly crowned 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Cover Girl has the Supermodel World in uproar. The nineteen- year old, 5ft” 11” inch leggy, buxom model, reportedly wants to revive the Supermodel era. Supermodel ‘experts’ have responded, “Thanks, but no thanks, Ms. Upton. Uhh.. you‘re too, how would we say it, healthy (fashion speak for chubby)." What’s good for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is not good enough for a Runway Fashion Supermodel, or so the 'experts' say.

Supermodel-what a word! The images conjured up by the very mention of the word, are fascinating. Let’s face it, Supermodels are fascinating! Unlike ‘Superman’ these are real women that do wield “superpowers” in the pop culture we live in. Sports Illustrated and Kate Upton have launched the latest round of debate regarding Supermodels impact on what's beautiful and healthy and what's not, for women.

Why do I care? I’ve been, shall we say “aware” of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, about as long as I’ve been “aware” of sports. A Sports Illustrated subscription was given to me as a gift, in my pre-teen years. It truly was a case of, I like to read the articles. One day something different arrived in the mail from Sports Illustrated…the Swimsuit issue. Yes, my enjoyment of reading the articles continued. Christie Brinkley, Paulina Porizkova, Elle MacPherson, Kathy Ireland, Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Rebecca Romijn and now Kate Upton, first came into my “awareness”, courtesy of Sports Illustrated. Interesting, never actually reflected on this aspect until just now…the more I read Sports Illustrated, the less ‘yucky’ girls became.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand. This debate over Upton and her desirability,or lack thereof in the Supermodel world, is intriguing. The reason why-"chubbiness"-is incredulous. After revisiting the cover of the 2012 SI Swimsuit cover featuring Upton, my complaint is not her size, but the unimaginative, fashion-less bikini chosen. Oh well…

The ongoing conversation regarding Supermodels, beauty, “chubbiness” and women, polarize our society. Magazine covers displayed at grocery store check-out stands, Barnes and Nobles, online, everywhere... seem to scream out -these women are happy because they're beautiful. Learn how to wear your hair, shoes, makeup, etc. so you too will be beautiful and therefore happy. Articles detailing workout and diet tips fill the pages, supposedly sharing the secrets of beauty, love and happiness. Is the media pressure exerted to be beautiful as defined by pop culture and fashion ‘experts’ so powerful that what is truly healthy is labeled as undesirable? Are the women of the United States and other developed countries truly enthralled by the pursuit of media beauty and the resultant rewards of love and happiness they suggest?

What do i know-i'm just a guy. This thought-provoking paraprosdokian injects a bit of humor into the conversation - Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

Kate Upton and the controversy surrounding her, has been eye-opening for me. Living in Manhattan and now Los Angeles, has provided me with quite an education about size 0 to 4 women. I won’t confess my ignorance about sizes 6, 8 and above, except for the occasional dalliance. Since the Kate Upton furor started, I’ve found myself observing fans at the live sporting events I cover as a member of the media. My observation has yielded this thought-beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and skin tones.

I thank and applaud Sports Illustrated, and for purposes of this writing, the SI Swimsuit Issue. The SI Swimsuit issue personifies beauty in all shapes, sizes and skin tones. Kate Upton as the 2012 cover girl-Awesome Choice! The furor it’s caused is great. Hopefully the great light Sports Illustrated and Kate Upton have cast on what true beauty is and can be, will be a big step in squashing the ignorance regarding beauty and women, staring with my own.

Kate Upton-”Chubby”- LOL. How about Kate Upton, Supermodel of today!

Read more: http://technorati.com/entertainment/celebrity/article/kate-upton-too-chubby-for-a/page-2/#ixzz1n8ZqziZy

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Will Carmelo Anthony End 'Linsanity'?

(Photo: Bill Kostroun/AP)

New York Knick fans have been debating what impact the return of Carmelo Anthony would have on the team. A day after the Knicks defeated last years NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks, without ‘Melo’ in the lineup, the Knicks lost to the lowly crosstown rival New Jersey Nets, with ‘Melo’ in the lineup. Surprising? Not really. Team chemistry and flow are hard to develop on the fly. The question I’m pondering is, “Will ‘Melo’ end ‘Linsanity’?

