Archive for March 16th, 2009

16
Mar
09

A Solution for the Marlins

If the fans seem a little bit more subdued than usual at Nottingham Rugby games recently, there’s a good reason for it. Suffering a severe economic crisis and with few fans in the stands, the Nottingham Rugby club decided upon a interesting solution to drum up fan interest, inflatable fans.

_45570890_ml466Reaching out to a local company, Airheads, that specializes in artificially creating crowds for TV and movies, the club had 1,000 inflatable fans placed around the stadium, dressed to make them seemingly indistinguishable from the live fans. Which says a lot about the British people but that’s a whole other story…

Airheads’ director, Lee Harris was excited about the whole thing:

“As a local firm we are really keen to support Nottingham Rugby in their quest to raise the profile of the club. We are hoping an extra 1,000 ‘people’ in the crowd against Exeter, will encourage supporters of both rugby and sport to come and get behind their successful local team. Hopefully it will add to the atmosphere, and inspire people to come back again next week and help the team qualify for the Cup Final by beating Leeds.”

Fitting in with the 1,305 real fans in the crowd, the inflatable fans helped spur the Nottingham side to victory and continuing on in their pursuit of the National Trophy. Reportedly, the cup run might help stave off disaster for the club, although fan attendance has still remained a problem, hence of course, the inflatables.

I can’t wait for this to come to the US.

[BBC via Fan IQ]

16
Mar
09

The Golden Days of Baseball

16
Mar
09

Mr. and Mrs. Much-Better-Looking-Than-All-of-Us Take Brazil

Tom Brady and his wife/girlfriend/hottest-chick-in-the-world “buddy” Gisele Bundchen arrived in her hometown of Horizontina in Brazil to attend her grandfather’s 83rd birthday celebration. Brady is there to also meet much of her extended family for the first time, I bet he makes a nice impression, he’s such a good polite boy, plus there’s the huge paycheck, international renown and of course, the butt-chin…
Don’t worry Patriots fans, while this may be their “honeymoon,” Tom is still finding time to work out at a local gym.

I’m more interested in figuring out how to be reincarnated as this soft-serve ice cream cone that Gisele is enjoying as she and Tom are sitting in a car.

Brazil Bundchen Brady

Someday…

[NC Buy]

16
Mar
09

The Real San Francisco Treat

Over the weekend Megan Sainsbury, 31, a high school gym teacher in Saratoga, California was arraigned for three misdemeanor charges of child annoyance after allegedly having a relationship with a 17 year old female student. According to the police, Sainsbury also bought the teen gifts, including a cell phone, to encourage the girl to continue the relationship. Fortunately for the teenagers in the Bay Area, Sainsbury isn’t the only one making moves. She’s actually the third female GYM teacher in the San Francisco area to be arrested for having an inappropriate relationship with a student in the last two weeks. I wonder if all the kids who had to run laps feel left out…

[KCBS via Bad Jocks]

16
Mar
09

I Can Think of a Better Way to Spend 88 Minutes…

Cuban Erick Hernandez bested his own Guiness Record on Saturday when he bounced a soccer ball on his thighs for 1 hour, 28 minutes and 6 seconds, demolishing his previous mark by nearly 3 minutes. I’m glad to see Cubans are engaging in useful activities, since the country is still permanently stuck in the 1950s, this seems like a worthwhile time killer. I have wireless internet, so I can spend just a minute watching this video instead. Ah progress.

16
Mar
09

Two Hands on the Ball

bowler__1237117061_7948The Professional Bowling Association is desperate for attention, once one of the most popular sports on television, these days bowling is largely ignored by the mass populace because, you know, it’s boring. There was a time in the early 1980s when bowling was king; the PBA scored better television ratings than the Masters and the NBA finals weren’t even broadcast on TV.

Enter Jason Belmonte, a 25 year old Australian with an unorthodox style and 34 perfect games to his resume. Throwing two-handed, with just two fingers in the ball, Belmonte is able to generate significantly more rotations on the ball as it rolls down the lane, thus generating more energy to transfer to the pins. Most professional bowlers get about 400 rotations of the ball with each throw, Belmonte’s unique style enables him to get over 630 per toss.

The amateur World Bowler of the Year twice, (2004, 2007) Belmonte grew up in the bowling lanes his parents owned in Orange, Australia, about 130 miles west of Sydney. As an 18-month old his parents would give him a pair of shoes and a ball and let him have at the lanes for hours at a time, and since he wasn’t able to lift the 10-pound ball he started his two-handed motion. He won his first tournament at age 4, by 5 he was averaging 118 a round. Continue reading ‘Two Hands on the Ball’

16
Mar
09

Sign Me Up for the Iditarod

Apparently, racing dogs through a vast snowy landscape and through blistering cold can make you go a little bit crazy, who knew? Current Iditarod race leader Lance Mackey reported from the course that he saw an apparition the other day along the track.

