Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Politics of Americanizing Soccer: My 10 Years Blogging for Change to the World's Game

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1 Mainstreaming for Attention
Flipping Channels: Sports Talk Radio's Impact on MLS Can't Be Overlooked
2 Why Do We Watch Sports?
80's Movie Describes Soccer's Awe
3 A Rules and History Perspective
A History of Rules Changes in American Pro Soccer
4 Proposal to the NFL
NFL Considered Proposal for Competing Pro Soccer League
5 Why and What is Americanizing Soccer?
MLS Average Score Offensive in the Wrong Way- parts 1, 2 and 3
6 Developing a Niche
What If NFL Scores Counted Like Soccer Scores?
Four American Athletes that Resemble Mario Balotelli
Seven Soccer Stars Who Play Like Steph Curry
What is Soccer's Equivalent to Baseball's Hitting Streak?
7 Pop Culture Wins and Losses
Occupy!': The Casual Dining/Sports Bar Impact on MLS
No Overtime Means No Chicken Wings
EA FIFA Video Game Attracts Inner-City Youth; Accelerates Soccer's March Towards Mainstream
FIFA 17 Video Game Challenges Human Soccer for Audience Share
The TMZ Effect on MLS
8 Beckham's Influence
Beckham Chases Redemption, Championship
Beckham/Donovan: Greatest Tandem of All Time? Part 1, 2
Mission Accomplished: Beckham is Pele's Equal
9 Foreign Intrusions
MLS Nicknames Confuse Joe Sixpack Sports Fan
The Soccer Scarf:  A Transplanted Accessory that Doesn't Make Sense
The Overselling of British Accents to American Audiences
The Royal Wedding's Influence on Soccer
10 Snafus and Marketing Challenges
MLS Schedule Abandons Memorial Day
Should MLS Have Played MLS Cup on Veteran's Day?
MLS Misses Key Elements on Tv Deals
Soccer Needs Its Own McFarland, USA
Time for Reboot on 'Field Of Dreams' with Soccer as the Premise
11 Laying More Groundwork
Little League WC Coming Soon to America?
Obama, MLS Need Each Other parts 1, 2
NFL Films sets the Standard; MLS Films Soon to Follow?
Agassi, Deion, Rodman Put Pressure on Soccer's Hall of Fame
12 Image Isn't an Issue
Soccer as a Savior for American Sports Fans
Taking Advantage of MLB Dropping the Ball
Baseball's Steroids Era and Its Effects on Soccer
Is Teaching Proper Tackling the Best Method for Making American Football Safer?
13 A Natural Fit
MLS Anti-Discrimination Campaign Way Ahead of Other Leagues
Can Openly Gay Player Spark Interest in MLS?
Soccer Benefits from 'Short Attention Span' Caused By the Internet
14 Fierce Competition Within
Is Living Room Tv Big Enough for Soccer?
Will EPL Work Well as Partner to NFL, Super Bowl?
EPL's Weekend Morning Niche is the Perfect Storm
ESPN SportsCenter Heavily Promotes LIGA MX Rivalry Match
China Poised to Beat MLS on Global Reputation
Is Portsmouth Better than Chicago Fire?
15 Social & Economical Factors Favor MLS
Will Muslim Strife Cause Defections to MLS?
Latest ISIS Attacks Hit #1 Ranked Soccer Country in the World
Will England Riots Put EPL At Risk?
Will Gang Violence Become a Bigger Disruption to Mexico's First Division?
MLS Good Enough to Be More Popular than EPL in the U.S.
16 Pundits Not Interested
Soccer and the Jim Rome Factor