‘Linsanity’ was launched by Jeremy Lin the bench warmer, transforming into Jeremy Lin starting point-guard for the Knicks. With Lin starting the team has won 7 of the 9 games playing winning team basketball, unlike losing basketball, Knick fans are weary of. Carmelo Anthony was traded to New York amid much fanfare last season and along with Amare Stoudemire, guided the Knicks to the playoffs. This season looked to be even more promising with the addition of free-agent Tyson Chandler and the drafting of Iman Shumpert. Promise quickly turned to disappointment.

Injuries, survival instincts, Carmelo Anthony suggestions to Knick head coach Mike D’Antoni, etc. led to Jeremy Lin being given a chance and what is commonly referenced as ‘Linsanity’-winning Knick basketball led by Jeremy Lin was launched. Again i wonder, ‘ Will ‘Melo’ end ‘Linsanity’–the Knicks playing winning basketball?

One night doesn’t a season, make or break. However, in this lock-out shortened campaign, the importance of each NBA game is magnified. New players in new places are having to learn team chemistry without the benefit of the usual practice time, playing more games on consecutive nights. Change is hard. Human nature is to resist change, to go with what one is comfortable with. Carmelo Anthony won a NCAA Championship with Syracuse in his one year of college. Anthony can create his own shot and score with the best in the NBA. Does that lead to championship basketball? How would Kobe Bryant, Shaq , and The G.O.A.T. respond?

Teams win Championships. Teams led by players with amazing talent, players like Carmelo Anthony. Will ‘Melo’ merge his superior talent with the New York Knick team? Is ‘Melo’ capable of bucking human nature and allowing the new starting point-guard, Jeremy Lin to guide the team to it’s full capability? The Knicks on paper, are as deep as any team in the league, certainly the East. This season is up for grabs. The Knicks could compete for a NBA Championship, something New York fans crave. ‘Melo’ holds the key.

Will ‘Melo’ end ‘Linsanity’ and the Knicks winning ways? The Knicks play Miami on Thursday. What a great opportunity for ‘Melo’ to begin to answer the question!

Stay Tuned…..

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

'The Vow' and The Beauty of True Love...

Love, love, love….today is love day. The one day love is especially celebrated. It’s estimated that over 190 million exchanges will happen , all in the name of love. I’ve always been fascinated by two elements of established days that become traditions for exchanging gifts and kind thoughts.

#1- Have you ever wondered how special days like Feb. 14th were picked and why? How did they become so important, at least in the United States? A bit of research indicates that early Christian martyrs, Romantics of the Middle Ages and business in the late 18th century somehow are the basis for Feb. 14th as love day. I’m still scratching my head, the only part that makes sense is the business side of it. A stationary store owner in England, found a sure way to generate a lot of revenue-encourage your customers to exchange cards expressing their feelings of love- and the rest is history…

#2- The guilt-giving of these special days like Feb. 14th. This is where special days become very interesting. Feb. 14th , for many people might as well be relationship contest day. The size or creativity or expense of the gift one receives and how many people know about determine the winners. Especially does this seem to be true for the adult female side of the equation. The gifts and cards family members and friends exchange aren’t being discussed here. We all know what we’re talking about. A movie titled ‘Valentine’s Day’ starring Ashton Kutcher , Julia Roberts, Jessica Biel, Taylor Swift, George Lopez, Jamie Foxx etc., comically, some say disastrously, depicted the travails of love day in the United States. The pressure, yearning, lying etc that go on all in the name of love, art imitating life. Do we really need a movie to show us, what we are all too familiar with?

Actually, possibly the answer to that question is ….Yes!

