Archive for September, 2011

Playing Positive

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

“The crowd rises to its feet as a purple 32 flashes past the scorer’s table. On January 30, 1996, Earvin “Magic” Johnson makes his reappearing act with nine minutes and 39 seconds remaining in the first quarter. After missing his first shot, Magic makes an assist for a three, sinks a right-handed runner, and then posts up for a left-handed hook. Los Angeles Lakers lead by 11. With four minutes left in the first quarter, Magic pump-fakes a pass past Golden State Warrior Latrell Spreewell for an easy lay-up. In 27 minutes, Magic scores 19 points, with 10 assists and eight rebounds, leading the Lakers to a 128-118 victory over the Warriors. As the game ends with the ball in his hands, he pumps his fist and flashes a 100-watt smile. The Magic is back.”  HANA KAJIMURA of Viking

 

Creative Commons: cliff1066                                                   Creative Commons: cliff1066

 

In the early 1990s Lakers star Ervin “Magic” Johnson announced being HIV positive, and his retirement to the NBA. HIV was not talked about much in the United States, especially in sports. HIV prevention and treatment was growing in the States just as we were.  Magic was proof that “HIV/AIDS affects men and women, gay and straight, San Franciscans and Africans, adults and children, drug users and athletes” the disease does not discriminate, “it is our disease” (Hana Kajimura).

Despite Magic’s retirement he was still voted as a starter for the 1992 NBA All-star game and expanded as a symbol for other with HIV/AIDS. Of course controversies arose during the Olympics when players believed it would be best that Magic did not participate because of the risk of contaminating others. Many weren’t sure whether or not it was OK to sit next to him, breathe close to him and other extremes to that matter. After the press conference made addressing Magic’s diagnosis admist of the Rodney King Riots and President Bill Clinton’s campaign against George Bush Sr. it seemed as if the world started to face the global issue of HIV and AIDS. Magic has become an activist, creating the Magic Johnson Foundation, to fight HIV, he also was as part of many other organization fighting the disease.Magic Johnson has changed the world of sports and its acceptance of everyone, and has brought up a bigger cause around the globe.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSfy4AhDDnw[/youtube]Magic Johnson Announces His retirement on November 7, 1991

Transgender Athletes in the NCAA

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

In October 2010, a women’s basketball player openly announced that she was a transgender athlete. Kye Allums, a junior at George Washington University, said that biologically she was a female but on the inside she felt as though she should have been born as a male.  Should Kye be allowed to continue playing women’s basketball? What if the situation was reversed and a player was a male but felt like a woman. Would he be allowed to play men’s or women’s sports in college? This was the start to a very controversial topic that arose in the NCAA.

To the left is Kye Allums. He will continue to e a member of the GW Women’s basketball team. Robert Chernak, senior vice provost at George Washington, said the university is fully accepting of Allums decision to live as a male student.”Kye has informed the university that he will not begin any medical or drug protocols while a student-athlete,” Chernak said. Kye claims “I decided to transition, that is change my name and pronouns because it bothered me to hide who I am, and I am trying to help myself and others to be who they are,” Allums said in his statement.In his sophomore year, he began telling people he was a man trapped in a woman’s body.”I told my teammates first, and they, including my coaches, have supported me,” he said. “My teammates have embraced me as the big brother of the team. They have been my family, and I love them all.” -CNN News

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAAf3tE3DrU[/youtube]

The NCAA has placed rules that pertain to the participation of transgender college athletes. Here are the two major conditions:

1. A transgender male student athlete who has a medical exception for testosterone hormone therapy may compete on a men’s team, but is no longer eligible to compete on a women’s team without changing the team status to a mixed team.
2. A transgender female student athlete who has taken medication to suppress testosterone for a year may compete on a women’s team.

The NCAA has recently enforced a new policy regarding transgender athletes.

NCAA New Policy

Kye Allums was the firs example of the athletes in college who are struggling to find themselves as well as express themselves through sports. This is why the NCAA has placed these rules to ensure that no team is being favored or is in some what making the playing fair uneven.

should women sports get paid just as much as males?