Why Isn't Collin Cowherd Talking Seattle Sounders?
Frank Deford Didn't Respect Soccer
17 Lost in the Shuffle
ESPN's 'Ultimate' Insult to MLS
Steph Curry, Warriors Drown Out MLS Opening Day
Tackle Football Tempers Momentum of MLS
Super Bowl Sends Powerful Message to MLS
No Respect for MLS among Top Sports Websites
18 The Future of Tackleball and Baseball
A Competition is Brewing: The NFL vs. MLS
NFL Instability Could Boost MLS
NFL Draft Dumbs Down Sports Consumers
19 Feigned Leadership
FIFA Corruption Lasted More Than 40 Years
Purists, Traditionalists Elitists Align with FIFA
2022 FIFA World Cup Should Be Reallocated to the U.S.
U.S. Should Forsake Participation in Qatar World Cup Qualifiers
20 Playing/Re-Playing on Our Terms
Peter Vermes Supports Americanizing Soccer
Lessons from World Cup 2010: Americanizing is Ok
Goal-line Technology Changes Soccer Forever
Should Instant Replay Include Goals Waived Off by Bad Refereeing?
21 Substitutions Needed
Americanizing Soccer for the U.S. Sports Fan, part 6
MLS is Best Hope in Solving Pro Soccer's Concussion Crisis
Should FIFA Change the Rules to Prevent Heart Attacks?
22 Red-Card Revolt
Americanizing Soccer for the Sports Fan, part 3
Red Cards:  The Elephant In the Room
White Cards Are Soccer's Global Pursuit of Perfection
23 Counting Down with Timeouts
Will Water Breaks Make Their Way to MLS Permanently?
Would Buzzer-Beaters Work for MLS?
Should MLS Stop the Clock on 'Out of Bounds' Plays Like the NFL?
24 Friendlies vs. FIFA Club World Cup
Friendlies, Exhibitions Threaten Overexposure:  Broader FIFA Club World Cup Is the Answer
FIFA Club World Cup Should Expand to 32 Teams
Soccer Friendlies in U.S. are a Sign of Disrespect
25 Distinctive Inadequacies
No Team Recaptured a Scoring Lead in Euro Cup, Copa America
MLS Cup 2016 Will Forever Be Remembered as the Championship Won Without a Shot on Goal
Sacramento Republic Hasn't Scored a Goal in Nearly 500 Minutes
26 Flipping Channels (FC)
The NBA Finals and the Gold Cup
The World Series and L.A. Galaxy's Champions League Run
Sunday Night Football on NBC and MLS on ESPN
27 Long Overdue Transparency
Will FIFA Reconstruction Expedite the Americanization of Soccer?
Time for an All-American FIFA
New FIFA Advisory Panels Bring American Attitude
Review: New IFAB Website Provides Overdue Transparency
28 Desperately Seeking Autonomy
As NBA Considers 4-Point Goals; Soccer Doesn't Even Consider 2-Point Goals
MLS Owners Wish They Could Act Like NFL Owners
Are Ties in Playoffs Un-American?
The Americanization of MLS Continues
MLS Doesn't Bend During World Cup Qualifying
29 Logical Rules Changes
Next Most Logical Rules Change for MLS
Next Most Logical Rules Change for MLS part II
VAR Obligates IFAB to Change the Offside Rule
Americanizing Soccer for the U.S. Sports Fan, part 5
10 Rules Changes to Enhance MLS
New Field for MLS Proposes Two-point Goal
30 Americanization as a Destiny
NASL 'Shootouts' for World Cup 2026 is a Sign of Changing Times
MLS Will Have to Be the 'Chosen League' to Evolve the World's Sport
Soccer or Football: Heineken Settles the Debate
Bringing a Competing World Cup to the U.S. Every 4 Years

