The Girlfriend’s Guide to Sports

Sports with a girly twist!

Rugby’s Hidden Gem June 1, 2008

Jonny Wilkinson is one of sport’s greatest hotties, and I’ve never even heard of him.

This hidden gem just so happens to be one of the world’s greatest rugby stars. (Well…now you know why I’ve never heard of him.)

Wilkinson began his rugby career when he was scouted at one of his high school matches. He left school in 1997 to start his career as a Newcastle Falcon.

Jonny is currently playing professional rugby for both the Newcastle Falcons, in the Guinness Premeirship, and the English national team.

At just 18 years old, Jonny made his national team debut against Ireland on April 4, 1998. After this first match, Jonny began starting regularly for the English national team. He made his World Cup debut in 1999.

His career with the Falcons was just as impressive. In 2001 he assisted the team in winning the Tetley’s Bitter Cup.

Jonny really began his rise to fame in 2003 after he kicked the winning goal in overtime to help England win its first World Cup.

Wilkinson’s remained dominant for the past several years. Just last year, he became the highest point-scorer in the history of the Five/Six Nations Championship.

Overall, Jonny has a great reputation for his extreme dedication to training and his incredible work ethic; an example of this commitment is that he spends hours a day practicing his goal-kicks.

Wilkinson’s dedication has obviously paid odd throughout the years because he is currently considered at the top of his game.

He is also at the top of our very own hottie list!

-Tab

 

Soccer’s Swedish Super-Hottie May 26, 2008

David Beckham is sooooo hot! Yeah, yeah, yeah…I’ve heard it a gazillion times. What’s worse is that he recently moved to the States, to play for the L.A. Galaxy, and the press coverage and hoopla has grown even bigger.

What I wanna know is why all of the other soccer hotties are lacking in attention. While millions of girls ogle Beckham they rarely discuss the other studs out on the football pitch.

For this reason we have take this week to honor Fredrik Ljungberg as the sports hottie of the week. Like the fore mentioned David Beckham, Ljungberg is too an undie model (he sports Calvin Klein’s) and European soccer phenomenon.

Ljungberg was born on April 16, 1977 in Vittsjö, Sweden. He grew up playing multiple sports, but primarily focused his efforts on soccer. He played for a local club team until he began playing outside mid-fielder or ‘winger’ for the Swedish national team. Later that year he went on to sign with Arsenal, one of the greatest professional teams in Europe, at just 19 years old.

Ljungberg worked his way into a starting position by his second season. He played a large role in Arsenal’s victories in both the Premiership and the Football Association Challenge Cup (i.e. the Super Bowl of European soccer) in 2001-02 season.

Unfortunately Ljungberg has been plagued with nagging injuries for the past few seasons. He even suffered from blood poising in 2005. While he recovered from this ailment, he has been suffering from an ankle injury for quite some time. Some have speculated that this reoccurring physical inability may have contributed to his transfer to West Ham United last season.

While his soccer career has fluctuated from great to mediocre, his physical appearance has been consistent: one thing is for sure, Fredrik Ljungberg is a mega hottie!

-Tab

 

Kobe got MVP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! May 8, 2008

On May 6, 2008, 29 year-old LA Laker, Kobe Bryant, was named MVP of the NBA for the 2007-2008 season. Not only is he well deserving of this unique award, it’s about time!

Kobe has come in third place for the MVP nomination twice within the last two seasons, after Steve Nash, and Dirk Nowitzki. For Kobe, this season of all seasons has been recognizably different from the last few. After the three-peat ending in 2002, Kobe had to pick his team up from basically nothing. He kept his faith in his team noticeable and built a foundation for what is now a great basketball team once again.

I have to admit, with Kobe’s “Rape Scandal,” with the random Colorado girl in the 2003 season, he lost a lot of support from his fans. For those of you who don’t know, he did admit to having sexual relations with that woman for one night on an away game road trip, when in fact he has been married since 2001, and I do not agree with adultery by any means but, who are we to judge his personal life? His wife took him back, and that is what I think is the most important, Hilary stood by Bill when we had relations with Ms.Lewinsky, so what makes this situation any different?

Back to the point, Kobe lost a great fan base when this happened but he did not let that faze him. He continued to re-build his team. Around the same time all this happened the LA Lakers began getting a better range of players again, picking up people like Ronny Turiaf, Devin George, Brian Cook, Smush Parker, and Kwame Brown.

Although these players were helpful in the re-building process, most were traded in order to build a “dream team” once again.

However, the last few seasons the LA Lakers have been so fortunate to get players such as, Derek Fisher, who was part of the original dream team, Andrew Bynum, Trevor Ariza, and outstanding, yet versatile center/power forward Pao Gasol.

So, Kobe has pretty much stoked that he did not have to be such a ball hog anymore because he had such awesome players in his general vicinity. You can see this is in his play and how much it has changed over the last few seasons, especially this 2007-2008 season.

Not only is Kobe estimable of this award, he has truly earned his place in NBA history.

 

Amy Rodriquez-Living the Dream April 28, 2008

I began playing soccer in a time where Mia Hamm was quickly becoming household name and the U.S. Women’s National Team was well on their way to earning international recognition as a one of the most premier programs in the world. The success of the WNT led to a boom in popularity for the sport. The term ‘soccer mom’ was practically synonymous to the word ‘mom’ because practically everybody’s kid seemed to be playing soccer. Soccer was everywhere and girls’ soccer, in particular, was becoming more and more mainstream.