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Sports such as golf, tennis, basketball, and bowling aren’t limited to guys; females compete in leagues of their own or alongside the men. Women typically have equal opportunities to play sports as men, but, too often, the compensation is anything but equal. In most cases, the men are making a lot more money than their female counterparts. That shouldn’t be surprising because men’s sporting events typically garner more media exposure, higher attendance and greater amounts of sponsorship dollars. Sue Bird, a member of the Seattle Storm in the WNBA, has been called a poster child for women’s athletics. Unfortunately for her, that fame hasn’t exactly translated into tremendous riches Sue Bird – WNBA
WNBA maximum salary: $87,000 Shaquille O’Neal – NBA
2005-06 salary: $20 million

shaquille gets most of his money in endorsements, he made 10million on the court but another 10 off the court. Maria Sharapova, the 2004 Wimbledon champion, has a different take: “Women’s tennis players are getting as many sponsors and media coverage as the men. … I understand that our TV ratings at the Grand Slam are pretty much equal to and often better than the men; so I don’t understand the rationale for paying the men more than us.”However, if you look at her financial figures ,you’ll see that she hardly has reason to complain. According to Forbes, her annual income is around $18 million, and most of that comes from endorsements. “It’s never enough,” Sharapova said in a published report. “Bring on the money. There’s no limit to how much you can make.”

So no matter how  much we complain at the end of the day its all up to the ratings, the more the viewers watch and enjoy the more money you attract. Women sports just doesnt have the same amount of fan base as men.It doesnt mean there sports are not just as  important, Its just in Amercia people tend to appreciate and like men sports more.

Unrecognized

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

In the eighth grade I had to do a project in my civics class to create a new civilization and form a government as well. My group came up with the idea of making colonies for the different sects of people that would be in the civilization. Back then i played sports like crazy but you would never have known it by the way i dressed. My teacher was convinced that i would be considered a part of the jock category even though i was a scene kid http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_CBtS8zYVpng/TTJgNr6zhoI/AAAAAAAABBk/e0fvOZGpDz4/s1600/5.jpg , does that look anything like your stereotypical jock?? I didn’t think so either, i may have only been in the eighth grade but that stereotype has always made me mad. It was funny though because as an educator my teacher SHOULDNT have bought into the stereotype, but instead been accepting of who i was.
Stereotypes follow us all around no matter where we go for example some believe that strong women athletes are all lesbians, but softball players targeted the most with the this stereotype. Im not sure what it is about women athletes other than some of them being feminine and photogenic and them being put in magazines in minimal amounts of clothing. I understand the idea of publicity for a sport by building a male fan base to an extent, but that degrades the purpose of women being in sports. The game is no longer main focus, but how hot or manly that players look through out the game. Following the game or when players go out after games or just in general its harder for them to be recognized because the don’t have on their uniform and aren’t all sweaty. Men have no problem being recognized off the pitch, they have a larger fan base and are more accepted in to society as athletes in general.
When i came to college this year, i dressed in my soccer clothes all the time because i had three a days, but when classes started the only time i wore soccer attire was when i was going to practice never any other time. In a sense I mirrored professional athletes, i would walk around campus wearing my normal hat, jeans, a random t shirt and sunglasses and NOBODY recognized until i would take my glasses off or changed in to soccer clothes, but it worked the same way for when i was wearing soccer clothes people i see everyday had to do double takes just to make sure they actually saw me. I guess that basically I am known by what I do instead of by who I am. We aren’t seen as real people only as the girls on the pitch sweating with our hair tied back.

Should there be Fighting in Ice Hockey?

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

It’s something that grabs all of our attention, the only reason why some choose to attend hockey games, and it separates hockey from any other sport (other than wrestling and UFC) in North America; the infamous ice hockey fight. In most sports a little pushing and shoving will cost you 15 yards or a technical foul an automatic ejection even possible suspension, but in hockey they tell them to drop the gloves and have at it.

Why is this accepted in American sports? If this were to break out in a football game or basketball game everyone would go into pandemonium and suspensions for the rest of the season would start being handed out. In hockey though? It’s just another night at the office. One of the reasons it is more accepted is strictly tradition. Since hockey’s beginning in Canada there have been very few rules and in a sport like hockey tensions can rise pretty quickly, so it happened then and in 1926 the NHL created rule 56 giving players a 5 minute major penalty instead of an ejection for fighting. That rule is now called rule 46; basically giving the referees the power to judge how long a fight can go on and how long they should be put in the box. Perhaps as the years have gone on and hockey has tried to keep up with the ratings of other favored north american sports; this helped draw more attention than actual hockey itself.

Personally, I think this is a fantastic part of the sport and gives ice hockey something unique about it. Some people call it “inhumane”, but deep down were all animals and putting that anger out on the opposing player for that high stick to your eye feels better than any antibiotics would. Heck, it can help turn your whole season around and lead to one of the greatest dynasties ever just ask the 96-97 Detroit Red Wings.Detroit RedWings 97 Brawl .

