How many World Series have seen Game 7 go to extra innings?

How many World Series have seen Game 7 go to extra innings?

The 2016 Cubs/Indians World Series was the 4th time.(Although in 1912 game 8 went extra innings-see below for more info on that)

World Series extra-innings in game 7
• 1924 Washington def N.Y. Giants 4-3 in 12
• 1991 Minnesota def Atlanta 1-0 in 10
• 1997 Florida beat Cleveland 3-2 in 11
• 2016 Cubs def Indians 8-7 in 10

*55 extra-inning games have been played in World Series history.

Source for above:  World Series extra-inning games: http://m.mlb.com/news/article/1259616//

Interesting fact: I was looking up world series game 7’s with extra innings and noticed in 1912 game 8 went to extra innings. 1912 was one of only four World Series to go to eight games, and the only best-of-seven Series to do so. While the 1912 Series was extended to eight games due to a tie game being called on account of darkness, the 1903, 1919, and 1921 World Series were all best-of-nine affairs that happened to run eight games.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1912_World_Series

Advertisements

American Pharoah is Triple Crown Winner # 12!

Triple Crown Winners

Sir Barton – 1919
Gallant Fox – 1930
Omaha – 1935
War Admiral – 1937
Whirlaway – 1941
Count Fleet – 1943
Assault – 1946
Citation – 1948
Secretariat – 1973
Seattle Slew – 1977
Affirmed – 1978
American Pharoah – 2015

Sir Barton – 1919    Gallant Fox –1930      Omaha – 1935      War Admiral – 1937      Whirlaway – 1941     Count Fleet – 1943 Assault – 1946 Citation – 1948 Secretariat – 1973 Seattle Slew – 1977 Affirmed – 1978     American Pharoah – 2015

To read more about each triple crown winner, click on any of the 12 names above

Triple Crown Records:

Kentucky Derby- 1:5925, Secretariat, 1973
Preakness Stakes- 1:53, Secretariat, 1973 
Belmont Stakes- 2:24, Secretariat, 1973 

Kentucky Derby Facts and Information

Kentucky Derby facts:

  • First Saturday in May- The Kentucky Derby is run annually on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Triple Crown Part 1- The Derby is the first race in horse racing’s coveted Triple Crown, which also includes the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.
  • Greatest Two Minutes in Sports- The race is known as “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” for its approximate run time. The Derby is also referred to as “The Run for the Roses” due to the garland of 554 red roses draped over the winner.
  • 3-Year Old Race- The maximum age for a competing horse is three years.  All the horses are 3 years old.
  • Mint Julep-  the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby. (What is a Mint Julep?)
  • Approximately 120,000 mint juleps are served annually during the two day period of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby.
  • Female Derby Champs?- Only three fillies have won the Derby: Regret (1915), Genuine Risk (1980) and Winning Colors (1988).
  • No Rain-outs- No Derby has ever been postponed because of rain or bad weather.

Timeline:

May 17, 1875 – The first Kentucky Derby is held. The winner is Aristides, a three-year-old chestnut colt, beating fourteen other horses.

1892 – Only three horses run the race, making it the smallest field ever for a Kentucky Derby.

1896 – The race distance is reduced from 1.5 miles to its present 1.25 miles.

1925 – N.Y. Journal-American writer Bill Corum coins the phrase “run for the roses.”

May 3, 1952 – The Kentucky Derby is televised nationally for the first time.

1956 – The first Kentucky Derby Festival is held. This annual event runs for the two weeks preceding the actual races.

1973 – Secretariat wins with a time of 1:59 minutes, setting the record for the fastest time.

May 3, 2008 – Shortly after winner Big Brown crosses the finish line, second place finisher Eight Belles suffers fractures in both front legs and falls to the ground. Due to the severity of the injuries, the filly is euthanized on the track.

Above facts: CNN

The Kentucky Derby has been run every consecutive year since 1875.

The attendance at the Kentucky Derby ranks first in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races including the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, and the Breeders’ Cup.

No horse since Apollo in 1882 has won the Derby without having raced at age two.

In 1970 Diane Crump became the first female jockey to ride in the Derby, finishing 15th aboard Fathom.

In 2005, the purse distribution for the Derby was changed, so that horses finishing fifth would henceforth receive a share of the purse; previously only the first four finishers did so.

The 2004 Derby marked the first time that jockeys, as a result of a court order, were allowed to wear corporate advertising logos on their clothing.

In 2010 Calvin Borel set a new record, being the first jockey to win 3 out of 4 consecutive Kentucky Derbys

As the horses are paraded before the grandstands, the University of Louisville Marching Band plays Stephen Foster’s “My Old Kentucky Home,” a tradition which began in 1921

The fastest time ever run in the Derby (at its present distance) was set in 1973 at 1 minute 59 2/5 seconds when Secretariat broke the record set by Northern Dancer in 1964. Not only has Secretariat’s record time stood for 41 years, but in the race itself, he did something unique in Triple Crown races: each successive quarter, his times were faster. Though times for non-winners were not recorded, in 1973 Sham finished second, two and a half lengths behind Secretariat in the same race. Using the thoroughbred racing convention of one length equaling one-fifth of a second to calculate Sham’s time, he also finished in under two minutes. Another sub-two-minute finish, only the third, was set in 2001 by Monarchos at 1:59.97

   Source: Wikipedia

Pick a horse name beginning with the letter “S”- There have been 19 winning horses in the Kentucky Derby whose names began with the letter “S.” Horses beginning with the letter ‘S’ have won 19times, and there are no winners beginning with the letters ‘Q’, ‘X’ or ‘Y’. Following is a list of the number of Derby winners followed by number of starters for each letter of the alphabet and the most recent horse to win with that letter.  Alphabet KD

Kentucky Derby 138 Fun Facts- Churchill Downs realeased this list of facts about the Kentucky Derby including; the race, the food, the wagering, the people, the horses, the trophy, the flowers, the weather, and more: 138 Kentucky Derby Fun Facts

Brawl of the Wild- Montana and Montana State battle for Great Divide Trophy

One of the oldest and most intense rivalries in college football.
One of the oldest and most intense rivalries in college football.
University of Montana, Missoula
University of Montana, Missoula

The Montana–Montana State football rivalry is an annual college football rivalry game between the University of Montana Grizzlies and the Montana State University Bobcats. Primarily known as Cat-Griz, it is also referred to as Griz-Cat and the Brawl of the Wild.  The winner receives the Great Divide Trophy.  Source: Wikipedia

This intense rivalry is over 100 years old and the University of Montana leads overall 70-37-5 (.647) The first game between the two teams was played in  Missoula, Montana, in 1897. Montana beat Montana State 18-6 to take first lead in the series.  Montana won the first 3 in a row, but Montana State finally got their first win in 1899, winning 6-0 in Missoula. See results from each game in the history of the rivalry: The Brawl, year by year

What is so special about this game?  Plenty: Cat-Griz rivalry among oldest in college football

http://www.abcfoxmontana.com/story/27422741/cats-and-griz-ready-for-114th-brawl-of-the-wild

Other great college football rivalry games: http://bloguin.com/crystalballrun/2013-articles/ten-places-college-gameday-needs-to-visit.html

Wrestling Practice at NYAC in 1905

I like their warm-ups.  They take off their robes and go!