Monday, August 1, 2016

Will an MLS Goalkeeper Ever Duplicate the 'Scorpion' Kick?

The legendary Colombian goalkeeper, Rene Higuita, perfected the 'Scorpion Kick.'

As the ball approached the goal in the air, Higuita would get his body ready and perfectly time his action to flex his torso and bring his legs back together in the air to boot the ball out away from the goal.

While he is in the air, the entire play resembles how a scorpion looks, thus, the nickname.

Higuita was the Colombian National Team goalkeeper for several years in the late 80's and 90's and made appearances in the 1990 World Cup. He would have been in the 1994 World Cup, but he got involved with the druglord Pablo Escobar and made bad decisions. His wrongdoing led to time spent in prison. This time coincided with the '94 WC.

At first glance, the 'Scorpion Kick' looks like a novelty shot. And, it was. But, over the years, Higuita honed the art of the kick to reach such a high level, that he would use it in game situations in which the kick would act as a real save.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Should Brexit Influence which Countries Play in Euro Cup 2020?

With the decision now determined from voters of the United Kingdom to move away from the European Union (EU) member state alliance, does it mean that the UK areas, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (Gibraltar is included, as well) should be disallowed from competition in UEFA (Union of European Football Association)?

Surely, the most prevailing answer is "No" from world soccer fans. This is mainly due to the close history the UK has had with UEFA. It would almost seem silly to think of UEFA without the UK. Purists or traditionalists wouldn't even consider the issue because of the blinders they have on. I mean, how could anyone ever consider kicking the UK out of UEFA when the sport was invented and built up there for more than a century and a half? In fact, these are the only four areas of the world along with delegates of FIFA that board the IFAB governance for the rules of the game.

In my opinion, the issue to boot the UK from UEFA deserves a deeper discussion for sure. Most casual soccer fans don't associate politics with soccer, yet us fervent ones know there is plenty of world politics taking place in the world's most popular game. It would be naive to think otherwise.

FIFA is one of the main catalysts for how countries around the world interact with each other. There is evidence of this in all of the international tournaments, including the World Cup qualifying process. FIFA, without making too much political noise, determines which member association each country is placed into and thus which countries make up the competitions. It might be that the member associations send out the invitations, but FIFA is the ultimate entity in charge of all the member associations.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Thousands Flee Guatemala Ahead of Tuesday's Qualifier vs. U.S.

Every day for the last several years, children are leaving Guatemala without parents and traveling through Mexico to cross the border into the U.S.

Since word got out a few years back about a 2008 human trafficking law that gives rights to unaccompanied alien children (UAC) coming to the U.S., three countries have witnessed an exodus of their citizens fleeing North. Children from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, as well as families from those three countries, are coming here to escape violence and poverty.

It's a heavy dose of irony and politics that make the matches between the U.S. National Team versus the National Teams of these three countries so fraught with intrigue. How can it be that these games should even be played when one country is losing its citizens daily so they can escape to live in the other?

Making things even more interesting, Guatemala won the first encounter versus the U.S. in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, a few days ago. This means the U.S. is taking in a lost generation from Guatemala and taking a beating on the field, too.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Ecuador Playing for More than World Soccer Stature

2014 WC Squad
Ecuador has unassumingly made its march up the ladder of the world soccer rankings and currently sits at number 13.  After making its first World Cup appearance in 2002, Ecuador has tried to make it a habit of playing in World Cups. They have appeared in three of the last four, including one breakthrough out of group play into the knockout rounds (It just so happened that England bested Ecuador, 1-0, when David Beckham decided to bend one for the ages).

The two South American qualifiers this week find Ecuador at home versus #43 ranked Paraguay and away versus 8th ranked Columbia. The biggest news of all for Ecuador is that they sit atop the qualifying standings, undefeated with no ties-all wins. So far, Ecuador has raised eyebrows around the world by going four for four in trying to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

As my wife is from Ecuador and I lived there for two years, I tend to follow the national team. I still remember one of my favorite Ecuadorian soccer players of all time, Otilino Tenorio (Spiderman), who I wrote about several years back. 

What I've noticed and appreciated so much about Ecuador's National Team has been its humility blended with talent. It's no secret that most of the team have been black players (Afro-Ecuadorians) since the World Cup run started in the early 2000's.  These black players, to a man, have played soccer on a world stage with a cultural weight on their shoulders.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cricket World Cup Spotlights Non-Soccer Power Countries

If you're not watching highlights from the Cricket World Cup, you may want to give them a glance.  I think they are fun to watch.  Click here for the link.

From a stereotypical, ethnocentric American sports fan's point of view, cricket is definitely a niche world sport, but the argument can be made that baseball and hockey are, as well.  American football can't even be called a niche world sport because not enough countries actively participate in leagues.

Lacrosse would be considered a niche sport.  It has gained popularity in the U.S. over the years, but is not followed with the passions of the mainstream sports.

The two most popular played and spectated world team sports are probably soccer and basketball with soccer being number one.

Volleyball is probably high up there, too.  I would guess that volleyball is third in the world.  The Volleyball World Cup is later this year in Japan.

There's no real definitive chart on the internet to explain the most popular sports played and spectated in the world. It's hard to get completely accurate statistics in this target research area.

