The Girlfriend’s Guide to Sports

Sports with a girly twist!

Lakers take Game 3 June 11, 2008

We all know the NBA Finals are going on right now with game four tomorrow night. With the Boston Celtics taking the first two, the Los Angeles Lakers really needed to step it up in game three if they even wanted to see a chance at the championship, and apparently they did.

The Los Angeles Lakers won game three last night June 10, 2008, with the final score being 87-81. Although Lakers fans everywhere rejoiced in the fact that we were victorious, if you consider yourself a true Lakers fan you can acknowledge that they did not play up to par.

After the game as I watched the numerous people being interviewed, it was only Sasha Vujacic that was man enough to tell it like it is. He said, “We didn’t play well but, we played good enough to win.” Hats off to Sasha for being the only honest one to be interviewed.

If we are being honest here and if you are an avid basketball watcher you know that the Lakers just didn’t play well last night. Lamar was off, Pao was off, and even Fisher had a so-so game. I am usually not the type to brag about the awesomeness of Kobe Bryant but, he was one of the few who were living up to their usual game play, minus his numerous missed free throws. Hopefully Phil Jackson makes Kobe work on his free throws today in preparation for game four.

As for Vujacic, not only was he completely honest during his interview, he happened to play above average last night as well. His nickname is “The Machine,” and he helped out quite a bit in the game last night.

This is what the Lakers need in order to tie the series and even win. The Lakers starting five and the Lakers bench need to play as they have played this whole season, whole-heartedly. The reason the Lakers have made it thus far is because of this and in the first two games of this final series it’s as if that was thrown out the window. Come on Lakers, show the Celtics what you are really made of! Lakers for life.

-Jess

Picture courtesy of espn.com

 

French Open 2008- The Massacre of Federer June 10, 2008

Filed under: Professional Sports — gfg2sports @ 6:03 am
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Well, the worlds the highest paid athlete did not prosper in the French Open finals. World renowned tennis super star Roger Federer was defeated in the final of the French Open on Saturday June 7, 2008. Defeated is an understatement, it was honestly a massacre. The final score of the match was 6-1, 6-3, 6-0.

Federer is the first player in tennis history to lose three French Open finals consecutively. Not only did Federer lose his match, he was evidently upset with his own performance. Despite all this, he managed to keep himself together for the presentation of the trophies where long-time competitor Rafael Nadal was presented with the title of champion and 1st place.

A set back in any tennis players career can be clay-court. Clay is unmistakably more difficult to play on as opposed to grass court play. Not only does the ball bounce differently it is faster paced game on clay.

Even with losing the French Open once again, Federer has maintained a refreshingly positive attitude about the rest of the season and Wimbledon. According to ESPN.com after the match Federer said, “It doesn’t matter now. I’m looking forward to grass. I think the second half of the season, hopefully, is going to be better than the first.”

For Nadal, this is a great title to add to his name. He just beat the player that is rumored to go down as the best player in the history of tennis. Nadal is definitely getting his name out there, not that he necessarily needed to. He was ranked number two in the world for quite some time.

Overall, the French Open 2008 was entertaining and worthwhile to watch, even with Nadal’s massacre on Federer.

-Jess

 

Lester’s No Hitter

Filed under: Professional Sports — gfg2sports @ 6:00 am
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Since baseball is a new found love of mine I find myself frequently checking MLB.com and watching tidbits here and there on ESPN in between the NBA Playoffs. Well, on Monday, May 19, 2008 Jon Lester of the Boston Red Sox pitched a no-hitter.

For those of you who are not that familiar with baseball, a no-hitter is when there are no runs scored during the length of an entire game and no hits, a player may be walked but no hits are actually recorded. It may sound silly for me to even mention that but, I know when I had no interest in baseball I probably thought that a no-hitter was actually a no hitter like, no one hit the ball at all. Which players do hit the ball but it is caught or somehow is proclaimed an out.

Not only is Jon Lester a stellar athlete, he managed to pitch the eighteenth no-hitter in Fenway Park history. According to MLB.com Lester’s warm-up in the bullpen was pitiful however, he told a reporter that he is “a slow starter,” yet he clearly still delivered.

Last night’s game was not only his first no-hitter, it was his first complete career game. What a special night that was for both Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox as a whole.

