Tagged with "College"
Sunday Musings #156
Category: User Showcase
Tags: YouthSports NFL BostonCollegeWomensBasketball MLB WNBA NewYorkLiberty WarehamGatemen

 

 

While ticked off that the car brakes went out on me on Wednesday but tickled pink because the rest of the week was a series of awesomness that I haven't experienced in quite a while. Yes, overall I had a GREAT week...

 

YOUTH SPORTS FOLLOW UP

My friend Brian attended the wake for our mutual former player Ryan last week. He told me that another player caught up to him after he left the building and told him how much Ryan thought of Brian as a coach and from playing for him. Kind of a nice thing to be told despite the sad circumstances that led to the information being given.

MLB ALL-STAR GAME

While my mother watched the All-Star Game this week, I ended up skipping it. But I caught the highlights. I have to say that if Adam Wainwright grooved the pitches to Derek Jeter, he didn't honor Jeter, he dishonored both the player and the game.

As a Red Sox fan, I fully wrap myself in the sports hatred of the Yankees. But I've always thought Jeter carried himself with a huge degree of class. A role model of the game. So his departure from the game will be a big loss.

And while seeing him get a hit in his final All-Star appearance was something any appreciative baseball fan would want to happen, knowing that it was basically served up to him cheapens those hits in my mind. That's not a knock on Jeter, but rather an insult to Wainwright.

I know he tried to back off his statements, but no one really believes his retraction do they?

WNBA

Thanks to a Cappie Pondexter (pictured below) game winning shot with 0.4 seconds left in the game, the New York Liberty hit the All-Star break with a 77-75 victory over the Atlanta Dream. They are 8-13 on the season.

By the way, Pondexter was selected as a starter for the All-Star Game while another Liberty player Tina Charles was added to the squad as a reserve.

Oh and no WNBA subsection here at Sunday Musings would be complete without some form of mention of Katie Smith, this week brought another of the WNBA trading cards that she is featured on into my collection. This time it was the 2006 League Leaders in Free Throw Pct%.

NFL

The MMQB.com had a lengthy article this past Wednesday on former Packers and Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren as he finds his way into retirement. You can check it out HERE.

BOSTON COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

While the team continues their offseason preparations, which you can get updates from all over their Facebook and Twitter pages, you can get to know soon to be sophomore Emilee Daley (pictured below) via this interview.

COLLEGE BASEBALL SUMMER LEAGUE

This past Monday evening I ended up at the Wareham Gatemen game against the Brewster Whitecaps. It was a home game for Wareham in their Cape Cod Baseball League schedule. Unfortunately, despite a close game, the Gatemen ended up losing 3-2.

I was there because I was having a mini reunion of sorts with a friend of mine from high school. I haven't actually seen Rachael since her graduation party 25 years ago. We reconnected via Facebook and when she told me she'd be here for a week we made plans to meet up. It was great to see her and meet her husband and kids. I also met (or met all over again as the case may be) one of Rachael's best friends, Julie. All in all, just a good way for a week to go where I wasn't totally glued to the TV. It was almost like I had a "real" life or something.

Here's a photo of the group of us at the game:

From R-L: Julie, Rachael, Nick (Rachael's husband) and me. Julie's daughter Sydney is in front of her mother. 

MISCELLANEOUS

TV - The lights out fantastic season finale of 24: Live Another Day aired on Monday night. You can read my rather extensive recap of the episode HERE.

For those of you who might be a fan of the Showtime series Homeland, the first look trailer for Season 4 is below.

And let us not forget that the new season of Doctor Who starts August 23rd. You can check out the first trailer for the new season below.

Comics - The world's largest comic convention, the San Diego Comic Con, is being held next week. There's bound to be a ton of huge announcements in relation to comics, movies, TV and gaming.  

Movies - On Thursday, I logged into my Twitter account (don't forget to follow me @TheOneTrueJay) and I had received a message from the guy who sent me that book I Am Pilgrim to review. It turns out they have now signed a deal to make the book into a movie. I'm psyched about that! And the fact that the guy took the time to keep me in the loop about it. You can read the article about the movie announcement HERE.

Also, I watched the documentary film Life Itself last week. It is about the life and career of film critic Roger Ebert. While parts of it were tough to watch, overall this was a fantastic look at the good and bad of Ebert, pretty much the only movie critic I relied on to form at least a basic foundation on whether or not I was going to see a movie.

