Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The College Football Playoff is Real!!!

I have been waiting a long time for this.  Every year since 2006, I have drafted my own fictional College Football Playoff system that I believed should have determined the true National Champions.  At the end of this season, that dream becomes reality.  Well, almost.  The NCAA playoff will only feature the 4 teams at the top of a poll determined by a committee.  So close.  They have have control of 6 bowl games, that sounds pretty easy to get a 12 team playoff.  But hey, one step at a time.  The popularity of the College Football Playoff will generate enormous profits which will quickly lead to its expansion to include 8 and then hopefully 16 teams.  It never hurts to keep dreaming.

If you don't understand how the new system works, Slate put together this nice summary for you:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

LLWS Coach Inspires His Losing Team

What do you say to kids after they lose?  After the lose in the Little League World Series?  On National TV?  David Belisle's post-game speech to his team might be one of the best things you will see in a while.  A lot of bad is happening in the world - from Iraq to Missouri.  But this is some much needed good.

I played sports from Kindergarten to College - basketball, football, wrestling and more.  I was a coach for 7 seasons.  I love competition and I absolutely hate to lose.  This guy puts it the right way.  No this doesn't mean to always be proud of losing.  But when you play the right way, do the right thing and put all your effort and intensity into the game, sometimes you still lose.  If you Play Hard, Play Smart, Play Together, you can be proud.  This speech reminds me why America loves our sports.  Why athletes are more likely to be hired than non-athletes.  We want people that work hard, people that can come together, and people that can learn from their losses.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Why we call Football Soccer

Lionel Messi (Argentina) scores in opener of the World Cup
I don't know about you, but I have been enjoying the World Cup.  Soccer isn't a sport I usually watch, but this is a major event.  Everyone else in the world calls it Football or Futbol, but Americans and Canadians call it Soccer.  I thought I should find out.

Even in other languages, the sport is referred to in some variation of Football.  The Spanish for foot is not fut, but pie.  So the sport must have begun in the English speaking world.  In fact, the modern game began in England during the 1860's (The origin of football in England is quite ironic as they royally suck during the World Cup).  They called it football for the obvious reasons.  Actually, the real name is Association Football.  FIFA is the  Fédération Internationale de Football Association.  The association part was meant to distinguish the sport from Rugby Football.  So where does soccer come from?

Since the 1880's, Oxford students had a habit of adding -er to common words.  Bonners for bonefires, Congratters for congratulations, even Eccer for exercise, and my favorite Brekkers for breakfast.  People got the -er treatment as well - Beckers for David Beckham, Cammers for David Cameron and Britters for Britney Spears.  Apparently Oxford students are a bit pretentious.

Remember that football is officially called Association Football.  That was abbreviated Assoc. Football, which then received the Oxford -er.  The -er added to the end of Assoc-er and then dropped the first As- to become Soccer.  In fact, they started by spelling it socker to get the hard cc sound which does not appear in association.  So lets recap:


Association Football

Assoc. Football



The name soccer really comes from the 3rd, 4th, and 5th letters from association.  While incredibly convoluted, the name soccer actually makes a little bit of sense.  Not really.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Amazing Trick Shots

Check out this video of Johnny McEntee, a quarterback from the University of Connecticut.  He makes some unbelievable throws- some of them HAVE to be editing tricks.  You won't be disappointed.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Football and Brain Trauma

National Geographic has an interesting article on the dangers of football.  Along with the article, an interactive graphic allows you to see the magnitude and location 537 helmet impacts on a football player from the University of North Carolina.  Of the collisions, 417 produced greater that 10g's and two actually caused concussions.  The scientists hope to replicate the study with more students from different schools and even NFL players.
From NatGeo: Red = Collision greater than 80g and Black = Concussion

The powerful visual underscores the dangers of football at any level.  Seemingly insignificant head collisions add up to severe potential for brain damage later in life.  So many former NFL players suffer from early onset dementia that many decided to donate their bodies to science to get a better understanding of what actually happens to the brain.