He pitched a total of 130 pitches with his last pitch traveling at a speed of 94 mph. Catcher, Jason Varitek ran to Lester and hoisted him up like they had just won the World Series. It’s completely understandable though since less than 20 months ago Lester was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma, and look at him now.

Lester gets to join the other three no-hitter records in Red Sox history. Impressively, Jason Varitek has caught all four of them, and he went in to the record books last night as well surpassing other catchers that have caught three no-hitter games.

What a fortunate night for 24 year-old Jon Lester, Veteran Jason Varitek, and all of the Boston Red Sox.

-Jess

 

Big Brown’s Big Flop June 9, 2008

Filed under: Professional Sports — gfg2sports @ 4:31 pm
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There was a lot of hype surrounding the Belmont Stakes, Saturday. With Big Brown victorious in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, many speculated that he would be the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 30 years.

In fact, Big Browns trainer Rick Dutrow Jr., practically guaranteed it. This great claim was the substantiated by the fact that Big Brown had been undefeated in five starts, winning all of them by a combined 39 lengths.

In addition to his brilliant track record, Big Brown’s place in history seemed even more attainable when an undefeated horse, Casino Drive, was removed from the racing lineup because of a bruised hoof.

But like most “sure things” Big Brown just didn’t hold up; sadly, he finished dead. Instead of becoming the 12th Triple Crown winner, Big Brown is the only Triple Crown hopeful to ever fail that miserably.

During the race he ran third for most of the way. His jockey Kent Desormeaux tried to push him into an explosive sprint, but Big Brown did not respond.

Desormeaux slowed Big Brown down when he knew that victory was no longer within his reach. This action was incredibly stunning to the crowd of 94,476 who had come out to watch Big Brown win the Triple Crown.

Desormeaux made the decision to slow down the horse out of concern for his health. With the victory out of reach he decided to make sure that Big Brown would end the race safely. His concern most likely stemmed from the fact that Big Brown was running on a crack in his hoof.

While Big Brown’s defeat was one for the record books, at least we can all be satisfied that he finished the race safely. It would have been terrible to see the potential champ get euthanized like his former competitor Eight Belles.

-Tab

 

Redwings raise the Cup June 5, 2008

I wish I could tell you that I watched Wednesday’s game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburg Penguins, but I can’t…in fact I was forbidden by my father.

After watching the disappointing fifth game of the series with my family, my dad “discovered” that I was a bad luck charm for the ’Wings and I was literally uninvited to watch the conclusion of the finals with him. In fact, he recommended that I skip watching the game entirely…being the obedient daughter that I am, I conceded to his demand.

Well…I’m not sure if my father’s paranoid request had anything to do with it, but one thing’s for sure; the Red Wings dominated the ice last night and took Lord Stanley’s Cup back to Detroit.

The final match took place in Pittsburg at the Mellon Arena, where the Penguins tried to become the second team in history to come back from trailing 3-1 in the final series. The only team to have ever made that come back was the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs.

While the Penguins had an impressive showing in the second period, scoring two goals to tie the game, but they could not rally back against the relentless efforts of the Red Wings. Brian Rafalski scored his second goal in the third period to give the Red Wings the lead. Rafalski’s goal proved to be the game winner with the final score at Red Wings 3, Penguins 2.

This 2008 Stanley Cups victory only continues the winning tradition that the ’Wings have established over the past decade. In the last 11 season the Red Wings have won four Stanley Cup titles. Their victory in 1997 ended their 42-year championship drought. Currently the Detroit Red Wings have won 11 Stanley Cups which is the third highest total in the National Hockey League.

-Tab

 

‘Wings let the game slip between their feathers. June 2, 2008

Filed under: Professional Sports — gfg2sports @ 11:48 pm
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For the Detroit Redwings, last nights match was a must win game. With a 3-1 game lead for the Stanley Cup trophy the Wings needed just one final “V” to earn the title of champions. They were playing in front of their home crowd and everything appeared to be in prime position for their potential hoisting of the cup.

Unfortunately for the ’Wings, the fifth game in the series was also a must win game for the Pittsburg Penguins. In order to continue competing for hockey’s greatest honor, the Penguins needed to pull off a big upset…and they did.