Books - Speaking of prose storytelling, this week conspired against me in regards to completing any books. But yesterday afternoon as I made my appointed rounds, I ended up picking up the brand new Daniel Silva hardcover The Heist. It is the latest in his Gabriel Allon series. While I typically don't buy hardcovers, when it comes to this series, I tend to grab the book when it hits the shelves because invariably I'lll find myself immersed in a story do deeply I don't want to put the book down.

Music - Ever wonder what became of the woman who played the title role in the video for the Night Ranger song "Sister Christian"? Well, someone tracked her down and you can read this article to find out.

Rat Pak Records will be releasing the first solo album from Cinderella guitarist Jeff LaBar in August. The CD is called One For The Road. You can check out the video for the song "No Strings" below.

Oh and "Weird Al" Yankovic has a new parody video out called "Word Crimes". You can check it out below.

Sunday Musings #154
Category: User Showcase
Tags: NFL CollegeFootball BostonRedSox WNBA BostonBruins

 

 

While enjoying this extended holiday weekend...

FOOTBALL

Aaron Hernandez - Did you see the major marketing oops surrounding both the Florida Gators and New England Patriots this week? It seems that calendars for both teams feature everyone's favorite potential triple murderer Aaron Hernandez.

According to the their party company that produced the calendars, approval was given months before any charges were filed against Hernandez. Of course, if that is the case, doesn't the school and the team keep track of who's in what as far as promotional type materials for the team?

I mean if they can keep stats on who uses their left leg or their right leg more on third down in November games below 50 degrees, the front office ought to know which players are featured in what material, no?

You can read more about his story HERE.

 

 

WNBA

The New York Liberty actually had a good week for a change. They won both of their games to "improve" to 6-11 on the season. First they nipped the Connecticut Sun 67-65 and then beat the Tulsa Shock handily 90-74.

About the only down type of news for the team this week was related to assistant coach Katie Smith. She was replaced as the #2 all-time WNBA scorer by Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury.

BOSTON RED SOX

Professional writers and commentators have been talking for a while now about exactly when the Red Sox will concede they won't win the World Series this year so that they can sell off any trade worthy assets and go all in with their youth movement.

I've been holding off on conceding the season so those articles have kind of irritated me to this point. But after watching the Red Sox get slapped around by the woeful Chicago Cubs in a three game sweep AT Fenway Park earlier this week, I'm damn close to saying the Sox should pack it in.

What a terrible notion though. To give up before they even reach the All-Star break disgusts me. But with a ton of injuries to key players that don't seem to be healing in a timely manner and a general feeling of malaise from those that are actually on the field, maybe it is time to play as many of the youngsters to give them as much major league seasoning as possible and come back to make a strong run at contention next season.

Of course, playing the less experienced guys comes with the knowledge that the team is likely to be nearly as bad as the Bobby Valentine Year. After all, Jackie Bradley Jr. can't hit MLB pitching and Xander Boegarts is in a huge slump. But Brock Holt looks like the real deal and Mookie Betts seems to have started off his stay with the big club as well as could be expected.

But what about the pitching? Clay Buchholz is back from his injury rehab and has pitched markedly better than what he had been doing before. It hasn't translated into W's for him, but he's at least kept the team in games and he wasn't really doing that before. But if he can string together some really good performances, will the Sox look to trade him for something to help their future?

Brandon Workman was doing well until the BS suspension that left him out of the rotation for 12 days. He got shelled in his last start. But I'd like to see him stick around for a while.

I know Jon Lester is the most talked about guy to be on the trading block. Given his 9-7 record and periods where he's getting hit as often as a punch drunk boxer, trading him when you can't agree on a new contract for multiple pieces in return seems like a good idea. But I think trading the acknowledged ace of your staff is going to hurt the team in ways both on and off the field. While his record might make many happy the Sox didn't give him a huge contract offer before the season started, I think the lowball offer they did extend will bite them in the ass after the season ended. Should Lester turn things around in the second half of the season and become a lights out starter, Sox GM Ben Cherington is going to have to decide between opening the vault doors or parting ways with a guy that is seen as one of the key foundational members of the team.

BOSTON BRUINS

Okay hockey fans who happen to read this column, was Jarome Iginla leaving the Bruins a foregone conclusion?

After seeing the news that he signed a 3 year, 16 million dollar deal to play for the Colorado Avalanche I was wondering if the Bruins even made an attempt at keeping him. If not, why not? Was his performance not enough to justify trying to keep him, or was the contract demands more than the Bruins were willing to assume?