What about a a movie that inspires and is based on a true story of one couple’s true love? Which brings me to the just released film ‘The Vow’ starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams (yes, the same actress from ‘The Notebook’ ) Ok, where I am going with this. ‘The Vow’ is a movie that is inspired by real life. Yes, the real life of Kim and Krickett Carpenter. The Carpenter’s were married, then experienced a horrific event that truly tested their love. Their story and the film it inspired ‘The Vow’ demonstrate what true love is and can be about.

True love starts with one being more concerned about what one gives, more so than what one receives. Mama Romano shared a thought with me when I was a kid, a thought from the best selling book in the world, “There is more happiness in giving than there is receiving.”

Secondly true love is self sacrificing, the best interests of the other person come first, sometimes at the expense of self. Not $$$, although $$$ giving is very highlighted on love day, giving from one’s soul. Once again Mama Romano shared some thoughts about that too, from the same book, “ Love is long-suffering and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, does not get puffed up, does not behave indecently, does not look for it’s own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

‘The Vow’ inspired by Kim and Krickett Carpenter attempts to show the beauty of true love.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

New York Knicks and LinSanity... Really? Yes, Really!!

Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin dunks the ball during the second half of a 107-93 victory over the Wizards in Washington.

New York Knick guard Jeremy Lin is "en Fuego", has launched "LinSanity" and just about any other sports cliche that comes to mind. The Knicks season has been, shall we say-disappointing. All of a sudden the New York press has coined a new phrase, "LinSanity", to describe the play of Knick guard Jeremy Lin. When Lin scored 25 to lead the Knicks past the Nets, ok great,  New York got a win. My initial reaction was Jeremy who? The Knicks have now won three straight, and LinSanity is upon us.

Let's face it-New York is the media capital of the world. The love/hate affair the New York press has with it's hometown athletes,  is an ever revolving door-just ask Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. Sure Lin has been impressive in his last three games, and sure the Knicks have won those games, but once again i ask, Jeremy who? So research time...

The beauty of living in the information age is,  the access to information. Jeremy Lin is 23 years old and is 6 ' 3". Lin grew up in the Palo Alto area of California and is the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA. Lin led his high school basketball team to a state championship by defeating California powerhouse Mater Dei. Lin was on most everyone's list as the California High School Player of The Year. After sending out a DVD highlight package to several colleges (including his dream school UCLA), only Ivy league schools Brown and Harvard assured him of a spot in the rotation. Harvard, at first, wasn't interested, then changed their mind. Good move by Harvard. Lin accepted their offer and by his senior year paced Harvard to new highs for their basketball program. Lin graduated from Harvard with an economics degree in 2010.

The NBA draft came and no team expressed interest. The summer league offered Lin a chance to showcase his skills and Golden State, his hometown NBA franchise offered him a contract, which he accepted. Lin's rookie season was nondescript. When the NBA lockout was resolved, Golden State waived Lin. Houston claimed Lin off waivers , then waived him a few days later. New York looking for guard help after Iman Shumpert was injured in the Knick-Celtic game,  claimed Lin off waivers on Dec. 27, 2011.

Did anyone suspect this was the beginning of what is know known as LinSanity? Feb. 4th,  Lin scores the aforementioned 25 points in the Knick victory over the Nets. Wins over the Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards have followed with New York looking somewhat respectable-LinSanity is launched!

LinSanity... Really? Yes, Really?

Absolutely, ya have to love LinSanity!! Jeremy Lin has been a difference maker with a basketball in his hand since high school. The perseverance he's shown is remarkable. Once again, what have the basketball decision makers been 'seeing', when it comes to Jeremy Lin. His play-making ability OR his 'look'? Lin's story is "Insane" and for sure INSPIRING!!  Sure, as NBA teams become familiar with Lin's game and get tape on him, adjustments will be made, and we'll have to see if Lin's success continues.

I, for one, will enjoy this. The Knicks are winning again, and why not? For any and all of us that have been told we couldn't make it for whatever reason, there's Jeremy Lin playing under the bright lights of 'Broadway', proving hard work, belief in self and never giving up, do payoff!