However, just because I approve of swinging away does not mean i think the referees should always stand back and watch. With rule 46 giving them so much leeway in fighting, it is vital for them to know when enough is enough. In 200 Todd Fedoruk of the Philadelphia Flyers was knocked unconscious causing a great deal of media backlash, resulting in a great deal of protests attempting to ban fighting from the game. This can be avoided with great watch by the referees, they have the power to stop a fight at any time and when they lose that power, it can be chaotic>Senators Flyers out of hand

 

So, in essence fighting is fantastic for the sport; draws a larger fan base, stands out as something unique in contrast to other sports, and causes great entertainment and fun for all if regulated correctly. With good referee supervision fighting will only help the NHL thrive more and more because some people come to the game for the fights and leave wanting to come back for the hockey ( that’s what happened to me) so why not drop your gloves?

 

Should Barry Bonds Get Into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Barry Bonds is the all time leader in home runs in Major
League Baseball. However this record is debatable to many people and has an asterisk
next to it because he has been linked to using Performing Enhancing Drugs. While
he has denied using them, it is generally believed that he used them. While the
numbers he put up were impressive the fact he used steroids has seriously
tainted his image. Barry Bonds did have tremendous skill there is no denying
that and he would have been a great baseball player even if he didn’t use
steroids. However it is not conceivable that without the steroids he would have
been able to hit as many home runs as he did.

Barry Bonds will become eligible for the induction into the
Hall of Fame in 2012. The question I pose is should someone that used steroids
but is the all time home run leader get into the Hall of Fame? If I was voting
on Barry Bonds getting into the Hall of Fame I would vote no. I believe that
there is significant evidence that he used performing enhancing drugs. Because
he used performing enhancing drugs and therefore cheated I think that he should
not be allowed into the Hall of Fame. I believe regardless of how many games
one wins or how many home runs one hits, if one uses performing enhancing
drugs, one has no place in the Hall of Fame.

While I believe that Barry Bonds shouldn’t  get into the Hall of Fame I am uncertain that
the majority of voters fell the same way I do. The people that will vote for
Barry Bonds might say that there are other cheaters in the Hall of Fame and he
was one of the greatest hitters of all time.
We will find out in the end of 2012 if the voters will overlook his
steroid use and merely consider the incredible numbers he put up and, as a
result, vote him into the Hall of Fame.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yImCnXbyZ2E[/youtube]

Barry Bonds Before and After Steroids
 

Women In Sports {Football} by Shamaura Brown

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Female Football League 

I believe on of the biggest influential problems in our culture is Women being able to play men sports. One of the hugest problems we see is in Football. There have been huge debates over this but I say yes, women can strap on a helmet and go on a field and play touch football. What’s the difference? Is it because we carry large amounts of estrogen? Or that They ( Meaning the Male species ) feel we are too weak. This has been the question for decades; Can women really play male sports? If you ask me I say yes we can. Just because some women decide to drop the doll for the Ball doesn’t mean she is Lesbian. Some women just like playing ball for the love of the game rather then to compete. It really is sad the way the culture view women who play football.But I say keep going forth. 

Women in sports; Fast pitch Softball

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

A common debate in our culture is the ongoing question of women’s capability vs., men’s. In the realm of sports this debate is no exception. Anyone who is or knows an athlete has probably heard all kinds of arguments and smack about which sex is more of an “athlete.” The topic of Women’s Fast pitch Softball is no exception. As softball players we constantly hear smack from baseball players about how softball is easy. They point out the root “soft” in softball and the fact that the ball is the size of a grapefruit and that we’re “just girls.” We would like to shed some light on the truth behind this sport; the truth behind the “soft” in softball.

The game was first played indoors, by male members of a Boston boat club, on Thanksgiving Day in 1887 as a post-game celebration of the Harvard vs. Yale football game that had been played that day.  The players made a smaller diamond to fit inside used a boxing glove that had been tightened as a ball, and used a broomstick for a bat.  One of the men there later formalized the game with official rules, a large soft ball, and bats with a rubber end and called in indoor baseball.  The game became a way for baseball players to keep in shape in the winter. Later, firemen moved it outdoors as a way to stay active.  The firemen would only play seven innings in order to be able to complete an entire game in about an hour.  Spectators would come to watch these games until, in 1897, the first public league was formed.  Both men and women could play the game, which was unusual for many sports at that time.  The Denver YMCA finally gave the game its present name in 1926.  Since then, the sport has adapted to include universal rules and regulations.