The other question I had is with the talent that has already left the club so far this offseason, do the Bruins still have enough top line guys to make a serious attempt at the Stanley Cup next season?

In an unrelated to "real" hockey, I watched the Rob Lowe hockey film Youngblood on Thursday night. I remember when it first came out and how much I liked it. I think it is still an okay film but it definitely doesn't hold up as well.

MISCELLANEOUS

Music - Here at Yougabsports, one of this week's Question of the Day entries asked about the first concert site readers/contributors had attended. I took it a bit further and did a separate blog entry detailing all the concerts I've attended since before 1986. You can read that HERE

I got two review articles done this week. The first one is a four pack of mini reviews for albums that were released in 2013. I hadn't gotten around to buying them before 2014 came around but I wanted to share my thoughts on each of the discs, even if it is an abbreviated version of said thoughts. You can check out what I thought of albums by Julie Roberts, Paul Rodgers, Black Star Riders and The Winery Dogs via this Pop-topia.com link.

I also reviewed the new Night Ranger CD High Road for KNAC.com. You can check out that one HERE.

Last week I included the lyric video for the Overkill song "Armorist". But over the course of the week, the band released the official video. You can see it below.

TV - The recap for 24: Live Another Day Episode 10 is online via this Pop-topia.com link.

Books - I had a big week of book buying this week, adding 7 new selections to my ever expanding to read pile. The books in question are as follows: Star Trek The Next Generation - Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang, The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling under a pen name), The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly, The Highway by C.J. Box and both Murder on the Half Shelf and Not the Killing Type by Lorna Barrett. On Saturday I added the Linwood Barclay thriller A Tap on the Window.

I gave the Rowling book to my mother to read first as she is a huge Harry Potter fan and I wanted to let her see if she liked this total story change from the author. Plus it will be a while before I get to it anyway.

This week on the Today Show, best selling authors Brad Thor and Kate White were asked for their summer reading recommendations. In the suspense category, they both picked the Terry Hayes book I Am Pilgrim. It was nice to see them giving some love to a book I loved. However, not too brag (too much), but I was on the fan bandwagon for the novel months ago.

Sunday Musings #153
Category: User Showcase
Tags: SportsIllustrated WNBA NBA CollegeBaseball BostonRedSox WarehamGatemen VanderbiltUniversityMensBaseball NewYorkLiberty

 

While gushing over the bevy of new music that was previewed online over the past week...

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

This past week, Sports Illustrated's website got a redesign that reportedly was supposed to make it more compatible with smartphones and the like. Well I don't know if it accomplished that goal or not, but it did manage to make the site utterly unworkable on a PC that is for sure.

The redesign looks like someone with a technical background vomited on the screen. And things don't work. The site is massively slower, things don't work properly and you can't find things that were available with the previous version of the website. You know, the one that wasn't broken.

While I did read various news stories, my main focus on my multiple daily visits was to check out the daily columns offered by the site's bevy of writers. I've tried searching through the new site for that option but the only thing available is a list of writers. This would mean you'd have to click on each individual name in that list to see if they'd written something new on a particular day. Talk about unwieldy.

I checked out Sports Illustrated's Facebook page to see if anyone else had commented about the redesign and lo and behold, complaints about this epic fail of a redesign make up the majority of the posts to the page by users. And yet, thus far there hasn't been a single word from the powers that be to address the concerns of users who are promising to flock to other websites if things aren't fixed or reset back to the previous design of the website.

And I'm one of those people. This new design is atrocious and whomever approved it should be immediately fired. The only times I've been to the main site since they launched the new site is to check and see if they've gotten rid of it. Luckily, the subsite for TheMMQB.com is still workable and I have that saved as a separate bookmark. But I'll have to go to Yahoo! Sports and ESPN.com for sports news if something isn't done soon.

WNBA

The New York Liberty broke their losing streak early last week when they knocked off the Atlanta Dream 85-78. But they didn't build off that win when they ended up losing on Friday night to the Chicago Sky 73-69.

The loss to the Sky has to be particularly galling when you consider the Sky were without the services of their star player (and one of the faces of the WNBA) Elena Delle Donne. She's out indefinitely to deal with the effects of Lyme Disease. It isn't like she's the whole team, as proven by Epiphanny Prince scoring 30 points. But the news was only announced on Friday so you might've thought the team would've been affected. Kudos to them for not allowing it to affect their play though.