Every time the WNT came to Southern California I would be there, along with literally thousands of other little girls cheering and crying when they watch their heroes walk out on to the pitch. We all dreamed of becoming the next Hamm, Foudy, or Scurry.

Now here I am 17 years later; I almost finished with my college eligibility and as of right now my dreams of making the WNT are pretty much nonexistent. While my dreams of competing at the international level may have been stifled, a girl that I grew up playing against is currently preparing for the Beijing Olympics.

Amy Rodriguez was always a ball of energy; I remember my coaches instructing the defenders on my team how to mark her. Her speed alone made the feat practically impossible, and when you combined it with her technical skill and remarkable ability to make a connection with the net she was unstoppable.

For the past three years Rodriguez has been attending the University of Southern California. At USC she has had a tremendous career. This past season Rodriguez had 10 goals, three assists and three game-winners during USC’s NCAA championship drive. These points elevated her to rank No. 6 all-time in career points (59), No. 6 in career goals (23) and No. 4 in career game-winning goals (9) at USC.

Rodriguez has played and scored in several of the CONCACAF tournament games, which were held as the Olympic qualifiers. The U.S. won the tournament and received the top seed for the Beijing Olympics. Now they are scheduled to play Norway, Japan and New Zealand in the first round.

In August I will be watching and cheering for the WNT as they compete for Olympic gold. My heart will be with all of them, but I will be rooting for Amy in particular. She is living proof that little girls can grow up and be just like Mia Hamm. Maybe one day little girls will grow up dreaming about being the next A-Rod, as her teammates like to call her.

-Tab

 

A Role Model for All April 22, 2008

5. When you are having a texting conversation with someone and in the middle of it they disappear. This is on the list of the Top Ten things that Annoy Maria Sharapova, as posted on her website mariasharapova.com.

Well, you’re not alone Maria. It’s refreshing to know that the highest paid female athlete in the world has a similar annoyance to any other type of person.

A few things about Maria that will help you better understand where she comes from are: she is originally from Russia where she began playing tennis at the age of four. Maria and her Dad decided to try to pursue her passion for tennis by moving to the U.S. Her mother stayed behind in Russia to finish her college degree and for concerning visa issues. She followed them after a long two years. Maria attended an outstanding tennis academy in Florida, IMG’s Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy. She began training more and more and eventually started entering into tournaments. She actually won Wimbledon at the young age of 17, and has been very successful ever since.

Maria is not only the highest paid female athlete but she has an overwhelming amount of sponsors some of which include, Tag Heuer, Cannon, Sony Ericsson, and Prince.

She also happens to maintain her poise on and off the court. She attends many red carpet events looking well polished, if you didn’t know already Miss Sharapova is a model too, as if being a ridiculously great athlete isn’t enough to make us love her.

Maria also has founded an organization called The Maria Sharapova Foundation that is dedicated to underprivileged children and it gives them the opportunity to achieve their dreams.

Maria is an excellent role model for athletes everywhere, more specifically young female athletes. Like my partner Tabitha said in a recent post concerning Danica Patrick, as a celebrity status female athlete, there are other ways to get noticed, and I think Maria does a fantastic job of doing so.

In addition, the original reason I wanted to recognize Maria is because on Sunday April 13, 2008 she won her first ever clay-court tournament. This is an outrageous accomplishment for any tennis player, especially one like Maria who has been in the business since such a young age.

So, Congrats Maria!

 

What a Week for Candace Parker? NCAA Championship & No. 1 WNBA Draft Pick April 13, 2008

Candace Parker just had the best week EVER!

First, she led the University of Tennessee women’s basketball team, the Lady Vols, to its second consecutive NCAA Division I title Tuesday in Tampa.

The following day she went on to be selected by the Sparks as the No. 1 overall draft pick in the WNBA.

Parker is a tremendous selection for the Sparks; her awards and accolades are practically innumerable. She’s won nearly every major basketball related award since high school.

In 2005 Parker was a medical-red shirt with a knee injury for her first season at the university, but she recovered and went on to become one of the best basketball players to have ever graced the Lady Vol’s court.

This weekend Parker flew to Los Angeles to spend time getting to know her new teammates and making arrangements for her move to LA.

Parker is scheduled to graduate in May with a degree in sports management, but she will be commuting between LA and Knoxville, where the University of Tennessee is located, for training camp with the Sparks.

“I’m very tired,” she said. “I took a long flight here, but it’s just been something that, you’re not going to get these hours back. Winning a national championship and then turning around and being drafted No. 1 is an amazing feeling . . . it’s too bad that it had to happen, bam, bam, bam, because you had no time to sit back and absorb it.”

Parker is scheduled to graduate in May with a degree in sports management, but she will be commuting between LA and Knoxville, where the University of Tennessee is located, for training camp with the Sparks.

The Sparks are very excited by the addition of Parker. Fellow Sparks’s teammate Lisa Leslie, three time WNBA most valuable player, is looking forward to playing with her.

There had been concerns that rivalry would develop between Parker and Leslie the way it had between Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, but Leslie went on to squash these concerns by saying that she looks forward to being a mentor for Parker.

“This is the beauty of the sport,” she said. “I came along and I was a lot better than a lot of the centers that played the game, and now you have another player who’s even more phenomenal than me coming along. Then, there’s going to be someone behind her, so this is how it goes, this is part of life and I love it.”

-Tab