LinSanity... Really? Yes, Really!!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Duke's Austin Rivers Stuns Carolina; Duke 85-Carolina 84

Photo: Bob Donnan /U.S. Presswire

It will be called the shot heard around Chapel Hill and the world. As time expired Duke’s budding Superstar freshman Austin Rivers, connected on  a 3-pointer  over Carolina’s Tyler Zeller, to win the game. Shocking, Incredible, Stunning, pick any adjective that describes utter amazement.  Zeller in particular, must be numb over this game.
Duke doesn’t win this game without Zeller’s assist-literally.  Carolina was up 83-80 with just under 15 seconds  to play.  Duke’s Ryan Kelly shoots an errant 3-pointer that Carolina’s Zeller accidentally tips in, while trying for a rebound. WOW-when that play happened, everyone watching must’ve thought-Uh-oh, is the impossible, possible? The officials conferred  and granted Duke 2 points, Carolina 83-Duke 82.  Zeller is fouled and makes 1 of 2 free throws, Carolina 84-Duke 82. Duke grabs the defensive rebound, with no timeouts and 12 ticks of the clock, Rivers drives the ball down court and well, the rest is history.

Carolina was in complete control and led the entire second half , until Rivers shot went in as time expired. The Tar Heels were up 11 with 5:11 left in the game, up by 10 with under two minutes to play,  on their home court against rival Duke. Zeller, Barnes, Bullock were completely dominating Duke in the paint, having their way. Carolina had Duke right where they wanted them, or in actuality was it Duke that had Carolina positioned? I guess the final score best answers that question.

Carolina head coach Roy Williams is now 9-11 vs. Duke. The pain of the stunning loss was obvious in his post-game interview. He must still be wondering on the drive home, how his team lost this game, especially on their home court. The Carolina players especially Zeller , who was outstanding in the 1st half with 19 points, surely must be in a state of shock.

Austin Rivers- a superstar was born in this game! Rivers scored 29 points, the most points a freshman has ever scored against a Carolina team. With his famous Dad- head coach of the NBA Boston Celtics- sitting behind the Duke bench, Rivers willed his team to victory.

What a difference a few days and one game can make. Duke lost at home a few days ago to Miami, and looked completely deflated. Water cooler, had whispers of Duke being overrated. Conversely, the debate in the media was about Kentucky and Carolina  being the best, most talented and athletic teams in college today.  In reality, most thought Duke would be taken to the woodshed. Duke, Carolina and Florida State are now in a three-way tie for 1st place. Florida State lost earlier in the night to Boston College. Oh well…

Once again Mike Krzyzewski [Coach K] proved he is one of, if not the best coaches in the game. On paper, Carolina’s players  are bigger and stronger than Duke’s players. The game demonstrated that for all to see. What though does the final score show?

By the way, this game is the second win for the Duke basketball program in three days. Earlier in the week, the Duke Women defeated the Carolina Women 96-56. How do Coach K and Coach P continue to find ways to win? They just do!

Duke Clobbers Carolina 96-56

Duke Fans pre-game in Cameron Indoor Stadium

DURHAM, N.C. - The 2012 Duke -Carolina basketball rivalry was kicked off with the Duke Women hosting the Carolina Women in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke fans were in form, cheering on their beloved Duke team.

Carolina was the offensive aggressor for the first few minutes of the game, building an 8-4 lead. Duke was pushing the ball, playing with energy, almost hyper. As a result,  the Duke offense struggled for the first ten minutes or so, with their shooting percentage dipping  as low as 17% at one point in that span.  Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie sent in Tricia Liston and Allison Vernerey off the bench and switched to zone defense. “For us, actually, I thought we were a little bit hyper early. And so I actually switched to that [zone defense] for us, not for our opponent, to settle us down because we were going fast.”

Coach P’s strategy worked and  a Tricia Liston 3-pointer- the first of four she made on the night- gave Duke a 12-10 lead with 11:26 left in the 1st half.  Duke had found their rhythm and never relinquished the lead. The halftime score was Duke 50- Carolina 24.

