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Some Brave Predictions for the 2015 Rugby World Cup

Posted on July 31, 2015 by Samantha Waites
Who will lift the 2015 Rugby World Cup?

Who will lift the 2015 Rugby World Cup?

For Rugby fans, the next sixty odd days can’t pass quickly enough. The 2015 Rugby World Cup is fast approaching and Rugby enthusiast just can’t wait for it to take stage. The wait for the World cup will be over in just over two-month’s time and following are a few brave predictions from me concerning the event.

The All Blacks won’t defend their Title

For Rugby fans around the world, loving the All Blacks is a hard thing to do since they pretty much win everything in sight. However, despite being the world’s best Rugby team at this point of time, it will be hard for team from New Zealand to defend its title. The reason for this is simple—they haven’t won a World Cup outside of their home soil. I cannot see the trend changing this time around.

The Irish will finally make it to the Semi-Finals

The Irish have tried again and again in World Cups to reach the Semi-Finals but for one reason or the other always seems to fall short of their mark. However, a maiden World Cup Semi-Final appearance is what the Irish victories against SpringBoks and Australia in the calendar year 2014 indicates.

Fiji will become a sorry tale a week after the Cup kicks off

Playing without some of their best players doesn’t help the cause of the most flamboyant Pacific island nation. The first five days of the competition is going to be tough period for Fiji as they’ll have to tackle two time Rugby champions: Australia with some of their star players missing.

Samoa will give Scotland a Scare

In the 2015 Rugby World Cup I can see the tiny nation of Samoa giving a massive scare to the team from Great Britain: Scotland. However, I can also see the Scots eventually coming through this nail-biting affair. Read the rest of this entry →

How Technology Has Changed Sporting Events

Posted on July 29, 2015 by Cassie Phillips

Have you ever considered the way in which you watch your game, and how it might be different from decades past? Smartphones and video-streaming computers are really inventions perfected in the last two decades, but everyone acts as though they’ve always been here. When it comes to sports, we are going full steam ahead to see things that are conservative by their very nature, and that balance is a delicate thing to consider.

There have been different, small advancements in technology and improvements in sports medicine have changed how long player’s careers are and pushed their bodies to the limit. Yet for the common fan of nearly any sports, the advancements have been in how they watch it and the options available for viewing. You can watch the game from two sets of commentators, hear a variety of radio stations talk about it, and so on. The relative ease of setting up a station means that, if you want, you can spend every waking moment of your life surrounded by sports and sports talk-shows. The fans have never had it easier, but it important to put it into perspective.

Technology-1

Replays and Multiple Cameras

During the dawn of the sports era in America, having just a couple of cameras to watch on a black and white screen was a technological achievement all sports fans asked for. Now HDTV on a TV greater than 30 inches is the new norm. Every little detail is displayed, and that leads to an extra level of scrutiny on all levels, especially when there are at least ten cameras at every major sporting event. It makes one wonder just how the players are affected by the extra pressure and attention.

You can now find instant replay of referees taking a look at instant replay. There used to be no such thing; now every sport on television has it, and some officials use it on the field or are just starting to open up its use. It is as if we are starting to not trust our officials anymore. If you watch a full baseball game start to finish, you will see the same big play about four times spread out over the nine innings just so that the broadcasters can remind you that it happened. Do they trust our attention spans anymore? Are we as fans becoming this bored with the games we love that we require all of this technology? Read the rest of this entry →

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Things to Consider When Getting Ready for a Florida Fishing Trip

Posted on July 28, 2015 by Edwin Smith
You can catch some amazing fish during a Florida fishing trip.

You can catch some amazing fish during a Florida fishing trip.

Fishing is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend time in nature. There are a number of different factors that come along with planning out a great Florida fishing trip. Neglecting to properly plan out a trip will usually lead to a bad experience for all involved. Ensuring that all of the bases are covered in regards to your fishing trip will help a person have a good experience. Here are a few things that you have to consider when trying to get ready for a fishing trip.

Checking the Life Jackets

The first thing to consider when trying to get ready for a fishing trip are the life jackets you have. You need to make sure the life jackets are in good shape and are functioning properly. The more you are able to find out about the condition of your safety equipment, the easier you will find it to rest easy while on the water. If you detect a problem with the life jackets, then it is best to buy new ones. Neglecting to check the safety equipment properly can lead to a number of negative consequences.