This was posted on a very cool wrestling blog, and also a WordPress blog: http://thewrestlingsite.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/wrestlers-at-the-new-york-athletic-club-1905/

George Brett Story

George Brett Shits Pants- This is a true classic.  I like the look on the players faces as they listen to him tell the story.  At the end of his story, he shifts gears and gets right back into the game, ha:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PseNrUeSmXk#t=47

Gary Player says “Arnold Pooped On Green” in Japan-  I think there is a little “lost in translation” here with Player’s South African English seeming to label farting as pooping.  Gary Player is a classy guy and iron tough, even at his age: http://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2014/4/9/5597634/heres-a-story-about-arnold-palmer-pooping-on-a-green

 

Augusta National, The Masters- 2014

The big course change/update this year is the absence of the Eisenhower Tree, which was probably the most famous tree in golf and one of the most famous landmarks in golf.

The Eisenhower Tree in 2011.
The Eisenhower Tree in 2011 at Augusta National, Augusta Georgia.

The tree  was a loblolly pine. It stood about 65 feet  tall and was located on the 17th hole at the Augusta National Golf Club, approximately 210 yards (190 m) from the Masters tee on the left side of the fairway. It was estimated to be 100 to 125 years old at the time it died.
The tree was named after President Eisenhower, an Augusta National member.  Ike hit the tree while playing golf so many times that, at a 1956 club meeting, he proposed that it be cut down. Not wanting to offend the president, the club’s chairman, Clifford Roberts, immediately adjourned the meeting rather than reject the request. The tree was linked to Eisenhower ever since.

Augusta National chairman Billy Payne released a short statement confirming the demise of the famous tree (via Golf Channel): “The loss of the Eisenhower Tree is difficult news to accept. We obtained opinions from the best arborists available and, unfortunately, were advised that no recovery was possible …”

The Eisenhower Tree before and after the February 2014 ice storm.  It has been completely removed from the 17th.

In 2011, Tiger Woods was playing a shot from underneath the Eisenhower and damaged his left knee and Achilles tendon when he slipped on some pine straw. The injuries sidelined him until August 2011 and his world ranking dropped to 58th.

Woods under the Eisenhower Tree in The 2011 Masters Tournament.

Augusta National Golf Club is a private with a restricted membership list, and many fans know the course well. The course was formerly a plant nursery and each hole on the course is named after the tree or shrub with which it has become associated. Here is a tour of the course, hole-by-hole.  2014 Masters- Augusta National Golf Club course guide

The  Masters Tournament, is one of the four major championships in professional golf, and the only major played each year at the same course.  It is also the first major of the season, played in early April.

Sources:   Wikipedia- Augusta National Golf Club

SBNation: Eisenhower Tree Removed

ESPN: Ike’s tree lives only as a memory

The Masters Golf Tournament, at Augusta National

Augusta_National_Golf_Club,_Hole_10_(Camellia)
The Masters at Augusta National, Augusta, Georgia

Each spring, the Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National draws millions of TV viewers. The unique tournament usually provides challenging competition and athletic drama.  The Masters is even more special for those lucky enough to be able to attend the event in person and has been sold out for years.  (See more info on this below) Here are some interesting facts about Augusta National that they may not tell you on TV.

Info below shortened and taken from an online article, link included at the bottom of this list.
Green Jacket-  The Green Jacket came about for a very simple reason. In the tournament’s early years Augusta National members were encouraged to wear the jacket so patrons would know who to ask questions. Secondarily, when a member hosts guests in the clubhouse, the green jacket designates who gets the bill.
Cheap badges- A badge that allows you to see four competitive rounds will cost you $200—$50 per round.   In 1934, a badge was  $2.20 ($2.00 + .20 cents tax)
Junior Admittance– Children of all ages must have a ticket to enter the grounds. On Tournament days only, a child between 8 and 16 years of age, accompanied by the patron of record (the person whose name is on the Patron List) may obtain a complementary ticket for that day. As a reminder this is limited to one child per day for the patron of record only.  Patron Info

Of course, the stories are legend about how long it takes to get a Masters pass—years. Families will them down to generation after generation. Each year the badge has a unique design and artwork.  Here is a link which has images of all past Masters Tournament Badges.

Careful with commentary–  More than 40 years ago, during one tense moment, CBS commentator Jack Whitaker used the term “mob” to describe the scene around a green. The Masters leadership let his bosses know that he wouldn’t be invited back, and he wasn’t.  Of course, there were Gary McCord’s famous lines about “bikini waxes” and “body bags.” It’s been 17 years. He hasn’t been back, either.  McCord doesn’t care

Patrons (spectators) enjoy the Masters!

Polite fans- They are not fans. They are not a crowd or even a gallery. They are patrons. You’ll hear it often during the CBS broadcast. Also, while on the grounds, patrons are told not to run. Walking only.

Icing the Azaleas-  the site founder Bobby Jones selected was a nursery, so the flora is amazing, to say the least.   If an early spring comes, grounds crew will put ice under the azaleas to slow down their blossoming. They want everything in full color come Masters week. (Note: They cannot control rain, however. Yet.)

The Masters menu, low prices!

1980 prices for food and beer:  It used to be pimento cheese  sandwiches, but now there’s bbq, chicken and others—each for about $3. A beer costs under $3.

Grounds crew keeps the course perfect!

Small field of golfers, large maintenance crew-  It’s the smallest major field—only 99 competitors compared to the 156 in the other three majors. Following the second round, the low 44 scores, plus ties and any golfer within 10 strokes of the lead advance to play the on the weekend.  (making the cut)  That means for Saturday and Sunday the field will be anywhere from 44 to 55. Get there early enough you will find more than 60 people working on the course, mowing, raking, edging, etc.

Augusta National bad for golf?- Of note, there are many who think this does the golf industry a disservice by showing a course so luxurious, verdant and immaculate. It’s a standard that any other course cannot meet, much less your local municipal.  (Augusta has almost unlimited resources for maintenance and the course is closed half the year.)  Article on the topic:  HERE

Limited playing time-  Augusta National closes in late spring and doesn’t open again until fall. Part of this stems from its origins in the mid-1930s. Jones wanted it to be a “national” club, meaning members live all over the country to play. For business executives from the Northeast, the winter was the best time to play.  During that no-play period during the summer, Augusta National undertakes projects to improve the course…..  “This club changes something in this course every year, and they never tell you about it.”