Cricket and rugby belong together.  We know that both sports are highly respected in the world and both have international tournaments.  The Rugby World Cup is played later this year in England.

Though most American sports fans know that cricket and rugby are respected world sports, they don't really know the basic rules for scoring and how the games are played.  P.E./Gym classes in American schools don't cover these sports.

Soccer is often defined as the 'beautiful game', but it is equally often referred to as the 'world's game.'

Sunday, January 25, 2015

What About Promotion 'Without' Relegation for MLS?

After reading 'The Lingering Problem that MLS Must Address' from Yahoo! Sports, I came away thinking, "great read, well said and pretty much encompasses entire problem for pro soccer becoming more mainstream in the U.S."  (I've also written extensively on the topic in the past on a few different occasions-Click here for one of them.)

The Yahoo! article touches on every facet and every challenge that MLS must overcome to create a sensational league that will demand the attention of U.S. sports fans.  The author concludes that the singular option to bring MLS to the forefront of American sports theater is to bring in the most talented players in the world and pay them handsomely. Generally, this opinion is agreed on by American soccer fans.

So, if the MLS infrastructure is not ready to pay the best players in the world, is there any other method that would improve Tv ratings, according to the logic set forth from the Yahoo! article?

My thoughts are that the only other possibility would be some kind of form for promotion/relegation.

Tv ratings are the critical element for pro soccer to succeed at the highest level in the U.S.  Finding a solution to improving these ratings won't just magically appear.  It will either take the best players in the world coming here in numbers or some kind of marketing blueprint-such as promotion without relegation.

I've written before in 2012 that a Minor Leagues Cup could be an interesting formula for allowing one team from the minor leagues to play in MLS.  This idea had its genesis when MLS was trying to figure out its 20th team to join the league.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Voice of NFL Films Did Soccer Too

Remembering John Facenda:  He died September 26, 1984, 30 years ago.  This post is dedicated to Facenda.  It was originally published on this site in August of 2011.

The late John Facenda, who many people recognize from his iconic work for NFL Films, also broadcasted Soccer.  His voice is synonymous with drama.  He can be listened to in the video above.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Tale of Two Alzheimer's Patients: Pat Bowlen of The Denver Broncos and Donald Sterling of the Los Angeles Clippers

It is pretty surprising that owners of professional sports teams have made issues such as Native American rights and Alzheimer's disease such hot button issues.

But, maybe it shouldn't feel so surprising considering the history of sport and its omnipotent presence in everyday life.

Sports consistently brings political and social issues to the forefront of the world and American life.  It feel like this is what sports does and has been accomplishing since Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics or Jack Johnson as heavyweight champion in 1908.
Alzheimer's disease is getting more press from the sports world due to the latest soap opera of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA franchise team. And, now there is more news regarding Alzheimer's as the owner of the Denver Broncos, Pat Bowlen, has announced his retirement due to the disease and will step down as chairman of the board.
As the most commonly known form of dementia, Alzheimer's debilitates a person's ability to be themselves. Mostly, the disease confuses a person.  People with Alzheimer's have problems with memory and language.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

WNBA All-Star MVP Shoni Schimmel Replaces Washington Redskins Chatter

Finally, there is something else to talk about regarding Native Americans in sports, other than the NFL Washington, D.C. football nickname.

Shoni Schimmel of the Atlanta Dream, surprised the WNBA sports world, by standing out most among all the All-Stars of Saturday's WNBA All-Star game.  She was named MVP in what was probably the greatest game in WNBA history.

It was the first WNBA all-star game to go to overtime, but it was more than just a close game.  This game saw the some of the most popular lady athletes in the world, playing for the East and West, push each other hard from the get-go through every whistle until the buzzer sounded on every quarter.  Each team wanted to win badly.

In some respects, it was a who's who for women's basketball of all-time.  And, the one who walked away with the trophy for Most Valuable Player was a player raised on a Reservation in the state of Oregon.

Shoni Schimmel wouldn't have been the pick to be the difference maker in this game just as Patty Mills wouldn't have been thought of as the catalyst for an NBA championship.

Patty Mills is the first Aboriginal player to play in the NBA Finals-for the San Antonio Spurs this year (the second Aboriginal player to ever play in the NBA).

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love: It's a Black/White Issue

Make no mistake about it; There's no grey matter.