As for the Liberty they are now 4-11 on the season.

As for the WNBA's Pride program, things don't seem to be going along as smoothly as the league could've hoped for. One report had the league trying to make all the players wear Pride shooting shirts in warmups. When players objected to being forced to wear them, the league relented and made them optional. And a big game on ESPN that was touted as having a big Pride aspect to it, turned out to have about as minimal a presence on the broadcast as possible without ignoring it altogether.

Jayda Evans of the Seattle Times (she covers the Seattle Storm) had a piece this week that took the league/ESPN to task for the perceived failures in this official outreach to the LGBT portion of the league's fanbase that you can read HERE.

While some on the Rebkell women's basketball message board took issue with what she wrote, I thought it was a compelling piece even if you don't agree with everything she had to say.

NBA

I woke up this morning to find the news that Jason Kidd had once again provided proof that he's a gigantic pantload of a scumbag loser. You can read why I say that HERE.

BOSTON RED SOX

Boston Herald beat writer John Tomase wrote an article this past Wednesday that called on Red Sox GM Ben Cherington to make changes to the team now. He said that they've had half a season to show they can compete and haven't done the job, then goes on to list the failures of certain players and what might be done to replace them.

I'm sure the article won't make him any friends (not that is his job anyway) in the team's locker room, but the article pretty much sums up everything that has unfortunately gone wrong with the team this year. You can check out the full article here.

COLLEGE BASEBALL

A big congratulations goes out to the Vanderbilt University baseball team who beat out Virginia to win the College World Series.

In college summer ball, the Cape Cod Baseball league team in my town is the Wareham Gatemen. They are off to another bad start this season. After losing to the Orleans Firebirds 7-3 last night they are 4-11 on the season.

BOSTON CELTICS

The NBA Draft saw the Celtics take Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart with the 6th pick and James Young from Kentucky with the 17th pick. And maybe it is the pessimist in me, but I don't see how these two guys are going to help improve the Celtics from 25-57.

This is in light of the fact that the selection of both players gave rise to the notion that both Rajon Rondo and/or Avery Bradley wouldn't return next season. By no means is that a guarantee but since there was no player in this year's draft that was seen as an heir apparent to the throne of Jordan or James, how can anyone expect more than what we saw last year with the additions of Smart (pictured below 1st) and Young (pictured 2nd)?

Look, I'm not saying they can't be good additions to the team, but nothing I've read says they are going to markedly change the fortunes of the Celtics either. I don't think ready to play necessarily means effectively play.

In other draft news, the NBA did something that was PR smart and just a nice humanitarian type gesture. Baylor's Isaiah Austin was expected to be drafted this year after a pretty darn good career in college. But his NBA dreams crashed and died when he was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome. It is a genetic disease that affects the body's connective tissue. It meant that his basketball playing days were over.

But Adam Silver made a point to recognize Austin and gave him his draft moment. You can see it below.

MISCELLANEOUS

Hilarious Video of the Week - Check out this video called "First Moon Party". It is disturbingly funny.

Books - A bit of twist this week as I bought and then finished reading a book in the same day. The book in question was Takedown Twenty.  It is the latest Stephanie Plum adventure by Janet Evanovich. The light-hearted series is always entertaining as Stephanie bungles her way through her job as a bounty hunter in Trenton, New Jersey.

Also, it was announced the author Kyle Mills has been selected to take over the Mitch Rapp series that was written by author Vince Flynn. Flynn passed away from cancer before finishing the book he was currently working on called The Survivor. Mills will then write two more books featuring Rapp.

It is always hard to accept a new author writing someone else's character/characters. I'm still not completely sold on the notion of Robert B. Parker's Spenser character being written by Ace Atkins despite having read the novels. Something will always feel JUST a little bit off.

But I've read some of the books that Mills has written in the past, particularly his series on FBI agent Mark Beamon, and he's a damn fine writer. So I'll definitely be looking to check out how he handles the writing duties with Mitch Rapp.

Comics - The Wizard World Philadelphia convention was held last weekend and the Pop-topia.com website covered it. You can check out the site proper for a variety of articles, but I thought I'd link the "final thoughts" article by my buddy J.D. HERE.