Hopefully these studies can help us prevent more problems in the future through acceptance of rule changes and better technologies.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Darwin and Sport

This article seems to have potential.  It discusses a connection between Charles Darwin and Sport Psychology.

Here are some of my ideas about the anthropology of sport, which I have been studying for the last 27 orbits of this planet:
  1. Sports act as a metaphor for war.  We refer to athletes as soldiers, prepare offensive strikes and defend particular territory.
  2. Sports establish local social hierarchies.  Sports allow people to physically dominate others.
  3. Sports promote cooperation among the group.  Through teamwork, the group strives for a common goal.
  4. Sports promote competition against "them".  We set up society as an us and them situation.  We will dislike the others for no reason other than they cheer for Dook, etc.
  5. Sports prepare us for physical survival.  Our neuromuscular system can either leave us hopelessly uncoordinated or be honed into the physical prowess of performance.
  6. Sports let us realize that we are all athletes.  Some of us have become detrained.  The 1.8 million years of human evolution left us with a lean fit body.  If we don't take care of our bodies, we lose those skills.  However, we can re-train our bodies, it just doesn't always feel good.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fixing the BCS Mess

Every year as the college football season winds down, we hear the debate between the current BCS System or a possible playoff system.  I cannot miss this opportunity to offer my solution for a BCS playoff system.

In my playoffs, the 11 conference champions receive an automatic bid while 5 at-large teams are chosen from the BCS standings.  Once the teams enter the tournament, BCS rankings determine the seeding.  While the first round should be played at the home field of the higher seed, the quarterfinals, semifinals and the finals will be played at current bowl sites.  Any team that does not qualify for the playoffs may accept a bid to non-BCS bowl game.

Here is how my playoff system would set up for this season.  As you will see, there would be some great match ups in each round of the tournament.  If you agree that major college football needs a true champion, please pass this along.

These are the 2010 Conference Champions:

Virginia Tech
Big 12
Big East
Big Ten
Central Florida
Miami (OH)
Pac 10
Sun Belt
*The Big Ten: Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan State all tied for the conference title with the same conference and overall records.  Wisconsin receives the Automatic Bid as the team with the highest BCS ranking.

** The WAC: Nevada, Boise State and Hawaii all share the conference title.  Nevada receives the automatic bid with the best overall record.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Coach Stone Suspended

My high school football coach was suspended by the Cumberland County School System for running up the score in a football game.  His team won 75-7.  Here is the New 14 Carolina video of the story (sorry they don't have embedding).

Is running up the score wrong? Yes.  It really hurts for the kids that get beaten so bad and they remember that situation.  But on the other hand, if you can't stop me then I will keep scoring.  As the game gets out of reach, you start to put in your substitutes.  You put in your guys that never get to play.  Those guys use this as an opportunity to perform.  They have also been taught to play hard and also want to succeed.  It is on the coach to slow the game down.  Once you are up by a few touchdowns, you run the football.  But if they don't tackle the ball carrier, he is still going to score.

Some states have rules against running up the score and have also suspended coaches for big wins.  I think a fairer option would be a mercy rule.  Institute a running clock when a game is out of reach or just stop the game.  Suspending coaches for players scoring points doesn't really solve the problem.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Subtle Dangers of Youth Sports

I read two interesting articles recently.  The first came from the final page of Sports Illustrated discussing the decreased lifespans of NFL athletes.  Apparently, every season of football takes 1-3 years off a player's life.  NFLers takes thousands of hits and retire with severely damaged bodies.  Wesley Walls talked about needing a hip replacement and doing his physical therapy with his parent's friends.  If the owners win and add two games to the season, the effects on the players will add up much much sooner and careers will be cut short.

The second article came from the Huffington Post detailing the dangers of youth sports.  The collisions may bring great cheers but also attack the brain.  The effects of these plays and practices really can't be measured.  D. Senelick talks about changing the rules of the game and improving equipments- which happens each year.  Even as a football coach, I have thought about preventing my future sons from playing Pop Warner football and waiting until high school to play.

Anyways, these are interesting articles and potential discussions.