Whatever the pundits are saying, they only seem to be talking around the issue.  The proposed trade involving Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love has made for interesting opinions.  Mostly, there is just a side to choose for fans of the NBA.

Fans can side with keeping rookie Andrew Wiggins and seeing whether he will truly blossom into his role alongside LeBron as he learns the NBA ropes to superstardom or determine the roadtrip is better served with Kevin Love, a three-time proven All-Star-who is both a leading league scorer and rebounder.

For many, the proposed trade is a toss-up.  There are many factors to consider and it is impossible to predict which scenario of the two will turn out to be the better one.

On one hand, Love has many winning attributes that would compliment LeBron's game.  Love has a soft touch from the outside.  He has drive, determination and will in his game as a player who fights tooth and nail for what he achieves.  He's unselfish and laid back as a persona on and off the floor.

Wiggins, though, brings athleticism to the Nth degree with flash and unbelievable potential.  He could end up being the best player in the League five years from now.  His personality is reserved and not uptight (like a Russell Westbrook).  He's willing to learn and do the hard work.

It's kind of like Larry Bird for Doctor J.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

NFL Re-alignment Could Look Like This...

Is it necessary to have 70,000 seat stadiums?  Can 50-55,000 do the trick? 

It's common knowledge that people aren't always in the mood to rush out to the stadium fighting traffic, paying parking and high ticket prices. 

Televisions are bigger than ever.  80-inch is becoming the new norm.  High-def has been the norm. 

People's houses are their castles.

Don't bust on Jacksonville, Buffalo and Cincinnati just yet.

Bigger is not always better for stadiums.  Baseball proves this every year with the paucity of spectators at meaningless games late in the season. 

Demand always outshines supply when it comes to making an event worthy. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Would Promotion/Relegation Work for the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB?

Is promotion/relegation more than an American professional soccer issue? Could promotion/relegation be an economic boost to all the popular American professional sports, the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB?

My feeling is yes it can.  But, will it be instituted anytime soon for any of them?  No, probably not.

But, it is an interesting question to ask, if it indeed would make owners of American professional sports teams more money in the long run.

If a system is built to support all owners of teams from the minor leagues on up to the top league (numerical divisions typically are used for soccer), each sport could have a better foundation to grow and thrive.

The promotion/relegation system has many capitalistic and evolutionary characteristics that are similar to the U.S. way of life.

Geographically and economically speaking, if metro areas increase or decrease by population, teams could end up promoting or relegating depending on how the economy is for that metro area.  For example, the Clevelands and Detroits of the world will have a tougher time and the Omahas and Boises of the world will be trying to move up.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Would Usain Bolt Ever Wear Braids?

Originally Posted October 2013

I'm watching a batter versus pitcher matchup last night in the MLB NL Wildcard game, Johnny Cueto of the Reds pitching to Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates, and I decided to write today's article, asking, 'Would Usain Bolt Ever Wear Braids?'.

Of course, I'm talking about the hairstyle that is all the rage and has been for a while.  Braids are way past being a fad.  They've been popular with high-school athletes, college athletes and the pros for many years.

I've wanted to write the article for a long time because I think it is an interesting topic, but I kind of always thought it wasn't for a non-wearing braids person to write.

Braids are obviously a very personal and cultural expression and one which I like quite a bit.  But, I've always been inquisitive as to why athletes would want to add so much unnecessary weight to tug from their head, if they are expected to be so quick and agile to the 1/100th of a second.

The hair is so long, it even blocks the name on the back of their jersey sometimes.  Aren't they losing a possible endorsement here or there?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

10 Action-Packed, Fun, Vintage Heavyweight Fights on Youtube

Thank you YouTube.  Since there are no great heavyweight boxing matches anymore, it is a real treat to go back and look at some which provide awesome drama.  They tend to get forgotten and deserve a second look.  The video quality is quite good for each of them.

Ali vs. Spinks I, 1978.  Spinks had only six fights under his belt.  Ali owned the belts. Great action throughout climaxing with an unbelievable 15th round.