Cheap golf-  It’s one of the best-kept numbers in sports—the initiation fee to Augusta National. With barons like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, among others, as members it goes without saying that money isn’t the object. And it isn’t. To join is reportedly under $100,000, which might be one-tenth of other high profile clubs in the country.  And if you were lucky enough to play the course with a member, you can probably afford it. Guest fees are said to be about $40.

Fine wine  Augusta National is presumed to have one of the best private wine cellars in the world, buying the best French, Italian, American and Australian wines on futures. Those glasses of wine that tasted so good during dinner came from bottles that run $1,000 apiece, and more.

The Masters: 10 Things They Don’t Tell You About Augusta National on TV: `

More info and links

Waiting lists for badges:  Beginning in 2012, Augusta National Golf Club announced it would begin making a small number of tournament tickets available for purchase through a random drawing following online registration, directly from Augusta National. Each year, a small number of tickets are returned to ANGC following the deaths of longtime ticket holders, or other reasons. Previously, those tickets were simply removed from circulation. But since 2012, fans can register online to take part in a random drawing for those tickets. To do so, golfers much register on the tickets page on Masters.com; registrants receive notification when the ticket application process is opened each year, shortly following each Masters tournament. The number of available tournament tickets is not listed, but rest assured the number is very small and your odds are very, very long. Link for Masters Ticket Info.

Prior to those announcements, tickets to tournament days (rounds one through four) had not been available from the Masters Tournament directly to the general public since 1972. That year, Augusta National Golf Club opened a waiting list, but due to demand the waiting list itself had to be closed in 1978. (Practice-round tickets have been available) Twenty-two years later, in the year 2000, a new waiting list was opened. But it is now also closed.

Augusta National Golf Club-  located in Augusta, Georgia, is a famous golf club. Founded by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts on the site of a former indigo plantation, the course was designed by Jones and Alister MacKenzie and opened for play in January 1933. Since 1934, it has played host to the annual Masters Tournament, one of the four major championships in men’s professional golf, and the only major played each year at the same course. It was the number one ranked course in Golf Digest’s 2009 list of America’s 100 greatest courses and was the number ten ranked course on Golfweek Magazine’s 2011 list of best classic courses in the United States, in terms of course architecture.

The golf club’s exclusive membership policies have drawn criticism, particularly its refusal to admit black members until 1990, a former policy requiring all caddies to be black and its refusal to allow women to join.   In August 2012, it admitted its first two female members – Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore. The golf club has defended the membership policies, stressing that it is a private organization.  Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusta_National_Golf_Club

Patron behavior rules-

  • No running anywhere on the grounds.
  • No sitting on the grass near the greens.
  • No bare feet (even when sitting down).
  • No chairs with arms. No folding chairs. No flags. No signs. No banners. No coolers. No strollers. No radios.
  • No standing in officially designated sitting areas. No sitting in the standing areas. No cameras. No rigid chairs. No hats worn backward. No metal golf spikes. No outsize hats. No carts. And absolutely no lying down anywhere . No fanny packs larger than 10 inches wide, 10 inches high or 12 inches deep (in their natural state).
  • No ladders.
  • No selling a Masters badge within 2,700 feet of an Augusta National gate.
  • No walking through a driving gate.
  • No recorders.
  • No periscopes.
  • No outside food.

Things you will not see at Augusta National:

  • No Crowding- There is no crowding at the Masters because the club limits the number of entrance badges sold to keep the attending masses manageable. A four-day badge will go for as much as $5,600 on the secondary market, which means there is also no complaining. Badges are included in many wills.
  • No membership applications- The club has no membership application process; if someone asks to join, the unified retort is, No chance.
  • No cellphones
  • No Yelling- At the Country Club of No, because the atmosphere is reserved and austere, no one shouts “You da man!” after a golfer’s shot, another pleasant outcome.
  • No weeds-  there are no weeds at the Masters, to the naked eye, on the more than 350 acres that play host to the tournament.
  • No litter- There is no litter because at least one maintenance employee is assigned to each quarter-acre, and should someone attempt to carelessly discard a food wrapper, an employee dashes over and snatches it before it hits the ground. It is then deposited in a garbage receptacle
  • No large wildlife- There are squirrels and birds. But a high protective fence around the entire tract keeps out larger animals, spurned as unwanted interlopers. A few years ago, when a deer ran across the eighth green, spectators gasped and pointed, and the local newspaper ran a picture of the animal. People who have been coming to the Masters since the 1950s said they had never seen a deer on the course.

Links and articles used in this post:

Tiger Woods is out for the 2014 Masters

Tiger Woods will miss the 2014 Masters and his chance at a 5th Masters title and the accompanying green jacket!  Read about it HERE

The 2014 Masters:  http://www.masters.com/en_US/index.html

Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods (born December 30, 1975)] is an American professional golfer who is among the most successful golfers of all time. Currently the World No. 1, he has been one of the highest-paid athletes in the world for several years.  See some of his impressive achievements below. (Most taken from Wikipedia, see links at bottom of post)

Childhood Achievements:

  • He was a child prodigy, introduced to golf before the age of two, by his athletic father Earl, a single-figure handicap amateur golfer
  •  At age three, he shot a 48 over nine holes over the Cypress Navy course
  • Before turning seven, Tiger won the Under Age 10 section of the Drive, Pitch, and Putt competition, held at the Navy Golf Course in Cypress, California.
  • He first broke 80 at age eight
  • In 1984 at the age of eight, he won the 9–10 boys’ event, the youngest age group available, at the Junior World Golf Championships.
  • He went on to win the Junior World Championships six times
  • Tiger first defeated his dad at the age of 11 years, with Earl trying his best. Earl lost to Tiger every time from then on
  • First broke 70 on a regulation golf course at age 12
  • At the age of 15, Woods became the youngest ever U.S. Junior Amateur champion (a record which stood until it was broken by Jim Liu in 2010)
  • In 1993, Woods won his third consecutive U.S. Junior Amateur Championship; he remains the event’s only three-time winner
  • In 1994, at the TPC at Sawgrass in Florida, he became the youngest-ever winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship, a record he held until 2008 when it was broken by Danny Lee
  • Graduated from Western High School, in Anaheim, CA in 1994 at age 18, and was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” among the graduating class.

