Tiger Finally Winning Again

December 9th, 2011

Chris Favoli and Brendan Prin

It was a beautiful fall day in California one of the last tournaments of the year; Zach Johnson Hooked one into the rough and then Tiger Woods hit a beautiful approach shot from about 160 yards out. He then proceeded to knock in the put and the crowd was in hysterics. The Tiger that was missed was grinning from ear to ear as he flung his in the air in jubilation. Is Tiger back? That is the question around the golf world. I would bet that many of the golfers who passed Tiger on the best in the world rankings are getting nervous to see that Tiger has found his confidence again. Tiger said he felt normal and that it felt just like another round to golf for him. He also stated, “I feel pretty good going into next year. I think I’ll have a good year and get on to the ballot for comeback player of the year.” If Tiger plays like he can without any distractions he will be the best in the world and will be able to comeback from what happened nearly two years ago.

Power in the NBA

December 9th, 2011

Chris Favole and Brendan Prin

“Power will intoxicate the best hearts, as wine the strongest heads. No man is wise enough, nor good enough to be trusted with unlimited power.”

David stern once again took away from the hype of NBA basketball late last night; A trade that would send a star player to a big market team. The trade was a fair trade that sent Lamar Odom to the Charlotte Hornets and Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets. David Stern vetoed the trade because he basically owns the team, not trading Chris Paul allows the NBA to produce more money. David Stern thought the Lakers to easily acquired Paul, getting Paul without even trading a draft pick leading to the thought of the Lakers getting Dwight Howard as well. Where was David Stern last year when the Heat acquired Chris Bosh knowing that Lebron James would eventually sign with the Heat? How does David Stern come off drawing the line for the Lakers? David Stern is a greedy old man; he is a multi-millionaire fighting for a few more million dollars. The Hornets would have been better team after the trade and it also brought some hype back to the NBA after already missing two months of the season do to another fight over money.

 

Arthur Ashe

December 9th, 2011

Back in the sixties one of the most prominent tennis players of this time was Arthur Ashe.  Ashe was described as an all-out competitor who rarely beat himself up. He not only was a champion on the tennis court but also in society as a whole.  As a child growing up, Ashe lived in a very segregated Richmond, Virginia. This was the starting point for how he learned to live with racial segregation and his motivation to fight against it. He was a tiny child, and at the age of six his mother passed away suddenly. This memory of his mother was the main source of his inspiration throughout his entire life.

Upon graduating high school, Arthur received a tennis scholarship to UCLA and would later be acknowledged for his individual abilities on a national level.  In 1963, Ashe was selected to represent the United States in the Davis Cup and became the first African-American to play for the United States team. The Davis Cup men’s tennis event is the largest annual international team competition in world sport so this was an accomplishment he took great pride in. Arthur Ashe was said to be a trailblazer for African-American males in tennis. He received the 1964 Johnston Award, a prestigious honor awarded to the American tennis player who contributes the most to the growth of the sport while exhibiting good sportsmanship and character.  This is what Arthur Ashe was all about. All of his greatness and achievements through being an outcast playing a primarily white sport was put to an even bigger test in 1969. Ashe was basking in the international fame that he gained the previous year, after winning the US Open, and playing a key role in the United States winning the Davis Cup. From this point on, he embraced his new role as being an activist if he believed in the cause. He was ranked as the number one American male tennis player and therefore applied for a visa to play in the South African Open, a very admired and respected event. His visa was denied due to the color of his skin, it was then that Ashe decided to take a stand. He had many supporting individuals and organizations that had his back, both in the tennis community and out. He raised the world’s awareness to the government form of South Africa. Slowly blacks in South Africa started to see some changes in their country due to Ashe’s efforts. Throughout his life, Ashe fought against social injustice and supported racial equality. He went back to South Africa on his own to not only fight the system that was in place, but also hoped to inspire the young children to become something they were proud of, speaking as a successful black man himself. Ashe also used his fame to increase the public knowledge of racism in America in hopes to change society’s ways in this country as well.