Vitali Klitschko vs. Lennox Lewis, 2003.  Interesting that one of the best fights ever would last six rounds. During his call of the fight, Larry Merchant said these were the two most talented, biggest fighters to ever meet in the heavyweight division.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Richard Sherman, Jonathan Martin: Dispelling Stereotypes in One NFL Season

Richard Sherman and Jonathan Martin both went to Stanford and played together there in 2009, 2010. This part of their backgrounds is a shared trait, but for the most part they grew up very differently. Sherman overcame the more traditional inner-city challenges to develop his skill-sets. Martin was born into a family of middle-class and more upward-mobile wealth.

What is mostly similar of Sherman and Martin is how they are dispelling the stereotypes of black athletes.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Manchester United Remains Undefeated at Old Trafford when Antonio Valencia Scores

Manchester United's midfielder from Ecuador, Antonio Valencia, showed his professionalism and skills off Saturday at Old Trafford by scoring the first goal in a 2-0 win over Swansea City.

After a scoreless first half while playing without stars Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney and their team stuck in the middle of the pack in the EPL standings, there were lingering doubts for fans of the Red Devils.

The goal broke the tension for more than 75,000 people watching live and many more fans watching on Tv.

According to Arlo White and his broadcast, when Valencia scores in games at home for Man U., they have never lost or tied.

As I've mentioned before, my wife is from Ecuador and I have residency there.  I lived there for a while in 2004-05.  While there during that time I remember watching a young 19 year-old Valencia play live at Estadio Atahualpa in Quito on a few occasions.

With Premier League matches so much easier to find on Tv now and because Man U. is featured most often of all the clubs, I have begun to watch Valencia more closely.

He's been playing for Man U. since 2009 and has recorded 19 goals and 38 assists for them in all combined competitions.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

25 Championship Records of Superstar Athletes

A player really establishes himself as an all-timer when he is competing for a championship and the public recognizes him as someone who belongs there.

As sports are dominated by a handful of teams, the players associated with those teams begin to ascend the rankings among their peers and standout in the sports world.

There are a limited amount of superstar athletes (aka-future Hall Of Famers) currently playing in each of our most popular pro sports.  This list looks at the great ones and their records in championship finals.  The following players listed have more than one championship appearance.

In honor of Kobe Bryant's return to the NBA regular season after rehab from a torn achilles, he gets to start the list.  He is tied with Derek Jeter for most appearaces in championship finals by a current player.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Should the NFL Eliminate Playoff Byes?

It is overdue.  It doesn't make sense, either.  Sure, the argument is that 1 and 2 seeds don't often make appearances together in the AFC, NFC championship games, but this is not the point.

There's nothing wrong with having 1 and 2 seeds play a first round game.  It only means more playoff games for fans.  How to remedy the situation?  Bring in 2 more additional teams to the playoffs from each conference for a total of 16, rather than 12 teams.

This is not so radical.  It will make the NFL more money because so many more teams will have a chance to make the playoffs and the interest level can remain high. 

Teams who may not have any hope 10 or 11 weeks into the season, could still be in the playoff picture. They can rally and still dream of championship success.  These teams hanging around will keep fans watching on tv, paying for tickets and buying product. 

As it is set-up presently, after 10 or 11 weeks, for most cities, all hope is lost.  There is a serious economical impact at stake.

Is this theory that controversial?  Who would benefit the most?  Fans.  Instead of throwing in the towel and starting to prepare for next year, fans can root on and keep their prayers alive.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Top 10 Most Authentic 'Racing' Movies

There is Oscar buzz for Rush.  To honor the brilliance of Ron Howard and his newest flick, it seems like a good time for a top 10 movies list.

Rush is a racing movie, in case you haven't heard.  So, this top 10 list provides some of the most authentic racing movies of all time.

10) Days Of Thunder (1990). It's classic Tom Cruise.  His name in this movie was Cole Trickle.  I enjoy reviewing the names of the characters he portrays.  Good enough popcorn faire of stock car racing, but not good enough to crack the all-time Cruise movie list.

9)  Downhill Racer (1969).  I don't remember the whole movie, but I know that Robert Redford was a good pick for a hotshot playboy U.S. skier in tough competitions.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The NFL Should Add 8 More Teams

Adding 8 more teams/cities to the NFL would amount to a total of 40 teams, from 32.  The eight divisions would have 5 teams each, instead of 4.  The question is, what cities (metro areas) should new franchises be awarded to?