A softball is twelve inches in diameter, but no longer includes any padding.  The bats vary in size, but are usually made of some sort of metal.  Unlike many of the original games, it is no longer wise to play barehanded.  The games are still seven innings to stay true to tradition and the diamond is sorter.  Unlike baseball, the pitching rubber is 43 feet from the plate instead of 60, and the bases are 60 feet instead of 90.  Both sexes still play the game, but that is typically only in slow pitch.  However, slow pitch is not recognized professionally of internationally.  That would be fast pitch, which is dominated by women and seen as the female counterpart of baseball.

                People tend to stereotype softball with the church league type of game, you know the game where 50 year old men and women in church leagues come out and pretend they know how to “bring the heat” to the game of softball. That is not the game of softball we are referring to; Women’s Fast Pitch Softball is where the intensity happens. Any ‘real’ softball player will tell you there is nothing soft about this game, but still people try to argue that it’s easier than baseball.  Many people have argued that hitting a 100 mph fastball is baseball is one of the hardest accomplishments of any sport.  We aren’t going to defend every sport, but we’d like to negate such assumptions against softball.  In fact, we will go as far to say that it is harder to hit a softball than to hit a baseball. We know that many baseball players will disagree, but have a look at some of the best hitters in baseball putting it to the test.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLQpdfioK1w[/youtube]

Still not convinced?  Well then here are the facts.  Softball players have a smaller field, but the ball does not travel any slower as it is hit to them.  Therefore, softball players have less time to react to a ball that is hit to them.  As for pitching, even though the ball moves slower of average, it has less distance to cover, so softball players have less reaction time yet again.  Also, the plane of a baseball pitch naturally drops, which makes it easier to make adjustments on pitches, because it is more natural to let gravity pull one’s hand down than for one to lift their hands.  That makes the rising plane of a softball pitch a rather tricky element of the game.  It is even harder when a pitcher actually throws a rise ball.  Finally, a softball carries more force on impact, because it is a larger mass. To illustrate this point please watch the following clip.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_de3HJvO-N8&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PLA69618939A7703A6[/youtube]

                We rest our case.

By Barbar and Nikkoahk Chitty

“Female Athletics: The Ultimate Oxymoron”

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

What does society see as we watch the women’s USA soccer
team take the field, hair pulled back tightly, already dripping sweat from warm
ups, presumably stricken  with the smell
of sweat and dirt, so what do we see? Do men in the stands hoot and holler like
they do while drunkenly slurring at the Lingerie Football League…

LFL

No

There’s an obvious different between the sweating, strong,
solid  athletes plowing over defenders
toward the goal versus the half naked women running over one another, helmets
blocking their faces (simple  tactic used
to eliminate  any “butherfaces”), and
cleavage blocking the goal line. What is the difference? Those women athletes who
train for months, who have been looking forward to the position they hold sense
they learned to dribble are they ugly, are they manly, are they too strong, too
independent to be mothers or wives? Those questions are easy questions answered
with different opinions.

While watching the team play Japan my boyfriend
described how scary the athletes were, none of them being attractive because
they looked like they could beat him up. I’m sure while watching the LFL he’s
not scared of their muscles, no matter how good the block was his final comment
after the play is on the jiggle, shimmy dance she made across the goal line.

Drive and determination is taken as masculinity.  It’s not lady-like to celebrate; it’s
unsportsmanlike and frowned upon. However, when watching men’s basketball a guy
gets a block, signs the ball and is greeted with laughter and cheers from
impressed fans.

Rejection with the John Hancock

I see that and watch him act like a pig, yet the first thing
out of my mouth is “OHHHHHH”

A woman gets a block and proceeds on with the game, no
autographed ball, no excessive screaming or chest pounding because she is
expected to be a lady.

As a woman and an athlete I know the difficulty in trying to
be both.  I throw shot put… I’m not sure
if you have ever seen shot put in action but it looks something like this…

Beware: Women shot putters at play

It’s hard to look hot when you’ve been relentlessly working
out for months, your arms are ripped and your legs are huge from squats and leg
press and running hills. The introduction may be the best part of the clip. It
really sums up what I’m trying to say here. When I’m in my uniform, spandex,  shorts and my throw shoes, boys don’t hold
doors for me. Boys don’t check me out they look at my arms, they see an athlete
not a woman.

So in all of this, the
point is to be a woman athlete, you’re an athlete until competition is over,
once you’re out of your uniform you’re a woman again. You’re free to be girly,
to giggle, to smile and get your way. With a uniform on your free to win, politely.
Your free to excel, sweetly. Your free
to sweat, discreetly. Your free to celebrate, tastefully.

Lisa Leslie                             VS.                                    Lisa Leslie