The final score of the match was Penguins 4, Redwings 3. But don’t let this score fool you…last night’s match was all about the Redwings, but sadly it was their game to lose.

At the start of the game the ’Wings were playing nervously. They were not possessing the puck as well as they had in the past four games. The team made several mistakes in the first quarter which ultimately cost them two goals.

The second goal was the result of a terrible play by one of the Redwings’ defensemen. He attempted to clear the puck from the goal box, but his pass was too sharp and it was easily deflected by an opponents skate and into the net. The Redwings couldn’t have given them an easier goal.

The 2-0 lead only lasted the first period. Three minutes into the second period the ’Wings finally put a point on the board. The play became even more aggressive between the rivaling teams, but the referees only seemed to be calling penalties against the home team.

This didn’t phase the Redwings at all. They went on to score two more goals to take the lead. With only a minute left in the third quarter it looked as if the Redwings would be raising the trophy shortly. It seemed as if everyone in the Joe Louis Arena was ready for its unveiling, but the Penguins were not ready to give up their own Stanley Cup dreams.

With just 34.3 seconds left Max Talbot scored the equalizing goal for the Penguins.

Unbelievably the game went on for three overtime periods before either team scored the golden goal. With the Redwings relentless attacking Penguins’ net it seemed as if the title would soon be theirs. The Penguins’ keeper, Marc-Andre Fleury, truly was the man of the match.

While the ’Wings greatly out shot the Penguins they did not make the one shot that mattered. That honor belongs to Penguin Petr Sykora who scored the winning goal with just over nine minutes left in the third overtime.

The battle will now move to the Penguins’ home turf. The game is scheduled at 8 p.m. eastern time on Wednesday June 4.

-Tab

 

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

 

Hockey Lingo May 19, 2008

Filed under: Professional Sports,Sports Rules — gfg2sports @ 8:04 am
Tags: ,

The Stanley Cup Finals is just around the corner and I thought that it would be helpful to go over some classic hockey terminology. After reading this post you will be prepared for active hockey conversations when you watch the seven game series with your friends or family. To learn more about the rules of hockey and about the teams scheduled to play in the finals visit the NHL website at http://www.nhl.com.

Back Check: To obstruct an opponent that is skating toward the defending zone.

Blue Lines: The two lines that appear 60 feet from each goal. These lines are used to divide the rink into three zones: attacking, neutral, and defending.

Body Check: Aggressive use of ones body against an opponent. The check is only considered legal if the player has the puck or was the last one to have touched it.

Butt-ending: The act of hitting one’s opponent with the non-blade end of the stick; this act is considered illegal and is cause for a penalty.

Goal Crease: The four foot by eight foot area in front of the goal that is marked by red lines. No offensive players are permitted to enter it unless they are in possession of the puck

Deke: To lunge quickly to fake opponents out of their current position.

Face Off: The referee drops a puck between two players, one player from each team, to start or resume the game.

Forecheck: To check an opposing player in his defense end to prevent him from making an offensive sprint.

Freezing the Puck: To force the puck against the boards in order to get a stoppage of play. The puck may be pressed by either a skate or stick.

Goal Line: The red line that run between the goal posts and extend all the way to the side boards.

Goal Mouth: The area between the goal and the crease line.

Hat Trick: A player scores three goals in a single game.

One-timer: Hitting the puck immediately off of a pass.

Penalty Box: The area off of the rink where penalized players wait to reenter the game.

Power Play: When a team has a one or two more players than their opposing team due to penalties.

Pulling the Goalie: The act of replacing the goalie with an additional player in an effort to tie or win a close match.

Save: A shot that a goalie prevents from scoring.

Screened Shot: When a goalie’s view is blocked by a player when he is being shot at.

Slap Shot: Taking a full backswing to hit the puck with the blade of the stick.

Slot: The area directly preceding the goal crease. This zone typically has the most action in a game and most goals are scored from it.

Splitting the Defense: When the player in possession of the puck skates between two or more opposing defensemen.

Stick Handling: To maneuver the puck with the stick.

Top Shelf: A high shot the top portion of the net.

Wraparound: Occurs when a player skates behind the goal and attempts to slide the puck around the goal post and into the net.

Wrist Shot: Using a quick snap of the wrist to strike the puck with the blade of the stick.

-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