The Girlfriend’s Guide to Sports

Sports with a girly twist!

Euro Cup 2008, What’s up with Portugal? June 12, 2008

Filed under: Current Events — gfg2sports @ 5:33 am
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To all you devoted soccer fans, the Euro cup is starting to get into the quarter-finals round of play. With favorites including Portugal, and Germany the teams are bringing their best in order to be named champion of Euro Cup 2008.

The buzz is that Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo is the one who is going to carry the Portugal team. In fact, in his last 13 appearances he has scored eight goals. According to soccernet.com he is “the best player on the planet going into the Championships,” (referring to Euro Cup 2008).

Apparently Portugal has the reputation of being inconsistent when it comes to big championships. They made it to the semis and quarter-finals in 2000, and 2002 however, in 2004 in the Euro Cup final they had a shocking loss to Greece, a loss that will not be forgotten.

With Coach Luis ‘Big Phil’ Scolari leading the team the Portuguese have a chance to take it. Sadly, the contract of Scolari is ending soon after the Euro Cup tournament, with many teams looking to hire him.

 The problem for Portugal that is critical in play is: the lack of defense. Portugal is known to have an exceptional offense, and a so-so defense. With a team that is not particularly well-rounded it is hard to make it far, and this is what has seemingly been the problem for quite some time now.

It is not that the defense is bad but, they lack discipline. The defense as a whole makes silly mistakes that can be easily corrected with more time and effort.

If Portugal wants to become the champions they are going to have to step up their game, not only in their so-called average defense but, in their incredibly good offense as well. Strategic mid-field play will be pivotal to this team’s success throughout the tournament.

Maybe this will be the year for Portugal, and I guess we’ll find out soon.

-Jess

 

 

 

Boy’s family sues after a hit off a metal bat leaves him brain damaged May 19, 2008

Imagine that you’re watching your son or daughter play in a friendly recreational baseball game when suddenly their vitality is taken away with just one swing of a bat. What would you do if your child was suffered brain damage? How would you respond? Do you think lawsuits would be involved?

The answer is yes; at least it was in the case of Steven Domalewski.

Steven was severely injured while he was pitching in a Police Athletic League game. In June 2006, he was struck by a line drive from an aluminum bat. According to his doctors, the force of the ball essentially stopped his heart from beating. Without a heartbeat, Domalewski’s brain was deprived of oxygen for nearly 20 minutes.

The boy’s parents are now suing the manufacturer of the bat, Hillerich & Bradsby Co., and the store that sold it, Sports Authority. Little League Baseball has also been named in the suit because their rules do not prohibit the use of metal bats. The claim stems from the family’s belief that the defendants knew that the bat was dangerous for use in youth games.

I think that it is interesting to note that Little League Baseball has been named in the suit rather than the Police Athletic League, considering that that was the league that Steven was actually participating in when he received that catastrophic blow.

Personally, I think that what happened to Steven is an unfortunate tragedy. I hope that his case is successful in shedding light on the apparent danger of using aluminum bats for youth athletics. If the bat is truly at fault, it is incredibly important that the rules are changed to prevent future injuries.

While I hope that the case raises awareness about the dangers involved in youth sports, I do not believe that the claims of this suit have any substantial truth whatsoever. While an aluminum bat may enhance a player’s ability to hit a ball harder, it is difficult to buy into the idea that the bat is entirely responsible for Steven’s injury.

The batter may have had an incredibly powerful swing without the questionable bat; it is arguable that the ball may have injured Steven similarly even if it had been wooden. There is no reasonable way of testing this theory, but there is also no reliable way to disprove it.

Currently, Little League and Hillerich & Bradsby Co. have denied any wrongdoing while the Sports Authority has yet to respond publicly.

-Tab

 

LRZ Racer…What’s all the fuss about? May 16, 2008

We have all seen our fair share of controversial swimsuits…from barely-there Brazilian styles that show every part of the female physique, to their equally appalling male counterparts: banana hammocks and grape smugglers. But never before has a swimsuit raised so many eyebrows.

In February, Speedo introduced a new bodysuit that gives competitive swimmers an all new edge. The official name of the suit is the LRZ Racer. With its specialize fabric (a combination of a polyurethane layer with a layer of normal fabric) and technologically advanced design, swimmers can easily maneuver in the pool.

The controversy comes from the usage of the new blended fabric. Many critics claimed that the material violated the anti- buoyancy rules that have been established by FINA (the aquatic sports world’s governing body). The suit has since been tested and determined to be in accordance with all FINA regulations.

In addition to the fabric controversy, there has also been great discussion about the suit’s new high tech design. NASA contributed to its design; the space agency’s big advancement came from the compression and the positioning of support panels around the center of the suit. This space aged design provides core stability that traditional swimsuits just don’t have.

Since its release, 19 world records have been broken. The LRZ Racer was worn in 18 of the 19 victories; this fact is a testament to the suit’s future impact on competitive swimming. There has been considerable discussion about whether or not the suit would be worn by competitors in the upcoming Olympics. As of right now the suit is still considered legal and may be worn by Olympic athletes.