The Tar Heels were ranked #22 coming into the game. Carolina head coach Sylvia Hatchell defended her team, “ I think we’re a better team than what we showed tonight. Three-point shooting was unbelievable, they got 30 points from the three and we got 6. “ Hatchell continued, “ I kept thinking Duke was going to miss some shots once in a while, and they hardly missed any. Duke is a great offensive team, but I think we’re a lot better team than we showed tonight. We have to keep working and getting better.”

pic.twitter.com/vievzbeiTricia Liston sets to make her fourth 3-pointer  of the night

Tricia Liston and Chelsea Gray kept raining three’s on Carolina, almost in spectacular fashion. One of Gray’s 3-pointers seemed to be shot from the parking lot, ok, certainly from well beyond NBA 3-point range. Five Duke players scored in double figures led by Tricia Liston’s 23,  Richa Jackson with 17, Chelsea Gray had 15, Elizabeth Williams totaled her fifth double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds and Shay Selby scored 10 points and dished out a career high six assists. Williams also blocked six shots and now holds the ACC single season freshman blocks record with 85 blocks on the season.

The final score says it all….

Duke fans were thrilled with the final score and look forward to the next game in the Duke -Carolina rivalry. The Duke Men visit Chapel Hill to face the Carolina Men Wednesday night Feb. 8 at 9 p.m.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Super Bowl and Sports-All About Mine is Bigger/Better Than Yours?


The Super Bowl and Sports-is it all about mine is Bigger/Better than yours?
The ratings are in-Super Bowl XLVI was the most watched television program in history with an estimated viewing audience of 111 million. Two-thirds of the country watched at least six minutes of the game. 
The NFL is clearly the #1, the Biggest, spectator sport in the United States.
New York is celebrating the Giants [as only New York can] for their 2nd Super Bowl victory in five years over Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. New England is mourning, again, another Championship game loss to it's rival city New York.
Is New York City a Better city than Boston or New England?
Eli Manning now has two Super Bowl rings to his brother Peyton's one. Is Eli better than Peyton?
Why such thoughts and questions?
The Super Bowl and Sports-is it all about mine is bigger/better than yours?
What makes the NFL, especially all things Super Bowl, and sports in general so riveting?
This has obviously grasped my thought process; I've been asking-WHY? After a bit of reflection, here goes:
Truth is most every guy and gal i know, (yes i’m in the group as well) has grown up being aware that size and numbers are difference makers in life. For instance:
- One of the first conscious thoughts i can remember is wondering if my Dad is bigger or stronger or makes more money than your Dad.
- The next important number one learns is the difference  height makes. Ever take a class picture? Have ya heard of the Napoleon Complex or short man syndrome? 
- In the teenage years, for guys and gals the size of one's chest, and for guys especially,  biceps [gun show] become important. Gym class or P.E. was either looked forward to or despised. Sure one could be a National Honor Society academic, but if ya can't throw, catch, outrun, out lift -well the term nerd says it all. Who's the most popular in high school and received the rewards for such popularity?  The football, basketball, baseball players, the athletes. 
-Women.  The expression, " Women love the long ball..."  Nuff said!
One experience in my teenage years, indelibly etched this in my mind. i learned shall we say,  the importance of one's SHOE SIZE at least for males. .  i was working out at the gym with the football players after school one afternoon- 16' inch biceps- the goal. The locker room after the work-out, opened my eyes,  once again - indelibly.  I better understood why athletes just seemed so much more confident. SHOE SIZE matters in this world to many people.  SHOE SIZE  are numbers every guy (and most gals) are aware of-sometimes painfully so. The 16' inch biceps took a while , size 11 shoes came first. By the way,  what size shoe do most professional athletes wear? hmm... what size shoes do you think Eli Manning or Osi Umenyiora wear? Probably 13 or 14 and above...oh well.