College Career- Golfing at Stanford University

  • He enrolled at Stanford in the fall of 1994 under a golf scholarship, winning his first collegiate event, the 40th Annual William H. Tucker Invitational, that September
  • He was voted Pac-10 Player of the Year, NCAA First Team All-American, and Stanford’s Male Freshman of the Year (an award that encompasses all sports)
  • Woods participated in his first PGA Tour major, the 1995 Masters Tournament, and tied for 41st as the only amateur to make the cut.
  • At age 20 in 1996, he became the first golfer to win three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles and won the NCAA individual golf championship

Professional Career

  • Woods became a professional golfer in August 1996, and immediately signed deals with Nike, Inc. and Titleist that ranked as the most lucrative endorsement contracts in golf history at that time
  • Woods turned professional in 1996, and by April 1997 he had already won his first major, the Masters, becoming the tournament’s youngest-ever winner.
  • The 1997 Masters in a record-breaking performance, winning the tournament by 12 strokes
  • He first reached the number one position in the world rankings in June 1997.
  • In the 2000 U.S. Open, he broke or tied nine tournament records in what Sports Illustrated called “the greatest performance in golf history,” in which Woods won the tournament by a 15-stroke margin .
  • Through the 2000’s, Woods was the dominant force in golf.

Fall from the top- From December 2009 to early April 2010, Woods took leave from professional golf to focus on his marriage after he admitted infidelity. His many extra-marital indiscretions were revealed by several different women, through many worldwide media sources. This was followed by a loss of golf form, and his ranking gradually fell to a low of No. 58 in November 2011.

Back on top-  Ended a career-long win less streak of 107 weeks when he captured the Chevron World Challenge in December 2011. After winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational on March 25, 2013, he ascended to the No.1 ranking once again.

Tiger’s Golf Records:

  • He has been world number one for the most consecutive weeks and for the greatest total number of weeks of any other golfer.
  • He has been awarded PGA Player of the Year a record eleven times
  • Leader of money list in ten different seasons.
  • Has won 14 professional major golf championships, the second highest of any player (Jack Nicklaus leads with 18) and 79 PGA Tour events, second all time behind Sam Snead, who had 82 wins.
  • He has more career major wins and career PGA Tour wins than any other active golfer.
  • He is the youngest player to achieve the career Grand Slam, . Additionally, Woods is only the second golfer, after Jack Nicklaus, to have achieved a career Grand Slam three times.
  • Is the youngest and fastest to win 50 tournaments on tour
  • Woods has won 18 World Golf Championships, and won at least one of those events in each of the first 11 years after they began in 1999.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_Woods

Official Website: http://www.tigerwoods.com/home

 PGA Tour- Tiger Woods:  http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.08793.tiger-woods.html

Volcano Stadium

Volcano Stadium in Guadalajara
Click on the image above for a slideshow of the Volcano Stadium

A stadium with grass sloping up the sides, which is used as a park when the stadium is not hosting an event.  Cars are parked under the stadium and it is all environmentally friendly.  Where?  Guadalajara, Mexico!

 

The city of Guadalajara has unveiled a volcano-like soccer stadium that is veritably exploding with green features. Created for the popular Chivas team by French architects Jean-Marie Massaud and Daniel Pouzet, the stadium features a volcano-evoking exterior that captures rainwater and processes it through wetlands for use in watering the pitch. All lighting is energy efficient, and the parking garage features natural ventilation.

The stadium, which hosted its first match last year, consists of a white membrane — intended to look like a cloud hovering atop the volcano — and grassy sloped sides. It seats 45,000 and tucks away 8,500 parking spaces under the hillside, which will be open as public parkland when there’s no match on. Link

Rivalry Weekend in Pac-12

Rivalry Weekend: Each year in late November, rivalry weekend brings upsets, bragging rights, huge crowds, office jokes, family feuds and much, much more.  Here are some of the games that make the Pac-12 special:

The Apple Cup- The Apple Cup is the trophy awarded to the winner of an American college football rivalry game played annually by the teams of the two largest public universities in the U.S. state of Washington: the University of Washington (UW) Huskies and the Washington State University (WSU) Cougars. More

The Civil War-  an American college football rivalry game played annually by the Oregon Ducks football team of the University of Oregon and Oregon State Beavers football team of Oregon State University. First played in 1894, it is the seventh most played college football rivalry game in the United States. MORE

The Territorial Cup- The Arizona–Arizona State football rivalry, sometimes known as the Duel in the Desert, is a college football rivalry between the University of Arizona Wildcats and the Arizona State University Sun Devils. The winner receives the Territorial Cup, the oldest trophy in college football. The two schools first played in 1899, and the game now continues annually as a Pacific-12 Conference match-up. It is part of the wider Arizona–Arizona State rivalry, which crosses all sports.  More

Territorial: The History of the Duel in the Desert

UCLA–USC Rivalry- The UCLA–USC rivalry is the American college rivalry between the UCLA Bruins sports teams of the University of California, Los Angeles and USC Trojans sports teams of the University of Southern California.
Both universities are located in Los Angeles. The rivalry between the two is among the more unusual in NCAA Division I sports because the campuses are only 12 miles (19 km) apart, and both are located within the same city. The close proximity of both alumni and students, and the likelihood of encountering each other and interacting on a daily basis make this one of the most intense college rivalries in the United States. MORE

The Big Game-  The Big Game is an American college football rivalry game played by the California Golden Bears football team of the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford Cardinal football team of Stanford University. It is typically played in late November or early December and the rivalry. First played in 1892, it is the ninth most played college football rivalry game in the United States.  MORE

The Play-  The Play refers to a last-second kickoff return during a college football game between the University of California Golden Bears and the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday, November 20, 1982. Given the circumstances and rivalry, the wild game that preceded it, the very unusual way in which The Play unfolded, and its lingering aftermath on players and fans, it is recognized as one of the most memorable plays in college football history and among the most memorable in American sports.  More on The Play   Video of “The Play” 

Taxes on Visiting Professional Athletes and Entertainers

Professional athletes must pay taxes in many of the cities and states in which they play road games, which can create a tax preparation nightmare.  Article – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

…nonresident athlete taxes — seldom collected 20 years ago — are now significant sources of revenue for municipalities and states and can cause serious headaches for entertainers, athletes and accountants at tax time.

Any employee who travels with the team, which includes coaches, broadcasters, equipment managers and scouts, is subject to the same tax requirements.

Of the 24 states that house professional sports teams, 20 collect income tax on their home and visiting teams. And nearly a dozen cities, including Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Cincinnati, impose “jock taxes” and fees on teams and players to address budget shortfalls and to help pay for arenas and stadiums built with the taxpayers’ wallet.

Athletes, entertainers and support staff receive dozens of W-2s in the mail each year, and the stack of tax returns for dozens of states is as thick as a phone book.

And they continue to punt!

It is amazing that this has not been more of an issue and a topic of intense and widespread discussion.  Teams at every level of football continue to punt on 4th down when the numbers show that in most situations, coaches should run a play instead of punting on 4th down. Punting should be a rare event, a unique novelty, talked about but seldom seen. It will be interesting to look back at this conservative approach to the offensive game, even in programs running wide-open, offenses.  If high-scoring, yard-gobbling teams commonly punt, one can only wonder about the wasted opportunities. How much better could teams have been with logical and open-minded coaching?