TV -  Well, I just destroyed some brain cells last night. I watched the pilot episode of that Girl Meets World show spun off from the old ABC sitcom Boy Meets World. And I have to say that any parent letting their kid watch this absolute piece of garbage show should be brought up on child endangerment charges.

It is so soul-sucking bad, I don't know how even what passes for the low standards of an idiotic network like the Disney Channel were met.

The goodwill engendered by Boy Meets World being a fondly remembered piece of nostalgia (aired 21 years ago) is annihilated by about as poorly conceived a concept with bad acting and writing as I've ever seen. Good Gawd! Homeboys in Outer Space was better than this.

Everyone involved with this show should issue a public apology and resign from public life forever.

 

I'm happy to say that my copy of the Shout! Factory DVD release of NYPD Blue Season 6 arrived in the mail yesterday and I'm in the midst of a binge watch this weekend. The show is one of my favorites of all time and I'm certainly glad that Shout! Factory is getting around to releasing the seasons on DVD. The original DVD release of the show stalled after four seasons but the company picked up the ball and have release the next two season with plans for season 7 to be out at the end of September.

And for my recap of the kick ass 9th episode of 24: Live Another Day, you can click here: http://www.pop-topia.com/24-live-another-day-episode-9-recap/

Music - It was a big week in music for those of us who like to get previews of upcoming new releases. There were four bits of music that caught my ear this week and you can check them out below.

The first was an audio clip of the new Overkill song "Armorist". It is from their July 22nd release White Devil Armory. Unfortunately for me, I didn't really care much for this song.

Next up is the Robert Plant track "Rainbow" from his September 9th CD Lullaby and...the Ceaseless Roar.

Kix is one of the 80's metal bands that really struck a chord with listeners for their infectious upbeat music and spirited double entendres. The band has reunited for a few years to do concerts, but until now there hadn't been any new music. But August 5th will see the release of Rock Your Face Off. You can hear "Love Me With Your Top Down" below.

And probably the most anticipated album for me this summer is Accept's Blind Rage, due out August 15th. The band released the official video for the song "Stampede" and it is epically awesome.

Deep Thoughts 6-25-14
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Ranger College Baseball LeBron James Miami Heat College Baseball Chester fades...

 

 

 

 

Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. I hope your week is going well…I am amazed that June is almost in the books. I wish there was a way to slow these summer days down. My wife and I made a trip up to Ranger Texas to talk to the Ranger College baseball coach about my son playing there next year. The visit went well and it looks like baseball is paying for his schooling next year. On the way home, we took a short side trip to visit Lake Leon. It has been many years since we had a lake property and both of us really miss our time at the lake. Life is funny. This time last year we were thinking about the Edinburg. Now we have a new part of the state to explore. I do know this…I found a really good BBQ/Steakhouse a few minutes from Ranger. Sometimes I wish I knew what was around the bend, but then again I suppose that would ruin the experience.

 

 

                                                            San Antonio sent a simple message...damn that is good.


So LeBron is moving on…big surprise. Haven’t we seen this show before? Things soured pretty quickly in Miami, didn’t they? I don’t know why anyone would be surprised at this, really. It has been said that the strongest houses are built with the best foundations. The Heat foundation was faulty. I guess they did prove that you could win a championship, just not build a dynasty. Now, LeBron will chase a championship somewhere else. Hanging around Miami to try to rebuild a winner is too hard for LeBron. Where will LeBron land next? Who cares…

 

 

 

 

 

This has been a very interesting college World Series in Omaha. As a fan of Texas baseball, I was extremely proud that three teams made it to Omaha. Of course I was pulling for the Longhorns to win it all, but was still very happy to see the success they had this year. College baseball has been remade with the change to the BBCOR bats a few years ago. Many folks hated the aluminum bats and the inflated offensive numbers that came with those premium bats. Now those same folks are whining about the lack of runs being scored in college baseball. There have only been a handful of homeruns hit so far in Omaha and many want this to change. The NCAA has decided to change to a ball with flatter seams next year. The thinking is that this will make it more difficult for pitchers to throw balls with movement, thus helping hitters have more favorable pitches to hit. Of course, the NCAA could have just changed to the same balls that minor league or professional baseball uses, but they felt that the core was too “lively” for the college game. The truth is that the NCAA has no idea if the new balls will be better or not as there is no prototype currently available. Huh? I am scratching my head on this one.