Fatigue can do funny things to long-distance mushers, Mackey said. On Thursday night, he was riding the sled and saw a girl sitting by the side of the trail doing something, probably knitting.

“She laughed at me, waved, and I went by her and she was gone,” Mackey said of his hallucination. “You just laugh.”

Do you know how hard it is to find good hallucinogens these days? And these mushers are getting the good stuff, FOR FREE! I’m pissed no one told me about this until now. It turns out that Mackey isn’t the only one who this happens to, apparently it is very common among dog sledders. For instance, via Help Sled Dogs comes these other stories:

  • “I was exhausted and had already begun to hallucinate during the last hour of traveling, seeing the small people of the woods, hearing low-flying airplanes in the middle of the night.”
  • “I’ve seen villages, freight trains and cabins that were not there”
  • “I saw animals-a rock pile became a bison, a stump became a moose.”
  • “I was home from school, about 7 years old, standing in my grandmother’s kitchen with my chin just about counter height, watching, smelling while Granny slathered a slice of homemade bread with bacon grease.”
  • “And then I began to hallucinate. I saw people standing beside the trail, never anyone I recognized. They talked and laughed among themselves like they were waiting for my arrival at a nonexistent checkpoint. I turned and as the light of my headlamp swept over them they stopped talking and turned their heads to stare at me as we passed. Sometimes they were back from the trail and I only heard voices, catching snippets of conversations, never any intelligible words, but I assumed they were talking about me.”

I had no idea that all I needed to do to trip balls was go into the wilderness of Alaska and nearly die thanks to exposure. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out all this time. Continue reading ‘Sign Me Up for the Iditarod’

16
Mar
09

With a Prayer

High school basketball is exciting, don’t belive me, check out these two different last minute wins, impressive! The first, from Jereme Richmond is a nice half court shot as Waukegan beats Warren in an Illinois high school playoff game. The second one, much more impressively, features Will Bouton of Newburgh high school taking down the mighty Mount Vernon basketball powerhouse of Hudson Valley, NY with a crazy Hail Mary desperate heave that wins the game. Awesome, but just know kids that it is all downhill from here.

16
Mar
09

Don’t Discount Mike Tyson’s Fame

During a grappling tournament in Beijing, China last week one of the wrestlers opted to take a more Tysonian view of his opponent and bit a healthy chunk off his opponent, drawing blood.

Alibieke, a wrestler from the western province of Xinjiang was given a warning and “criticism,” but was allowed to continue the match, ultimately winning 2-0. Understandably, Yeerlanbieke Katai the opposing wrestler was less than enthused. “Katai let out a bloodcurdling cry and protested to the referee that he had been bitten,” Xinhua news agency said in a report reproduced by the Beijing News.

“If it wasn’t for that, I would have definitely finished that attack and taken the set,” Katai continued, saying that he was in a prime attacking position right before the attack took place. After the match Katai sported a “huge” bite mark near his elbow.

Obviously, the Chinese officials are taking the whole thing in stride. “Wrestling is an intense sport… Athletes, it can be said, are exerting their all and sometimes are not able to control themselves very well,” said Dong Shenghui, wrestling director within China’s General Administration of Sports.

How very understated, Dong.

[Reuters]

16
Mar
09

Knock Knock Out

You know what I like best about this clip from a MMA fight, it’s that no one wins.

16
Mar
09

Fan is Short for Fanatic

Thanks to our previous President’s excellent stewardship, things in Iraq are settling down, violence is subsiding and the country is getting back to normal, returning to it’s once cosmopolitan way.

Sigh.

Or maybe, instead, immediately following a soccer game between two rivals, one of the players was killed with an errant gunshot.

Annana had just completed a 1-0 win over their neighbors Sinjar when, as one does, a fan shot his gun in the air, or in this case, less so. “A stray bullet hit Annana player Haider Hakem in the chest and he died,” police lieutenant Ali al-Khafaji said.

According to Agence France, “Fans often launch into a blaze of triumphal gunfire in Iraq when major league teams clash.” So there’s that, I suppose.

Anyway, nice liberation W…

[Agence France]

16
Mar
09

It’s All in the Name

xsmall_kickingstallionsims_chief_092308Not that I would under any circumstances anyway, but were I to watch the play-in game for the NCAA tournament on Tuesday between Alabama State and Moorehead, make no mistake, I’d do so to watch only one player. That would be number 42 in your programs, Grlenntys Chief Kickingstallionsims, Jr., the 7’1″ senior center who counts being awarded the Best Name in College Sports honor from Sports Illustrated as his greatest athletic accomplishment.
Now he’s someone I can get behind. I’m now rooting for the ASU Hornets to get in the tournament so that I get to hear his name at least a few days more. GO HORNETS!




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