Football coaches have been trained to punt since they learned the game.  As players and as assistant coaches, punting was called almost automatically on 4th down with some rare exceptions.  This way of playing is ingrained in coaches minds and nobody questions or argues when the punting team is sent to the field to use their remaining play of the series and kick the ball back to the other team.  Giving that team a first down and a chance to score. (That is if the other team is stopped before returning the punt for a touchdown, or a yardage gain which essentially cancels out the reason for punting in the first place.)  It is much safer for coaches to punt, and the risk-reward payout leans toward punting, thereby eliminating many scoring opportunities and applying the brakes to offensive production.  They could play that fourth down and increase their chances of scoring and winning the game, and giving the fans a more exciting, better coached game. This could have a positive mental impact on their team and cold build confidence and morale.  It could also make a statement to opposing teams and help win the psychological battle always present in any athletic event. However,the ridicule coaches risk facing if they fail or fall short of earning a first down can be damaging to their reputations and job safety, and possibly their head coaching careers.  If they were able to see what would happen if they changed their mindset and played aggressive football, the call would be almost automatic. “Go for it!”

Hire me as part of any coaching staff.  I can guarantee any team will gain more yards, score more points and probably win more games if they hire me as their 4th Down Assistant Coach.  On any 4th down situation, I make the call.  Every single time I wave off the punting team and give the team and the fans what they want, an opportunity to gain yards, score and win games! If it makes no sense to punt, why do coaches continue to almost unanimously choose punting over getting another chance to earn a first down, gain yards, and/or score?  Coaches and players are entrenched in the game and often in the position and small portion of the game for which they are responsible. Can they get a view of the entire game from their super-focused situation?  How many players or even coaches have detailed and extensive knowledge of the entire game?  Not many.  There is so much to learn about each specific facet of the game, unless the opportunity presents itself or someone is forced into it, they probably don’t have the time, energy or most important of all, the passion to care about other positions, duties and responsibilities beyond the one in which they are immersed.

Game changer Looking at it one way, not punting opens up one more down and therefore one more chance for a team to earn a first down.  A team could also score while they earn that first down. However, using all four downs to score does much more than allow one more opportunity to convert.  Once players (and players collectively playing as a team) know they have four downs, they have a new way of looking at each down.  Conversely, defenses also aware that a team will strike at them with all four opportunities, need to adjust and react to this new offensive approach.  In this era of punt-mania, the teams choosing to eliminate punting will face defenses with no experience defending this 4-stike attack and will inevitably make mistakes.  This opens up scoring chances and games as these defenses lose confidence and the offense builds even more momentum.

Eliminating punting changes the individual characteristics of each of four downs. First down becomes a new type of down never seen in organized football. This is a play which is guaranteed to be followed by three punt-free plays. (Unless there is a score or a turnover, running out of time, etc…)  Sure, this happens when teams have 1st and goal, or 1st and 10 inside 30 yards of their target end zone, but not when a team is in their own territory with a huge field full of opportunity spread out in front of them.  Even in the rare situation where teams will play all four downs without punting, the entire situation is different since these teams normally punt and have no experience and have not developed the new mind-set and philosophy and all the positive attributes that come with this new approach.  This is all new territory…. Second downs are called and played with far less pressure and allow wide-open plays, similar to traditional first downs.  Third down doesn’t have the coin-toss type of drama, forcing fans to cross their fingers and pray for a first down and avoid yet another series ending with the punting team jogging on to the field to punt the ball, and give up another opportunity for the offense to play (players have worked hard year round to prepare for very limited opportunities and they end up giving many away, one for sure each time the punting team takes the field.)

Failing to earn first downs can be tough on morale.  Choosing to never punt should increase the number of first downs earned and thereby lessen this loss of morale experienced by failed 3rd downs.  The no-punt offense can boost confidence and excitement when first downs are earned as a result of the increased number of downs, which also make more big plays possible. This positive momentum is also affected simply by experiencing the new dynamics of this approach, which can confuse, exhaust and frustrate defenses which are accustomed to the traditional three-downs and out (punt) system.  We can all visualize a punting team jogging onto the field, heads hanging a little bit, as they are about to attempt to recoup 30 or 40 yards of field position after the offense just failed to score.  They have little chance to score with this play and this is another opportunity squandered.  Why run plays that don’t give a team a chance to score?  The impact on a team’s fan base will be significant.  Those coaches who are the first to successfully execute a punt-less approach will not only see a rise in offensive production, scores and wins, but will also attract attention from all levels and formats of the media. Fans will respond with enthusiasm and teams will experience increased season tickets sales. College programs will see a rise in donations and a variety of support for the football program, the athletic program and the school.

References

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=40

“The average punt in high school nets you 30 yards, but we convert around half our fourth downs, so it doesn’t make sense to give up the ball,” Kelley says. “Besides, if your offense knows it has four downs instead of three, it totally changes the game. I don’t believe in punting and really can’t ever see doing it again.” Kevin Kelley, head coach of Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Ark.  Read More:   Just Go For It! A coach’s case for kicking conventional wisdom to the curb

The punt seems to contradict football’s essence, as coaches voluntarily relinquish the ball even though they have at least one more chance to move it forward. “If everyone agrees out of fear or ignorance to sort of play ultraconservative, nobody really has an advantage,” Burke said. “There’s no development, no evolution. Coaches have strategies that are generations behind where the sport really is. It’s going to take someone to stick their neck out.”  Read more at NY Times-Punting Less Can Be Rewarding but Coaches Aren’t Risking Jobs on It

New Yorker Magazine piece makes a case against punting on 4th down:  It is not news that we often act against our own interest. Human nature yanks us in so many ways as to make rational decision-making almost impossible. Parents give their teen-agers cars and cell phones. Much of the middle class votes Republican. And N.F.L. head coaches continue to punt the ball on fourth down. A paper by David Romer (PDF), a professor of political economy at the University of California at Berkeley, has become “the gospel for the antipunting faction.” Romer’s determination, after studying punt data from 1998 to 2004, was that teams should never punt when facing fourth down with less than four yards to go for the first, regardless of where they are on the field. Other analysis has suggested that teams should never punt from inside their opponent’s forty-yard line. As a corollary, they should always go for a touchdown, rather than a field goal, from inside the five-yard line.

