The Girlfriend’s Guide to Sports

Sports with a girly twist!

Where in the world did mascots come from? May 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — gfg2sports @ 11:10 pm
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What do you think of when you hear the term ‘team mascot’? In the past that term use to instantly fill my head with images of a dopey-looking furry creature running around a baseball field acting like a crazed rodeo clown.

Mascots have been a used for all sorts of things since their introduction sometime in the late 1800s. The term ‘mascot’ was integrated into the English language after Edmund Audran wrote a comic operetta entitled La Mascotte.

One website, gameops.com, asserts that mascots come from a much older era. This site proclaims that the concept of a mascot has been around since the time of cavemen.

The authors of the article entitled, “Brief History: From art to reality,” believed that ancient humans used the image of animals to bring them luck while they harvested food or fought disease. They argued that cavemen wanted to magically channel the power of animals and that is why they would occasionally dress up in their likeness.

I’m not sure if I buy all that mumbo jumbo, but I thought it was only fair to include every opinion about the origin of mascots.

Well back to reality…Webster’s dictionary defines a mascot as “a person, animal, or object adopted by a group as a symbolic figure especially to bring them good luck.”

Luck, eh? Well now this is starting to make sense…we all know that athletes are considerable superstitious. I’m sure you’ve heard stories about teams not showering or shaving during the season…maybe you’ve heard about a player that keeps a lucky ‘treasure’ in their sock or locker. It’s really the same idea, something external will help bring luck to the player or team.

This idea of luck may have contributed to the rapid proliferation of mascots since their introduction two centuries ago. Nowadays, it is practically impossible to think of an American sports team that does not have some sort of mascot whether it be a costumed individual or otherwise.

As hard as it is to believe, even bad-ass sports teams have mascots. Take for instance the Oakland Raiders, while t don’t have a fury or costumed Pirate running around, their cartoon pirate insignia on their helmets and jersey’s work in the same fashion.

My perception of mascots has changed dramatically over this last year. During the 2007 soccer season my school’s costumed mascot, a blue and gold colored eagle, appeared at one of my soccer matches.

Strangely, I didn’t even know we had that costume until he just showed up that day. The Golden Eagle couldn’t have picked a better game to make his debut; there were literally a few hundred fans lining the field and the match was incredibly intense, at half time the score was tied 0-0.

While my coach was giving his usual half time pep talk, my mind and eyes wondered away. In that moment I became transfixed with the giant furry eagle. He was just flapping away trying to get the crowd pumped up for the next half. For whatever reason, I too became motivated by this ridiculously disguised classmate of mine.

I don’t know what it was…maybe the eagle was a bit magical or something, but my teammates fought harder than they ever had and we ended up winning the game 1-0. The victory was incredibly unexpected because our opponents had previously beaten us 8-1.

I’m not certain that we magically channeled the majestic spirit of the eagle, but we must have had a little luck on our side and maybe… just maybe…the eagle helped us to do some mighty fine ass kicking! We may never know.

-Tab

 

Soccer’s Swedish Super-Hottie

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

 

So this doesn’t have anything to do with Sports but… May 20, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — gfg2sports @ 3:28 am

So my mom has this weird tendency to always know these new animal stories that no one else has even heard of. I don’t even know what her sources are, all I know is when we sit down at the dinner table one of the first things you hear about is something that happened to this random animal in China that’s going to go extinct and so on and so forth. Well, I decided to take my mom’s updates in the animal world and put them to good use.

For all you animal lovers out there who have a liking about random animal news, come check out my new blog. It has nothing to do with sports but, for my class we have to create a different blog from the one we are already writing, and this is the topic I have chosen.

I will be writing about pretty much anything new and exciting in the world we call “The Animal Kingdom.”

It won’t be as in depth as gfg2sports but it will still be something new and fun.

Come check it out!

-Jess

P.S. This is a little late I know but, better late than never right?

 

His teammates call him “Hollywood,” and I don’t blame them

Well, the kids of Cole Hamels and his former Playboy model wife are definitely not going to be crying the blues later in life. I mean, having two great looking people like that together should not even be allowed.