Before discussing the cities, it's important to discuss whether 8 more teams would be reasonable for the NFL, economically speaking.

Many analysts would scoff at the idea of bringing in so many more teams.

They would say that the abundance of teams will have a negative effect on the bottom line because the league would be spreading itself too thin.

It depends on perception.  There could be less percentage of profits available for the 32 teams, but it also depends on how success is measured.

Jacksonville has fulfilled its obligations at every level, but the league demands more.  They want more gate money and a flawless reputation.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Nick Saban vs. Mack Brown: It's All About the Hair

They were both born in 1951.  Mack Brown, head coach at the University of Texas, is three months older than Nick Saban, head coach at the University of Alabama.

As head coaches at their respective schools, they both have appeared multiple times in the BCS National Championship game.  Saban has the better overall record in the BCS title game among the two of them, 3-0 to Brown's 1-1 (Saban won one other in his only appearance as head coach of LSU, so he is 4-0-overall).

Saban won the one encounter that pitted them directly against each other.

In that 2009 season championship game (it was the 2010 BCS game), Alabama defeated Texas, 37-21.  It was the game that Heisman trophy winner, Mark Ingram, rushed for more than 100 yards and two touchdowns.  But, it is most remembered as the game that Colt McCoy went down early in with a freak injury to his shoulder.

McCoy had played every game of his four year career as a starter (more than 50) and took many vicious hits without having to come out of a game.  This particular one jarred him at the most unfortunate of moments. Without McCoy, Texas didn't really stand a chance to win, although they did make a comeback late to make the game closer.

If this one game had been played without McCoy getting hurt and he had led them to victory, it would have taken one national championship away from Saban and would have given Brown one more, thus closing the gap considerably between them for best BCS record (and how might that one game have changed future records, recruiting for them both-including Saban's next couple of Alabama championships?)

Friday, November 29, 2013

8 Awesome Spanish Bands from Latino America

Sometimes, the music in English isn't enough.  World Music is wonderful.  In all parts of the world, there is music that is fun to listen to.

Music in Spanish can bring more interesting beats and instruments.  These bands have been around a long time and each of them have many hits.  They come from Mexico, Argentina and Chile.

Take a listen and maybe you will agree that if they played in English, they would be super popular.

Let's get it started with a band from Argentina formed in the late 80's, early 90's.  Originally, they were called Vilma Palma y Los Vampiros.  Now, they go by Vilma Palma.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The 5 Most Favorite Sports of JFK

As the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy approaches, our country's 35th President, it seems an appropriate time to look back on his favorite sports to play or to spectate.

President Kennedy had a lot of interest in sports and he understood the value in physical conditioning as it relates to overall wellness for the body and the mind.  He used his administration to put a lot of emphasis on keeping physical fitness a big part in the lives of all Americans, especially young people.  Interestingly, he connected physical fitness to maintaining freedom and asked Americans to take more responsibility in staying healthy and fit.  Kennedy hired Bud Wilkinson, legendary University of Oklahoma football coach, to head his fitness program.

Swimming was a big part of JFK's life.  It was a sport he participated in competitively growing up through his high school years and even into college at Harvard.  He loved being around the water and would often go for long swims in the ocean when on vacation.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Video: Fastest 100 Meters on Hands and Feet Makes Guinness World Record

For Guinness World Record day on Thursday, there were a variety of records broken.

Each year for the last several years, Guinness World Records has been seeking to increase its share of business and branding.  It makes one day a year its own for those people who want to try for the record books in unusual fashion.

Thursday, Kenichi Ito did it his way, almost staying in the same lane on the track.

It looks unnatural to run on all fours, hand and feet, but I'd also say Kenichi looks like an athlete.  It's obvious he's been practicing.

He ran 100 meters on all fours to break his own world record time.  The 30-year old has been training in this unique event for more than a decade.  He made it in 16.87 seconds breaking his previous mark of 17.47 that he set in 2012.

Why would people want to do these strange attempts at freakish activities?  To be different and probably for the glory.

Ito soaked in the moment.  He was very emotional afterwards.

Any chance this event ever makes into the Olympics?  Seems odd to be running like chimpanzees, since us humans can run well upright.