By the mid-seventies people started to talk and say that Ashe was spending too much time as an activist for his causes, rather than focusing on his tennis game. So he refocused his attention on his game to reach the level of play that he once was at in a game he loved so much. In 1975, at the age of 31, he played one of his best seasons and went on to win Wimbledon. He also attained the ultimate ranking of the number one tennis player in the world. Ashe retired in 1980 after having undergone two heart surgeries. He then branched off into other professional areas including, journalism and the media. He then published a three volume body of work “A Hard Road to Glory”. Ashe was elected into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1985 and founded numerous tennis organizations. He looked like he was making a nice transition into the next chapter of his life even becoming a father in 1986. This all came to a halt when in the hospital for brain surgery he found out that he was HIV-Positive and contracted the virus from a blood transfusion from his previous heart surgeries. This disease often brought on paranoia and prejudice, Ashe decided to keep his secret for over three years. Then, with pressure from a newspaper, rather than let the rumors persist, he decided to hold a press conference and make the news public. Upon hearing the news, there was an outburst of compassion and support for Ashe. This inspired him to begin AAFDA, Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS, and raise awareness of AIDS to the point where paranoia was no longer the first emotion expressed. Ashe passed away in February 1993 but most certainly left an impression on the world before doing so.

Arthur Ashe was clearly an extremely successful tennis player as shown through his plentiful awards and honors. For Ashe it was always more than the personal and individual glories, as he said “I don’t want to be remembered for my tennis accomplishments. That’s no contribution to society.  Being a successful tennis player was the tool which allowed Ashe the unique opportunity to speak out about inequities in tennis and in society as a whole. His main glory was his desire to bring about change in ways that help everyone not just himself. He wanted to explore humanity and his concern for people who were less fortunate than himself.  Racism was at the top of this list. He said that “Living with AIDS is not the greatest burden I’ve had in my life. Being Black is. AIDS killed my body, but racism is harder to bear. It kills the soul.” This is what made Arthur Ashe such an important and prolific athletic figure.

Record Temperatures

December 8th, 2011

Last Summer brought headlines reporting of high school and college league football deaths due to heat stroke.

With a high percentage of the 6,000 people going to the emergency room for heat stroke being athletes between the age of 15 and 19, a careful consideration began to be taken into account on the amount of time athletes spend outside to the limitations coaches should take for the sake of their lives.

Coaches have been criticized for being the catalyst to these tragedies, pushing their players too hard and having a negligent attitude on the care for their players in the intense heat. In high school, teams were restricted to either no or leisurely practice if there was no water present in prevention of this issue.

http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/record-heat-and-humidity-highschool-football-science-0552.html

According to this article, the death rate has increased since the late 1900s and most of these deaths occurred on the eastern border of the United States.

Should coaches be penalized for these deaths since they were in their care?

 

NCAA Conference Changes

December 8th, 2011

Recently many college programs have decided to leave their conferences to join others that are beginning to form “super conferences.” Many of the moves however; don’t make much sense. Recently the Big East added 5 news schools, 2 of them aren’t located anywhere near the east coast. Boise State is located in Idaho and San Diego State is located on the Pacific. If conferences are adding these teams to form super conferences, they need to at least change their conference names to something that makes sense. For example, the Big 10 contains 12 teams and are soon expanding to either 14 or 16 teams. The Big 12 currently has 10 teams and as noted above, the Big East will contain multiple teams from the west. Names need to be changed in order to fit the conference correctly.

New Additions to the Big East

How will these super conferences effect the BCS system? College football won’t have as many teams with only 1 or 2 losses, making it tougher to pick teams for the BCS bowl games. With controversy surrounding the system already, could this be the final straw in creating a playoff system for the FBS?

CP3 to the Lakers

December 8th, 2011

Last year during the NBA’s off season, Lebron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwayne Wade to form the big 3. Something the league had only seen once before when the Celtics Garnett and Allen with Pierce. However; the Heat’s Big 3 created much more hype because they now had arguably two of the best players in the game. The Heat proved that a team could be successful that had multiple superstars on its roster by winning the Eastern Conference Finals. Most critics believe the heat lost in the NBA Finals because of poor fourth quarter play, but it was also because they lacked a dominant post presence and had average point guards.