Let’stake it a step further.  Instinctively  a guy knows that “fisticuffs” whether it be on the giving or receiving end, are part of being a guy. The better one is at fisticuffs the better one feels about self in many cases. More than just fisticuffs, sports was a way to prove one is Better/Bigger to be known as the best! Think about it, any guy that has at least one brother, can you even remember how many fights you've had with each other? It doesn't stop there, in fact that’s just the beginning… When  guys congregate or meet or have interaction, with the boys,  everyone (again instinctively) knows who the butt-kicker’s are and aren't and who is probably top butt-kicker. This somehow filters down to the dynamic of each member of the group. Guess who else knows-or at least think they do-women. A woman wants to feel safe-can you blame her? Supermodels and athletes-nuff said.....
How about guys that don’t know each other?  For that answer, the gym once again provides provides great answers. 90% of the guys in the gym know how much the other guy is bench-pressing, curling, squatting, pull-upping, etc. We are also identified or 'sized' up by what team baseball cap or t-shirt, we wear in the gym. Our choice of team is sometimes used as a benchmark qualifier. Why? Is our self-esteem based on the size or speed of our biceps, chest,  bank account, car,  smartphone, or choice of sport and/or team. Think about it, Yankee/ Mets fans or Lakers/ Clippers or Duke/Carolina or Giants/ Patriots, how many lively 'conversations'  have fan alliances ignited? 
Is it really all about mine is Bigger/Better than yours?
Is it possible, that’s how our culture or society or fathers teach us to be?  ( By the way, the Oscar nominated Terence Malik film -”The Tree of Life” starring Brad Pitt seems to delve into that subject)
Sports -MLB, NBA, NHL, the NCAA  and especially the NFL in this country captivate men, women and children alike. Visit any sports bar on any given night what will one see? How was the Super Bowl party you attended? Guys and girls riveted- audibly so- by every play, referee call or no call, etc. 
The captivating nature of sports and it's celebration of size and numbers has spawned a multi-billion dollar,  24 hour a day business.  Fans are fed visually  all things sports, with the World Wide Leader at the hub. Sports talk radio also feeds the public 24 hours a day with many of the hosts of such shows,  becoming  celebrities and millionaires themselves. 
What does all of this mean or what is being said?
Is it possible, sports- the NFL in particular- is the most exciting and socially acceptable way to deal with our fascination with and celebration of size and strength in this country?  
Or,  has the lack of 'size' and 'numbers' in our personal lives and the resultant frustration, morphed into us becoming the Biggest/Best Fans of our sports teams/players?
The Super Bowl and sports-all about mine is Bigger/Better than yours?
Hey, what do i know- i'm just a guy that wears size 11 shoes.....


Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Tim Tebow Effect

When was the last time during the biggest week in the biggest sport in the country, one of the biggest media attractions is a quarterback that's not playing in the BIGGEST game?
What makes an NFL quarterback- who according to his head coach not able to run a traditional NFL offense- a hero of so many NFL Fans?
Why is a quarterback that's been defeated twice by one of the teams in the BIG game, led by as prototypical a quarterback as they come, in so much demand during the BIG WEEK of the BIGGEST GAME?
 The Tim Tebow Effect.
The Tim Tebow Effect-what the heck is The Tim Tebow Effect? Tim Tebow is a sports phenomenon, like fans haven’t seen in awhile, if ever. NFL players, coaches, media pundits and fans are fascinated by Tim Tebow.

Recall the two Tebow vs Brady games, they were  MUST-SEE.... The Tim Tebow Effect.
This week , just prior to Super Bowl XLVI, Tebow was invited by EA Sports to participate in Madden Bowl XVIII. Of course, Tebow was on the winning team, involved in another 4th-quarter comeback . This time he scored the winning touchdown as a receiver, with ten seconds left in the game. In addition, Tebow is in competition with 64 other NFL players for the honor of gracing the cover of Madden 13.
The Tim Tebow Effect!
Tim Tebow has polarized the sports world. In this era of super athletes , super performance and super $$, Tebow  feels relatable, inspiring, it seems. Fans seem to enjoy his modest, respectful, confident approach to the game. Throw in the fact that he wins, doesn't hurt either, especially the way he leads his teams to victory. One additional thought-Tebow feels safe to fans. Substance abuse, domestic abuse, or any other abuse that dominate sports headlines are in stark contrast to Tebow's genuine persona. Fans for better or worse have always seen athletes as role-models. Tebow embraces and acts responsibly with the trust fans bestow on him. 
How interesting of all the story lines dominating SUPER WEEK, Tim Tebow -although not playing in the BIGGEST GAME-is still a lead story.
It must be The Tim Tebow Effect.