There is additional debate over the suits appearance at the Olympics because there are national teams that are contracted to swimsuit companies other than Speedo. These teams are contractually obligated to wear suits that do not have this new technology. This would possibly lead to an unfair advantage for the national teams that do have a Speedo contract.

Competing swimsuit companies are now racing to copy the new design and get it approved so that their athletes will have the same opportunity as Speedo sponsored athletes.

-Tab

 

Who said tough guys can’t wear pink? May 13, 2008

Filed under: Current Events,Professional Sports — gfg2sports @ 7:00 am
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Who would have thought that big, buff baseball players would even consider looking at the color pink? I sure didn’t, I mean, look at the majority of ball players: thick, and manly. Now, do thick and manly sound like they would go with the color pink? I didn’t think so.

On Sunday, May 11th, 2008 the glorious day that Mothers everywhere got to rejoice for a day of relaxation, the MLB players all sported pink bats, wristbands, embroidered patches on their jerseys, you name it, they had it.

This was tradition that has been going for three years now. On Mother’s Day the MLB players wore pink which represented the Susan G. Komen Foundation that is dedicated to Breast Cancer. Each player wore these in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. I am highly impressed that an organization such as the MLB has begun doing events and activities like these.

These are the stories we need to hear about, not about Carmelo Anthony’s DUI, but about things like the MLB players sporting pink for a day, and like when Chicago White Sox Center Fielder Nick Swisher cut his hair to give it to the organization “Pantene Beautiful Lengths” in honor of his grandmother who died from brain cancer. These are the athletic sports stories that the media should highlight.

It is nice to see that being men that are so highly idolized have enough humility to do a simple task like wear pink to represent such a great cause.

According to MLB.com all the pink stuff that was used by the MLB players will be auctioned off on MLB.com. This is also going towards the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and not only did they already raise 50,000 dollars, that amount is still rolling due to upcoming auction items. You can actually go on MLB.com and for a reasonable price buy a personalized Mothers Day 2008 bat and part of the proceeds will go towards the foundation as well.

Many players released statements that were very heartfelt and you could truly see the excitement they felt about participating in something like the “Going to Bat against Breast Cancer” program.

Props to all the MLB players for being a part of such an important issue that we continually see affecting our daily lives, keep up the good deeds guys.

-jess

 

Derby Death May 5, 2008

Over the weekend the 134th Kentucky Derby was held; a horse named Big Brown came in first. Sadly, this fact is not the most notable occurrence at the Derby. Unfortunately tragedy struck as the second place horse, Eight Belles, who stumbled and broke both of her front ankles.

Eight Belles was then immediately euthanized right there on the track.

According to an article found on the ESPN website there hasn’t been a horse that went down at the Kentucky Derby in over thirty years.

I know that my writing about the Kentucky Derby is kind of a stretch for this blog, but I think it’s pertinent enough. The reason that I’m writing this post is to inform other people about what kind treatment these horses are receiving.

Not only are they whipped and kicked, they are also denied any kind of a chance at life when they are injured. I’m not truly an animal rights activist or anything, but honestly this aspect of horse racing is barbaric.

I know that horse racing has been around for centuries, and that killing an injured horse is routine, but I truly wish it wasn’t.

Apparently I’m not the only one; People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, better known as PETA, is now seeking to have the jockey that was riding Eight Belles, Gabriel Saez, suspended.

According to another article found on the ESPN website, PETA faxed a letter to the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority claiming the Eight Belles was “doubtlessly injured before the finish”.

The letter also indicated that PETA would like there to be ban on whipping, limits on the number of races each horse can compete in, limits on age of racehorses, and a move to softer, artificial surfaces for all courses.

Like I said earlier, I am not an animal activist, but I would like to see new policies implemented that would better protect both jockeys and horses.

-Tab

 

Seven Sports Vie for 2016 Olympic Admission April 26, 2008

Filed under: Current Events,Olympics — gfg2sports @ 7:01 pm
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Earlier this month I wrote an entry about how golf may gain inclusion into the Olympics for the first time in over a century. I have now discovered that golf in not the only sport with Olympic aspirations.

In addition to golf, there are six other sports that are in consideration for inclusion in the 2016 Olympics Games. The other sports are softball, baseball, rugby, squash, karate, and roller sports. I can imagine it now…kick ass roller-derby chicks whizzing around a track, sporting the good ole’ red, white, and blue. Just kidding…I’m not sure exactly what “roller sports” would entail, but I thought that I would entertain you with one of my strange fascinations. Now lets get back to the story…

While there are seven sports vying for a bid, only one or two will actually get admitted. Aww…sad face! The Olympic Games only allows for the inclusion of 28 sports, with 26 already selected for 2016.

In June 2009, the IOC executive board will meet with leaders from all seven sports; each leader will make a presentations and the executive board will then submit proposals to the entire IOC on which sports to include.

The IOC will then decide which sports will gain admission by a simple majority vote. In previous years a two-thirds majority was needed, but luckily this was amended last year.

In the 2005 meeting of the ICO, the governing body rejected the admission of softball, baseball, golf and the four other sports that were hoping to gain inclusion. The actions of the IOC resulted in the 2012 Olympic Games having only 26 sports rather than the usual 28.