Recently, the Lakers have been pursuing Dwight Howard and Chris Paul to add to their team. Adding the best center in the game with arguably the best point guard along with the best overall player in the game today, Kobe Bryant, the Lakers would have a squad destined to win an NBA championship. The Lakers took the first step in the process tonight by acquiring Chris Paul through a three team trade with the Hornets and Rockets

The Celtics, Heat, and Lakers are starting a new trend of acquiring 3 superstars in order to build a championship team. Players are taking less money in order to win a championship. The Celtics were successful in doing so in 2008. The Heat were one step away last year, and the Lakers are trying to get their third superstar to have a better opportunity to win the title.

Native American Mascot Controversy

December 8th, 2011

Developing a mascot means that it will symbolize everything in what an association stands for. Choosing a mascot has to be both a wise choice, careful to whether it will be offensive or derogatory even in the smallest sense.

The most well known controversy when relating to the Native Americans is the mascot for the Washington Redskins. The conflict of both sides have come a long way since 2004.

Supporting Side

– The Indian mascot is meant to be used in respect

– It’s a symbol for bravery, courage, and determination.

– It brings awareness to the Native American culture

Opposing Side

– It’s a misunderstanding of the Native American culture, as well as a derogatory mascot.

– It’s racially insensitive – their evidence being that there is no other mascot that represents African Americans or Asians.

– Other than offensive, it’s a bad portrayal of of American Indians to children.

If you were aware of the controversy back in 2004, what did you think? Should there be a limitation on the representation of mascots?

College Spending on Sports

December 8th, 2011

Brendan Prin and Chris Favoli

According to collegeboard.com, public university’s will charge on average $8,244 in tuition and fees to instate students and  $12,526 for out of state students. For private university’s it is on average $28,500 for tuition. After a report was released in USA Today about D1-A sports funding from tuition it was accumulated I totaled up the numbers and found that approximately 5.33% of a students tuition will go to the athletic department. That is about $439.68 of instate public school students tuition tallying up around $3,517.44 dollars in 4 years, $667.64 of out of state public school students tuition tallying up to be around $5,341.12 in 4 years, and $1,519.05 of private schools students tuition tallying up to be around $12,152.40 in 4 years. Some schools were absent from the list because they were not sure what percentage they do not have a set amount of tuition per person to go to athletic funding. I think this is a bit much considering the amount schools are taking from students compared to the entire student body. For example the University of Maryland College Park has almost 27,000 undergrad students that means they are making $11,871,360 in one semester of tuition and $23,742,720 in one year. This will pay off all coaches, equipment, staff for the fields, food, etc. But yet that still seems very considering they are also receiving money from boosters and other sources. I do believe that schools should charge a percentage that goes to the athletic department but I do not believe that this much is necessary.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/2010-09-21-athletic-fees-chart_N.htm

Bonehead Jason Garrett

December 7th, 2011

After icing his own kicker to lose this past weekend, I felt this graphic offered an accurate look at head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Jason Garrett’s coaching strategy…. Yeah, seems right to me.

Dallas Sucks!

Go Skins!!

MLB The Highest Paid Sport?

December 7th, 2011

Over the past couple of weeks the talk of the MLB has been Albert Pujols and the mutiple offers that have been put on the table.
Both the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals have offered. The Marlins are in at 10 years and at least $200 Million. Today the Cardinals countered that offer for 10 years $220 Million.

This is a mind boggling number to pay an athelete. This goes back to the issue discussed earlier in the class of do athletes deserve the salaries that they are being paid. What about the teachers, professors, doctors, and lawyers. There are very few professionals that are making this type of money in the world.

Granted these are entertainers that are bringing in large sums of revenus to venues across the United States, do they work as hard for the money?

As a student athlete I understand the work that is put in practice, games, workouts, training, and video. Even at the college level this is very time consuming and physically demanding. Professionally I’m sure that it is 10x more demanding physically and mentally. It is a job and I understand that but is it worth it.

Here are some of the top paid MLB Athletes and Salaries for 2011:

Alex Rodriguez – $32,000,000
Vernon Wells – $26,642,857
CC Sabathia – $24,285,714
Mark Teixeira – $23,125,000
Roy Halladay – $20,000,000
Ryan Howard – $20,000,000
Carlos Lee – $19,000,000
Torii Hunter – $18,500,000