Twenty-four year old Cole Hamels plays in the MLB as the starting left-handed pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies. Being left-handed in any sport is unique and to be a starting left-handed pitcher makes you even better.

Cole Hamels was born in San Diego and grew up there his whole life. He has been playing baseball from a very young age and had many scouts interested in him when he was playing in high school at Rancho Bernardo High School. Unfortunately in his junior year he broke his pitching arm and local scouts, such as the San Diego Padres, lost interest in Hamels.

Lucky him that he is that good that he ended up still getting drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the first round draft pick in 2002. He played minor league ball until his major league debut in 2006.

He also married his hottie of a wife Heidi Strobel in 2006 as well, what a year for Cole Hamels.

Cole Hamels has continuously continued to deliver for the Philadelphia Phillies; he recently pitched a shut-out on May 16, 2008 against the Atlanta Braves.

Keep up the great work Cole!

-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

 

Hockey Lingo

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

 

Two Sports and he’s hot, what more could you want? May 13, 2008

Filed under: Sports Hotties — gfg2sports @ 9:34 pm
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Well I surely hope I am not the only one who hasn’t heard of Jeremy Bloom up until this point. He’s ridiculously hot, and he plays two sports! Two!

Jeremy Bloom is currently the Wide Receiver/Return Specialist for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League and he is a competitive Skier. He has actually won two Olympic titles, three World Championships, and in 2005 six straight World Cup races in skiing, that’s a record in the history of skiing!  

However, apparently in 2006 Blooms decided to focus primarily on his football career, leaving skiing to enjoy for leisure. I’m a little saddened by this but, that’s ok. He still did both, not many athletes can pull off being good at two sports, so kudos to Jeremy Bloom for his tremendous achievements.

He has been participating in both football and skiing from a young age. And here’s another random fact, he was born in Colorado, hence the reason for the snow sport, and football, well I guess he just really enjoyed it.

He also happens to be a male model and has modeled for companies such as Abercrombie & Fitch, GQ Magazine, and Cosmo Magazine.

I am in awe that someone can even pull off playing two sports professionally, and let alone be overwhelmingly good looking too.

Keep your eye out for our next sports hottie; he plays a sport that lets you wear jewelry while playing, and has a hot wife!!

 

Picture is  the compliments of Google Image Search.

 -Jess

 

 

 

 

Who said tough guys can’t wear pink?

Filed under: Current Events,Professional Sports — gfg2sports @ 7:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

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

 

College Lacrosse: Army beats Navy for the first time in 11 years. May 12, 2008

Filed under: College Sports — gfg2sports @ 4:46 pm
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I have found a new love in college lacrosse; it truly reminds me of an aerial version of soccer. Much like soccer the play is fast, aggressive and physical. The players are constantly hitting one another with their bodies and with their sticks.

As a new admirer of the sport I have yet to go and experience a game first hand, but I have been keeping up with the NCAA Division I college season via ESPNU (the ESPN channel that is dedicated to showing college sports).

Recently, I got the pleasure of watching my very first Army/Navy game. On Friday afternoon I watched the match which was previously recorded on April 12. I know that this entry is a little untimely, but I thought that the events were notable enough to discuss.

On Saturday April 12, Navy travelled to West Point to match up against their Academy rivals, Army. The results of their previous matches had been terribly one sided; Navy had been victorious in the last 13 games against Army. The Navy senior classes from 2001 to 2007 had never lost to Army in their entire college careers.

Unfortunately for Navy, this tradition of victory came to an end on that fateful Saturday afternoon. The final score was Army 9, Navy 6. This victory marked the first time that Army beat Navy for the first time in 11 years.

This game was one of the final games of the regular season. The NCAA Division I Tournament began its first round of playoffs this week. If you are interested in watching any of these games you can find the schedule on the Lacrosse page of the ESPN website. The final match is scheduled for May 26 at Harvard University at the Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

Keep an eye out for a future post that fully outlines the rules of the game!

-Tab