By now you must be wondering which sports have the best chance for getting the bid.

Well…there is now way to be sure. Personally, I’m torn about which sports that I would like to see. It would be interesting to watch a sport like rugby or squash for the first time, but I doubt that that will happen. I predict that both softball and baseball will receive entry because they are the most recent sport to be dropped from the Olympics. While this may be viewed as a negative facet, I believe that it is actually a positive trait because both sports will be in the recent memory of the ICO and the rest of the world for that matter.

Softball and baseball have been vying for a chance to return to the Olympics since both sports were narrowly voted out by the International Olympic Committee in 2005. Both softball and baseball will be present at this summer’s Beijing Olympics, but will be absent from the 2012 Olympic Games, which are scheduled to be held in London, England.

-Tab

 

OMG. Danica actually won! April 22, 2008

Filed under: Current Events,Professional Sports — gfg2sports @ 2:46 am
Tags: , , , ,

Irony struck Sunday when Danica Patrick won her very first IndyCar race.

Yeah, yeah, yeah…I really laid into her in my last blog, but what can I say she hadn’t done tremendously well in her first 50 races and who would have thought…this week of all weeks; she would step up and finally win!

Patrick placed first at the Indy Japan 300 and it truly was a historic day for the male dominated racing scene. While she has acknowledged her victory as historical, she still remained humble through the entire experience.

“I just hoped and believed when I was young that it would happen and if I had the right opportunity that it could,” Patrick said about her first IndyCar victory, the first by a woman in the 100 years of US open-wheel racing.

I, for one, am proud of her. She has always intrigued me because of her status as a female racer and I applaud her for this win.

When she was asked about whether she had a disadvantage in racing because of her gender, Patrick said: “Well, I think that the disadvantage to overcome was just that I hadn’t won.”

I hope that this is the first of many wins for Patrick. I know that she has a rare talent that is just beginning to blossom. She is just 26 years old and she will most likely have a long career ahead of her.

I have not been disillusioned by her victory. I still stand by what I said in my last blog. I really do believe that as a very public female athlete she could better represent herself by not showing off her sexual side.

I hope she gets all the attention she deserves as a racer and not as that hot chick that drives racecars. With this win, Patrick cemented her place in history, but it would be a shame if other factors overshadowed her accomplishments.

 

Wait a second…I thought the Olympics were about sports, right? April 13, 2008

If you have been watching the news at all lately, you’ve probably heard all about the Olympic protest and torch extinguishing attempts. In fact, last week the torch was extinguished a reported five times while it traveled through Paris, France. The protesters are concerned about issues relating to Tibet and other human rights violations. With all this talk about Chinese politics, it makes me beg the question, ‘Aren’t the Olympics suppose to be about sports?’

The most straight forward answer is, yes. The Olympic Games are suppose to be a time where athletes from all around the world get together to showcase their talents and compete at the most premier level imaginable. It is obvious that spirit of the Games is being diminished by all the hoopla; in a time when we should be comparing player stats and shooting playful trash talk at one another, we are instead focused on China’s internal affairs.

While the Olympic Games should put a spotlight on tremendous athletes, this spotlight is currently burning so bright that the entire world can see right in China’s front window, so-to-speak. While China was hoping to use this attention to promote their own agenda about their growth and advancement, the world has instead turned their collective eyes on China’s many problems.

The focus primarily rests on China’s dealings with Tibet, but there has also been discussion about other human rights issues and the pollution problem in Beijing. As shameful as it is to admit, I had no idea what the news meant about ‘Tibet Controversy,’ until I started researching for this article.

In short, in the early 1900s Tibet existed as an independent Buddhist country, but in 1950 the Communist controlled Chinese government took over Tibet and claimed it as part of China. There has been controversy and resistance ever since. The current protests are utilizing China’s Olympic spotlight to raise awareness about this substantial injustice.

Governments all around the world are reacting to this display. Reportedly, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has stated that he is planning to boycott the opening ceremony and Prince Charles of England has said that he would simply not attend the Olympics at all.

In the U.S., members of Congress passed a resolution, Resolution 1077, which calls on the Chinese government to begin discussion with the Dalai Lama, the Buddhist leader of Tibet, in order to find a lasting solution that will result the country’s respect for human rights of Tibetans.

So what does the Chinese government have to say about all this? “The Tibet issue is completely China’s internal affairs. No foreign countries or international organizations have the right to interfere in it,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

For the most part I agree with her. No one is digging up our dirt and telling us to give California back to Mexico or our entire country back to Native Americans for that matter, and besides this has NOTHING to do with the Olympics, at all.

Hopefully this all gets resolved before August, when the Olympic Games are scheduled to begin. I am not trying to be insensitive to the human rights violations that are going on, but you would think that China would have ‘cleaned the house before inviting everyone to dinner.’ What we’re really looking at here is a huge PR nightmare that could have definitively been avoided. It’s sad for both the Tibetans and the Olympians that their issues have to be so tragically entwined, because after all the Olympics are suppose to be about sports, right?

-Tab