The archetype for non-punting football has become a high-school team in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Pulaski Academy Bruins do not return punts (fumbles and penalties outweigh big returns, they say), they perform onside kicks after almost every score, and they never, ever punt. Last season, they went undefeated and won the state title.  Read more- THE CASE AGAINST PUNTING

Here is an example of a coach who is out of punters but keeps punting anyway:   Raiders – Chargers game(9/11/12) gave one team a unique opportunity to implement the no-punt strategy.  With the Raiders’ long-snapper hurt, the Raiders coach had a much less risk-averse reason to try always going for it on fourth down. Especially after the first punt was blown and the punter tackled with the ball, who could blame the coach for going for it on fourth every time? Alas, he proceeded to attempt more punts, and three in a row were blocked or otherwise blown.   (Freakonomics.com)

In this post I’ll explain, as clearly and simply as possible, why the evidence points to a more aggressive attack on 4th down.”  The 4th Down Study – Part 1

This article has stats and even a calculator to help make decisions based n statistical data:  Are NFL Teams Making a Mistake by Punting on 4th Down? When Economists Talk, Pulaski Academy Listens

  • Don’t punt on the opponent’s side of the field.
  • Really consider going for it on 4th down after crossing your own 40.
  • Field goals only make sense if there are more than 5 yards to go and you are between the 10 and 30 yard lines.
  • If you’re in opponent territory and these two criteria aren’t true, you should be going for it.   Fourth Down Decisions: Never Punt With Tebow

New qualifying system for Kentucky Derby!

Starting this year,there is a new qualifying process for the Kentucky Derby.

  • In the past, qualifying  was based on a horse’s earnings in any and all Graded stakes races run prior to the Derby.  Those graded earnings could be acquired in April or the previous October – it didn’t matter. As long as a horse finished in the top three or four in a graded stakes race, they were one step closer to running in the Derby.
  • Starting with the 2013 Derby, Churchill Downs will determine the twenty horses* in the starting gate by using a point system in 36 races. Gone are the days were any and all graded stakes races provided an opportunity for a horse to make his way towards the Derby; now a horse must accumulate points (finish in the top four) in pre-selected and official “Kentucky Derby Prep Races”.

*The starting gate at the Kentucky Derby is limited to twenty horses (with a possibility of four “alternate entries” or “AEs”).

Read more: HERE

Reaction to the changes is mixed: HERE

Neil Diamond at Fenway Park

Boston showed the world how to overcome a tragedy, by joining together and refusing to be victims.  There is a lot of pain, but the people of Boston showed why they and their city are so special and they made us all proud!

  • Neil Diamond surprised baseball fans at Boston’s Fenway Park on Saturday, taking the field during a Red Sox game to lead the crowd in a sing-along of his classic hit, “Sweet Caroline.”
  • The 1969 song has been an eighth-inning ritual for some time now, played at every Fenway game since 2002.
  • Diamond reportedly flew in to the city just to attend the game.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/neil-diamond-leads-sweet-caroline-sing-along-at-fenway-park-20130420#ixzz2R9VbUjef

 

Yankees play “Sweet Caroline”/Honor Boston

Sweet Caroline at Yankee Stadium 4/16/13 to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Classy gesture by the Yankees and Yankee fans showing respect.

Woods falls short at Masters, can he catch Nicklaus?

Tiger Woods has 14 major titles, Jack Nicklaus has 18.  Who will end up with more?
Tiger Woods has 14 major titles, Jack Nicklaus has 18. Who will end up with more?

Tiger Woods fell short of capturing his 5th Masters title.  TV ratings soar whenever he is closing a major tournament.  His mistake with a penalty drop and the subsequent and controversial ruling to penalize him 2-strokes, instead of disqualifying him from the tournament, created a media frenzy.  The controversy was due to a recent rule revision which gives tournament committees the right to add retrospective penalties when the players could not have known they had committed an offence. Some are still saying the rule was misused and that Woods should have been disqualified, since he clearly showed “ignorance of the rule,” (Rule 26-1) which is not protected under the recent revision of Rule 33-7 and wrongly signed his scorecard.  Many golfers, experts and fans thought Tiger should voluntarily withdraw, but that didn’t happen.  More HERE

Is Woods, 37, running out of time to topple Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships?  Can he threaten the Golden Bear’s record 6 Masters titles?  This article says the advantage goes to Nicklaus: http://www.usatoday.com/story/gameon/2013/04/15/tiger-woods-jack-nicklaus-comparison/2083049/

Jack Nicklaus won 18 professional majors, an iconic total that has become the most significant record in golf, and one of the most significant in all of sports. Tiger Woods has won a staggering 14 majors, but his quest to pass Nicklaus has stalled.  Go to this link for a chart listing major championships by Nicklaus and Woods, including their age when they caputured each one. http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/tiger-woods-vs-jack-nicklaus-major-championship-records

Woods still hasn’t won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open and hasn’t captured the Masters, a tournament he’s won four times, since 2005. After winning three times earlier this season, it appeared this would be a terrific chance for Woods to resume his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 majors. Source:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/golf/2013/04/14/tiger-woods-masters-final-round/2082497/

Huge ratings- For at least a decade, when Woods is in final-round contention in tournaments, ratings generally jump 50% — or sometimes double. Saturday’s ratings peaked from 5:30-6 p.m. ET — when Tiger Woods was finishing his round and ending up tied for seventh.  http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/columnist/hiestand-tv/2013/04/14/the-masters-cbs-tiger-woods-tv-ratings/2081891/

Nicklaus and Woods don’t appear to have a close relationship, with Nicklaus stating he has never had a long converstation with Tiger. http://www.golf.com/ap-news/jack-nicklaus-says-he-has-never-had-long-conversation-tiger-woods?sct=obinsite

Adam Scott Wins 2013 Masters!

Adam Scott wins the Masters Green Jacket in  playoff!
Adam Scott wins the Masters Green Jacket in playoff!

On a rainy Sunday in Augusta, Georgia, Australian Adam Scott, 32, captured his first green jacket by winning Augusta National’s Masters Tournament.  Argentinian Angel Cabrera,43, who was the 2009 champ, was trying to earn his second green jacket and came close with a clutch birdie putt on the 18th, forcing a playoff with Scott, who had finished a group ahead. They tied on the first playoff hole, # 18, when each scored a birdie, then went to the 10th, where both had similar drives and approach shots.  When Cabrerra’s birdie putt came painfully close, Scott made an amazing putt to take the title. No Masters sudden-death playoff has gone past 2 playoff holes since the current system was adopted in 1976. (Replacing the 10-hole playoff) Cabrerra had been there before, winning his  title in a 3-way playoff with Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell.  Overall, this was the 17th playoff at Augusta. (See link below)

Winning the Masters is huge.  Champions get a life time exemption to The Masters, a 5 year exemption on the PGA Tour and a 5 year exemption to the other 3 majors.  They get their name on the Masters trophy, access to the Masters Champions Locker Room, over $1.3 million in prize money,  and they are awarded the coveted green jacket. (although after one year, they must give the jacket back)  Champions also get to host the following year’s Champions Dinner.  HERE

Who gets invited?-  The Masters invites the smallest field of the majors, generally under 100 players.

  • World’s top 50 prior to the event
  • Former Masters champions 
  • Current champions and top finishers of the major amateur championships. (Major tournament champions earn 5 year exemptions)
  • Most of the previous year’s PGA Tour winners
  • Official Masters Qualification for Invitation list: HERE
  • 2012 amendments to the invitation system HERE

Masters Playoff History: HERE.