If you have a pet, eventually you must deal with the pet growing old (unless you have a tortoise or something). We have three dogs, but our oldest dog is the one that our kids grew up with. He is a Daschund…or wiener dog if you will.  Chester is 14 years old and has recently begun to act his age. His hearing and vision are headed downhill quickly. I have spent the last two days cleaning up little Chester piles. The old guy either forgets he is inside or he just no longer cares. Yes, it makes me really angry to have to pick up dog poop, but then I remember all of the happiness he has brought to our family and my anger fades. Times goes by and we will eventually say good bye to our dog, but those great memories will always remain.



That’s all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…

 

When you're riding in a time machine way far into the future, don't stick your elbow out the window, or it'll turn into a fossil.

If you were a pirate, you know what would be the one thing that would really make you mad? Treasure chests with no handles. How the hell are you supposed to carry it?!

 

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Musings #151
Category: User Showcase
Tags: LosAngelesKings NewYorkLiberty Olympics NFL NBA YouthSports WarehamGatemen CollegeBasketball Cheerleading

 

 

While eagerly anticipating tonight's season finale of Game of Thrones...

First off, for those that are or have them still, Happy Father's Day.

Second, don't forget I'm on Twitter at: @TheOneTrueJay

NHL

I'm sure others will write more about it and I know my buddy DJ Will is ecstatic, but I just wanted to add my congratulations to the Los Angeles Kings on winning the Stanley Cup on Friday night.

WNBA

The New York Liberty continue to spiral in a downward fashion. They lost to the Mystics 81-64, to the Shock 72-57 and then on Friday night they lost to the Sun 83-75. The loss to the Sun was the first half of a home and home series for this weekend. They'll play again today at 1pm. But with their record now at 3-7, one has to wonder if the Liberty's season hasn't already gone off the rails.

OLYMPICS

For those of us who reside in the Boston area, the news that the city is still in the running/considering a bid for a future Olympics game has to be a scary nightmare looking to come to life.

Boston as an Olympic city? Well the international reputation would be wonderful of course, but let's face it, there is no earthly way Boston should ever host an Olympiad. The cost of hosting a Games is prohibitive to say the very least, and building new venues is pretty much out of the question. And let's not forget that if you want to avoid endless stories about corruption, the last place you want to put an Olympics is Boston. Between the unions and politicians, the corruption here would make the Utah scandal look like Sunday school. And that doesn't even begin to try and account for all the traffic issues.

In sad Olympics related news, six time gold medalist in swimming Amy Van Dyken was in an ATV accident this past week and she suffered a severed spine. She's paralyzed, but given her posts on Twitter is at least responding as well as could be expected thus far.

NFL

I woke up in the middle of the night on Saturday and before going back to sleep I turned on ESPN to check on the hockey game score. (Yes I fell asleep before the game was over). While waiting for the update on that game, I saw the news that former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Chuck Noll had passed away at the age of 82. The man who presided over the team as they became the Steel Curtain and won 4 Super Bowls, Noll retired in 1991 but remains the only coach with four Super Bowl championships to his credit. You can read more about his legacy here: http://nfl.si.com/2014/06/14/steelers-coach-chuck-noll-his-eras-great-underrated-genius/

The Atlanta Falcons were announced this week as the team that will be featured on the HBO series Hard Knocks. Given how bad the team has been lately, the pressure on them to be successful this season should make for some compelling training camp drama.

There were a couple of articles I read over on SI.com this week that I thought might be of interest to everyone.

First up was a piece on the 49ers GM Trent Baalke: http://mmqb.si.com/2014/06/10/nfl-san-francisco-49ers-general-manager-trent-baalke/

The other article was an interview with former Chicago Bears tackle Keith Van Horne about joining a lawsuit against the NFL. You can check that out here: http://mmqb.si.com/2014/06/10/nfl-painkiller-lawsuit-keith-van-horne-chicago-bears/

NBA

Now that Donald Sterling has once again proven what a piece of trash he is by reneging on the deal to sell the Clippers to someone who doesn't hate minorities, the news came out that he'd hired private investigators to dig up dirt on the NBA.

If it wasn't so offensive, I'd be on my ass laughing. I mean really, dig up dirt on the NBA? Exactly how long will it take his investigators to find out that the biggest piece of dirt the NBA failed to clean up is Sterling himself?

The NBA is in the process of preparing to respond to his lawsuit and is considering a countersuit as well.

But the sad thing is that all this does is extend the embarrassment. If things aren't sorted out before next season, I have a feeling the Clippers coaches and players are going to revolt in a way not previously seen in any professional sports league.