 Tim Tebow

Friday, February 3, 2012

Los Angeles Powers the 2012 NBA Western Conference All-Star Team


The fans have spoken  and have named Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum of the Los Angeles Lakers, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin of The Los Angles Clippers along with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant as starters for the 2012 Western Conference NBA All Star team.

Since Chris Paul’s arrival in Los Angeles the battle for Los Angeles supremacy between the Lakers and Clippers has been in earnest.  Sunday February 26 in Orlando the four players will put aside the city rivalry and play as teammates. How interesting.

It’s nice to see fans of professional basketball or the “Association" ,  recognize Los Angeles as the powerhouse city of the NBA in today’s era!


Duke University Athletics-The Model for College Sports?

ONE MORE: That’s how many victories Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski needs for the 903rd of his career to pass Bobby Knight and become the winningest college basketball coach in NCAA history. Duke faces Michigan State tonight at the Garden.

Mention  Coach K or Coach P or Cameron Indoor Stadium and it’s “Cameron Crazies”, what  image comes to mind?  Duke University,  primarily it’s men’s and women’s ultra successful basketball programs.
A little research uncovers that the success of Duke University athletics goes far beyond it’s basketball teams:

12 NCAA National Championships

119 ACC Championships (Duke’s women’s golf , women’s tennis, and men’s basketball teams have won the most ACC Championships of any team in the conference)

Ranked in top 20 over last 5 years by The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) which measures an institution’s overall athletic success

The only school besides Stanford, with fewer than 10,000 undergraduates, to rank in the  top 20 over the last 3 years

A study conducted by the NCAA in 2006 concluded that  Duke student -athletes had the highest graduation rate of any institution in the country at 91%.

Is the Duke University Athletic department the model for College Sports?
Duke-either one loves or hates the school! In it’s  home state of North Carolina, Duke may very well be more hated than loved. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, are prominent nationally and perennial winners. Connecticut, Syracuse, Kansas, to name a few, are powerhouse, tradition rich, student-athlete programs as well.
 Is the private institution vs. public institution debate, what fuels the vitriol some have for Duke University?
 Is it Mike  Krzyzewski and his over 30 years stewardship of  the men’s program (in the decade starting in 2000,  Krzyzewski has led his Duke team to more wins in the decade (291) than any other team in NCAA history)
Is it  the “Cameron Crazies” and  images of Bobby Hurley, Christian Laettner, Grant Hill,  or Steve Wojciechowski (current assistant coach) pounding the hardwood at Cameron Indoor Stadium?
 Is it the good old fashioned “clean-cut” look of Duke and it’s players and their success that just doesn’t sit well with many?
 I ask, doesn’t Duke University and it’s athletic department , represent what academics, student-athletes and sports is supposed to be about?
The world of 2012 is difficult, and stressful . Sports, once primarily an outlet for participation and  spectating, has morphed into a multi-billion dollar business.  The “one and done” rule in college basketball reflects this. Duke is not immune, as last year Kyrie Irving,  after one injury riddled year with Duke became the number 1 pick in this years NBA draft.  However, the “Duke program” continues.
Today’s headlines reflect the overlap of sports into the mainstream. The technology and media of today  with Facebook, Twitter,  reality programming and blogging  etc. have produced a “fishbowl” effect. Any and all can be subject to the glare of the world and any missteps are within seconds broadcast for public consumption.
Isn’t it refreshing, the Duke basketball program both Men and Women are in the top 10 and atop the ACC-again?
Duke University athletics-the model for College Sports?
Whether one agrees or disagrees,  loves or hates Duke University, one thing is certain, Duke University and it’s athletic program have certainly earned our respect!