Historical Records and Stats and Past Masters Champions: HERE

IOC Plans to Cut from Wrestling from 2020 Olympics

IOC drops wrestling from Summer 2020 Olympics (ESPN):  The executive board of the International Olympic Committee reviewed the 26 sports on its summer program in order to remove one of them so it could add one later this year. It decided to cut wrestling and keep modern pentathlon — a sport that combines fencing, horse riding, swimming, running and shooting — and was considered to be the most likely to be dropped.  Article HERE

In recent years, the I.O.C. has expressed concern about the growing size of the Summer Games and has wanted to cap the number of athletes at about 10,500. It has also said that it wants to attract younger viewers to the international television audience. 

Mark Adams, a spokesman for the I.O.C., told reporters, “In the view of the executive board, this was the best program for the Olympic Games in 2020. It’s not a case of what’s wrong with wrestling, it is what’s right with the 25 core sports.”  Article HERE

Iranians upset by the decision: Iran has racked up dozens of Olympic medals in wrestling, more than in any other sport.  “Do we destroy our historical sites which are symbols of humanity? No. Then, why should we destroy wrestling?” Iranian gold medalist Ali Reza Dabir told the Associated Press. Article HERE

Stench of IOC corruption- Reports from Lausanne said that the wrestling federation didn’t push as hard as the modern pentathlon people, that these are games won or lost not on the playing field, but standing alongside a bar, a glass of fine Bordeaux in hand. Reports also cited the importance of Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., son of the former IOC president, on the side of modern pentathlon. HERE

Impact on NCAA Wrestling- What kind of impact does NCAA wrestling face as a result of the IOC’s decision?  HERE

USA-led group tries to save Olympic wrestling (ESPN):   USA Wrestling has announced that a group led by former world champion Bill Scherr, along with World and Olympic champions Bruce Baumgartner, John Smith, Rulon Gardner and Dan Gable, will work to fight the IOC’s decision earlier this week to eliminate wrestling from the 2020 Olympics.  Article HERE

Keep Wrestling in the Olympics website launched:  HERE http://keepwrestlingintheolympics.com/

Corruption in Olympic wrestling? HERE

IOC President Jacques Rogge said he will meet with FILA President Raphael Martinetti:  HERE

FILA to debate president Raphael Martinetti dismissal:  HERE

Martinetti steps aside: HERE

2012- Year in Review

Google Zeitgeist 2012- Year in Review- What did the world search for?

The Zeitgeist- (spirit of the age or spirit of the time) is the intellectual fashion or dominant school of thought which typifies and influences the culture of a particular period in time. For example, the Zeitgeist of modernism  typified and influenced architecture, art, and fashion during much of the 20th century.

www.google.com/zeitgeist/  1.2 trillion searches. 146 languages. See what the world searched for.

Google’s revealed its annual list of the year’s top searches, with the death of Whitney Houston gleaning more requests than even the Gangnam Style juggernaut and site powering over 1.2 trillion searches. One Direction topped the most searched image category, while events like Hurricane Sandy and the Olympics made an impact both in the primary top ten and the people we searched for. The top searched-for gadgets saw a conspicuous absence of the iPhone 5, likely due to its launch in the second half of the year. The new iPad (well, iPad 3) claiming first place, followed by Samsung’s Galaxy S III. We’ve included Google‘s obligatory uplifting video after the break, if you’ve already started to forget what happened this year.

Top 10 Global Searches

  1. Whitney Houston
  2. Gangnam Style
  3. Hurricane Sandy
  4. iPad 3
  5. Diablo 3
  6. Kate Middleton
  7. Olympics 2012
  8. Amanda Todd
  9. Michael Clarke Duncan
  10. BBB12

These were the top 10 news stories, according to the Associated Press:  Click HERE

USA today’s top stories:  HERE

Reuters 2012- Year in Review: HERE

Olympic Village Sex!

I would have never guessed that there was so much sex going on in Olympic Village.  150,000 condoms?  Wow!   Where is the focus?   Call me old school, but as a coach, if my athletes were sub-par, I would look for any decent excuse and promiscuous activity with the Latvians would be at the top of my list!

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/08/sport/olympics-village-sex-party-athletes/index.html

“(Sex) is all part of the Olympic spirit. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) wouldn’t say that, but it is, you can’t shy away from it. Why do you think they give away so many condoms?”

Olympic Tower Bridge!

 

The Moon became the 6th Olympic ring, at least for a moment. This photo was taken on August 3, 2012 and topped the trending charts for a day.

A photographer used a smart phone app to predict the trajectory of the moon and timed this photograph perfectly.  The Olympic Rings have been hung off London’s Tower Bridge to celebrate London Olympiad 2012. http://tinyurl.com/c6bawkm

 

The gigantic rings cost about $100,000 to install, and not without controversy.  http://tinyurl.com/9slgvx8

The Tower Bridge is a drawbridge and opens about 1,000 times a year to allow river traffic to pass.
                                             The rings weigh 3 tons and lift up when the bridge opens to let sailboats and other river traffic through.

 

 

Taxes on Olympic Medals

US athletes are going to have to pay thousands of dollars in taxes by wining medals.  It breaks down like this.

  • A gold medal, which is worth $650, according to CNN, could cost athletes about $236 in taxes
  • a bronze metal, which is worth $5, could only cost an athlete $2 in taxes.

The big taxes kick in as a result of the U.S. Olympic Organizing Committee awarding London champions $25,000 for a gold medal, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bringing home a bronze. (Reuters)  At a 35 percent income tax rate, bronze medalists will owe the IRS a total of $3,500, silver medalists will owe $5,250 and gold medalists will be liable for $8,750, according to Americans for Tax Reform.  Of course, many high-profile athletes will also come home to lucrative sponsorships offers, also all taxable.