YOUTH SPORTS

John Sinko isn't someone that will be familiar to most people. I know that I didn't know who he was. But perhaps we all should have. His impact on the youth baseball scene in Fairhaven, Massachusetts won't soon be forgotten by those he came into contact with. He passed away a month or so ago and this article from the New Bedford Standard Times serves as a fitting remembrance of his contributions: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140610/SPORTS/406100305/0/SEARCH

WAREHAM GATEMEN

The Gatemen opened their Cape Cod Baseball League season on the road against the Bourne Braves. They led early in the game but ended up losing 4-2.

BOSTON COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

With the team blowing up their Twitter page covering the offseason work being put in, you can follow each step of getting ready for next season with the Eagles. Meanwhile, you can learn more about Kat Cooper in the following interview: http://www.bceagles.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/061114aad.html

MISCELLANEOUS SPORTS ARTICLES

If you watched last week's episode of Game of Thrones, you got to see The Wall attacked by among other things, a giant! You'd be forgiven if you thought the giant was a computer generated image. But you'd be wrong. No, instead the giant was played by former North Carolina and Holy Cross basketball player (all 7 foot 7 inches of him) Neil Fingleton. You can learn more about his BIG role in the show here: https://tv.yahoo.com/blogs/tv-news/-game-of-thrones--giant-played-basketball-for-unc-174045416.html

For those of you who love The Mighty Ducks trilogy of movies, Time Magazine had an oral history article from those involved in the making of the films. You can check that out here: http://time.com/mighty-ducks/

CHEERLEADING

I know what you are thinking, how in the world could I think to have cheerleading in a sports blog? And believe me, I totally agree with you. But it is back in the news this week after the American Medical Association announced they classified cheerleading as a sport.

Here's an article about the story: https://news.yahoo.com/ama-says-cheerleading-designated-sport-205226789.html

Now, I know that I will not be on the popular and politically correct side of this debate. Why? Because cheerleading is NOT a sport. I know that those who think cheerleading is something worthwhile will argue that they have cheerleading competitions etc. But they are deluding themselves.

Those competitions are not the primary reason cheerleaders exist, they are a way to kill time for these girls/women in between games. And I'm sorry, but when your real sole purpose of being is to stand on the sideline and cheer for people who are actually engaged in a sporting event...YOU ARE NOT A SPORT!

And let's not forget that a lawsuit against Quinnipiac University when they tried to cancel an actual women's sport and substitute cheerleading to stay within Title IX compliance was decided in favor of the actual sport where the judges in the case effectively said cheerleading is not a sport.

Now, the AMA says it should be considered a sport because of the rigors and risk of injury involved. Is something being strenuous to do and having the risk of getting hurt the primary decider on if it is a sport or not?

In that case, on Thursday at my job I engaged in the new competitive sport of box lifting. I had to lift 125 boxes TWICE in order to wrap an order to ship out. Each box weight 31 pound apiece meaning I shifted 7750 pounds or nearly 4 tons in the space of 2 1/2 hours. It was rigorous, sweat inducing work and given that I was sore and stiff afterwards, the risk of injury was there.

So will ESPN be covering all the box lifting action throughout the world? When can I expect cheerleaders to show up and cheer me to "victory"?

MISCELLANEOUS

TV - My latest recap for 24: Live Another Day is now up on Pop-topia.com here: http://www.pop-topia.com/24-live-another-day-episode-7-recap/

Food - My buddy J.D. takes a look at the Great Chefs event held this week in Philadelphia: http://www.pop-topia.com/look-inside-sold-2014-great-chefs-event/

Movies - Are you having trouble deciding if you want to go see the new Tom Cruise movie Edge of Tomorrow in theaters? Maybe my buddy Kayode's review will help you make up your mind: http://www.pop-topia.com/edge-of-tomorrow-review/

Music - It was a big music week for me. Judas Priest released the audio for another new song off their album. This one is called "Dragonaut".

Night Ranger released the official video for the song "Knock Knock (Never Stop)".

Night Ranger's new CD High Road was one of three new albums I picked up this week. The other two were Tesla's Simplicity and Uriah Heep's Outsider.

   

Oh and when I found out that Night Ranger would be coming to a venue about 20 minutes or so from my house, I ended up calling to get a ticket. I ended up with 2nd row seats for the August show. Yaay Me!

 

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