Other countries also compensate their medal-winning athletes.  Read this article for more info: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/01/olympians-owe-irs-taxes-medals-cash-bonuses_n_1729486.html

 

Charismatic’s close finish, and others

Charismatic came out of a claiming race race 3 months before the Kentucky Derby and fired off as a 31-1 longshot, winning the 1999 Derby and Preakness. Charismatic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charismatic_(horse)  He was injured in the Belmont, but still finished 3rd, as jockey Chris Antley quickly dismounted and held up his leg, probably saving the horse’s life.  Sadly, Antley would be found dead less than 2 years later:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Antley 

Jockey Chris Antley dismounts to hold foot of Charismatic

Charismatic’s broken leg ends a promising racing career:  http://tinyurl.com/7wsv6mx

Video of the 1999 Belmont Stakes: http://tinyurl.com/83tlw7q

Charismatic is just one of many who have come close to winning the elusive Triple Crown: http://www.drf.com/news/triple-crown-near-misses-charismatic-1999

Triple Crown near-misses since the Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978. (Click names below for information and videos)

Spectacular Bid (1979) Pleasant Colony (1981) Alysheba (1987) Sunday Silence (1989)
Silver Charm (1997) Real Quiet (1998) Charismatic (1999) War Emblem (2002)
Funny Cide (2003) Smarty Jones (2004) Big Brown (2008)

Almost- A list of all those who won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, but lost their triple crown chance in the Belmont Stakes. Click to open Pdf file: Triple Crown Almost

There will not be another, this year…

Horse racing’s hope for its first Triple Crown winner in 34 years were dashed Friday. I’ll Have Another, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes last month, was scratched on the eve of the Belmont Stakes, ending his attempt to become just the 12th horse in history to win all three races.   http://tinyurl.com/bthf47r

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/tim_layden/06/08/ill.have.another.out/index.html

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-08/i-ll-have-another-is-out-of-belmont-stakes-trainer-o-neill-says.html

A game of numbers! I’ll Have Another!

Click on the photo for pedigree!

Interesting twist with the number 12, and I’ll Have Another draws number 11!

The following is taken from the link  below:

History could be made Saturday when Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another attempts to become only the 12th Triple Crown winner in racing history. Curiously, he also is the 12th horse to attempt to win all three Triple Crown races since Affirmed last turned the trick in 1978. Will the 12th time be the charm? Too bad I’ll Have Another drew post 11. Post 12 would have been more fitting, don’t you think?

Approaching this race we must remember that the Triple Crown is very, very difficult to win. That’s not a scoop, but sometimes we get caught up in the emotion of moment and forget that some tremendous horses have failed to win the third leg of the Triple Crown.

Check out the following link for a Belmont Stakes analysis and information on each horse:    Link: http://xpressbet.com/ReadOnTrack?id=4261

Hat Tip to Secretariat

09 Jun 1973, Elmont, New York, USA — The field is so far behind, jockey Ron Turcotte has to turn in the saddle to look for it as he guides Secretariat to victory in the Belmont Stakes.

June 9, 1973 ~ Belmont Stakes ~1 ½ mile ~ Belmont Park

31 lengths!

Secretariat raced into the ever glow of immortality in the 1973 Belmont Stakes. His victory, by one of the widest margins in the history of the American turf – 31 lengths ahead of his nearest challenger and in a world record time for the 1 1/2 miles distance – 2 minutes 24, remains one of the most memorable in sports history.

http://www.secretariat.com/past-performances/belmont/

Video of Secretariat’s 1973 Belmont:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cS4f6wiQJh4

Here is some Belmont trivia:  

-When anti-gambling legislation was passed in New York State, Belmont Racetrack was closed, and the race was cancelled in 1911 and 1912.
-Before 1921, the race was run in the clockwise tradition of English racing.
-Since 1931, the order of Triple Crown races has been the Kentucky Derby first, followed by the Preakness Stakes, and then the Belmont Stakes. Prior to 1931, eleven times the Preakness was run before the Derby. On May 12, 1917 and again on May 13, 1922, the Preakness and the Derby were run on the same day. On eleven occasions, the Belmont Stakes was run before the Preakness Stakes.
Songs:  The Belmont Stakes is traditionally called “The Test of Champions” or “Run for the Carnations” because the winning horse is blanketed with white carnations. Through 1996, the post-parade song was “Sidewalks of New York.” From 1997 to 2009, the audience was invited to sing the Theme from New York, New York following the call to the “post”. In 2010, the song was Empire State of Mind. This tradition is similar to the singing of the state song at the post parades of the first two Triple Crown races: “My Old Kentucky Home” at the Kentucky Derby and “Maryland, My Maryland” at the Preakness Stakes.

Changes in distance

The Belmont Stakes was run at a mile and five furlongs from 1867 to 1873; a mile and a quarter in 1890, 1891, 1892, 1895, 1904 and 1905; a mile and a furlong in 1893 and 1894; a mile and three furlongs from 1896 to 1903 and from 1906 to 1925. The current distance of a mile and half was established in 1926.

I’ll Have Another- Preakness 2012

I'll Have Another- Preakness 2012

Another amazing finish puts I’ll Have Another in position to win the first Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978!

  •  He has won all four races he has run this year. And all have been with an unheralded jockey aboard: 25-year-old Mario Gutierrez, who has steadfastly refused to siphon accolades from the horse he adores.“It’s not about me; it’s about the horse,” Gutierrez said. “I’m so happy for him because he’s just a great horse. He has a tremendous kick in the end. And he’s more smart than I am. The horse deserves the credit.”

     

Man Wrestles Elephant!

This guy is tough!  He had no takers, so he had to switch species and take on an elephant!

This first link, from History.com, has volume and the commentary is good!  http://www.history.com/videos/elephant-wrestling#elephant-wrestling

Mine That Bird

People gave him little respect after his Kentucky Derby win, even his jockey picked a filly to ride instead of trying for a chance at the elusive Triple Crown.  However, jockey Mike Smith almost squeaked it out, but ran out of real estate, taking a very respectable 2nd place in the 2009 Preakness Stakes.  Maybe the 2009 Belmont will feature a rematch of these two great horses.  Rachel Alexandra, the Preakness winner is female and Mine That Bird is a gelding. (sans testicles)
Calvin Borel, the jockey who jumped over to the filly, has a shot at becoming the first Triple Crown Jockey to win on two different horses.  Strange distinction, but fascinating.

Secretariat Still Best Ever

Best Ever
Best Ever

His record still stands, Secretariat ran the fastest Kentucky Derby ever, in 1973.  Second fastest ever was Sham, who took 2nd that year to Secretariat.  This is one record that I hope will never fall.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secretariat_(horse)

Read through the above link for some amazing facts.  His huge heart, his burial, he was listed 35th on ESPN’s top 100 athletes of the 20th century.   His 31 length victory in the Belmont is still a record in G-1 races.

In the 1973 Kentucky Derby, on his way to a still-standing track record (1:59 2/5), he ran each quarter-mile segment faster than the one before it. The successive quarter-mile times were: 25 1/5, 24, 23 4/5, 23 2/5, and 23. This means he was still accelerating as of the final quarter-mile of the race. It would be 28 years before any other horse would win the Derby in less than 2 minutes (Monarchos  in 2001).

Secretariat was mourned by millions and buried at Clairborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky, given the rare honor of being buried whole; usually only the head, heart and hooves of a winning race horse are buried, the rest cremated. Post-mortem exam showed that his heart weighed 22 pounds, the largest ever recorded for a racehorse.

Here’s to you Big Red!

Joe is ready for the octagon!

Joe Paterno

Jo-Pa just signed a three-year contract, and he is 82 years old.   A true living legend.  This article is great, check out some of the amazing facts at the end.  http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-paterno28-2008dec28,0,7653788.column