Getting the Boat Seaworthy

The next thing to consider when trying to get ready for a fishing trip is the condition of the boat. By taking the time to check all of the fluids, you can make sure the boat is ready to go. Make sure the boat is also full of gas to avoid having to stop in the middle of a good fishing trip to go gas up. The time and effort that goes into checking a boat out will allow you to avoid breaking down while out and about. Make sure you have the boat professionally serviced from time to time to ensure proper repairs. Read the rest of this entry →

Time to Put Luis Tiant in the Baseball Hall of Fame

Posted on July 26, 2015 by Dean Hybl
Luis Tiant won 229 games during his Major League career.

Luis Tiant won 229 games during his Major League career.

With the induction this weekend of John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson to the Baseball Hall of Fame the committee has again sent a mixed message about what constitutes a Hall of Fame pitcher.

Johnson completed his career with 303 wins to rank 22nd all-time, but neither Martinez or Smoltz rank in the top 75 in career pitching victories. With 219 career wins, Martinez is tied for 76th in baseball history. Smoltz completed his career with 213 wins to rank tied for 89th.

Of course, the argument for both Martinez and Smoltz is that at their best, they were elite pitchers and worthy of Hall of Fame recognition.

While that argument can certainly be justified for Martinez, the numbers don’t quite work out that way for Smoltz.

Using the six seasons in which they won the most games as a benchmark, Martinez averaged a 19-6 record with a 2.28 ERA and 270 strikeouts. The average numbers for Smoltz were a 17-9 record with a 3.14 ERA and 221 strikeouts. Just as comparison, Johnson’s six top seasons averaged 20-7 with a 2.72 ERA and 330 strikeouts.

The numbers for Martinez and Johnson are comparable to many Hall of Famers, but the peak year stats for Smoltz appear rather pedestrian and are not especially better than those of several pitchers with comparable career numbers, but no Hall of Fame plaque.

One pitcher who has received increased support for the Hall of Fame in recent years, but has yet to earn his spot in Cooperstown is former Boston Red Sox great Luis Tiant.

During his 19 year major league career, Tiant posted a 229-172 record (.571 winning percentage) with a 3.30 ERA and 2416 strikeouts. His win total is greater than that of 23 Hall of Famers, including not only Martinez and Smoltz, but also Jim Bunning, Catfish Hunter, Don Drysdale, Bob Lemon and Sandy Koufax. Read the rest of this entry →

Examples in Excellence: Most Inspiring Coaches of the Last Decade

Posted on July 24, 2015 by Brooke Chaplan
Jill Ellis has been successful building the U.S. Women's Soccer Team into a team of stars.

Jill Ellis has been successful building the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team into a team where everyone plays their role.

The greatest sports coaches have the power to inspire their athletes to be better than they’ve ever been and change the whole dynamic of a team. We’ve all seen what an amazing leader can do for an otherwise scrappy team, and here are just a few of the most remarkable examples of the last decade.

Build Teams with Great Players, Not One Great Player
Jill Ellis experienced incredible training as a young coach at UCLA when she was mentored by John Wooden. Now she is the manager of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team.

Ellis creates a clear team concept and teaches each player their role within it. At her father’s suggestion, she learned communication outside her sport. For a while, she was a technical writer. Now she can explain her team vision and help her players to be their best within it. Her background was able to prepare her for seeing a big picture and what each part needs to do to organize a working machine.

Leadership by Listening
Steve Kerr was the first rookie head coach in the NBA to win the championship since 1982. The Golden State Warriors were a team of current and future all-stars, but they needed someone who could pull all the pieces together.

Kerr created a system based on the strengths of his players to maximize the team’s performance. He also empowered his coaching staff to share their ideas and listened to everyone. Most significantly, in the NBA Finals, an assistant coach wanted to change the starting line-up to help them deal with the previously unstoppable LeBron James. Kerr accepted and implemented the idea. Not only did it work, Kerr publicly identified his assistant as the source of the idea. This is one example out of dozens of Kerr giving credit to others for the team’s success.
Read the rest of this entry →

3 Reasons You Can’t Miss the U.S. Open

Posted on July 21, 2015 by Jeremy Biberdorf
The 2014 U.S. Open finals included unfamiliar faces in Kei Nishikori and champion Marin Cilic.

The 2014 U.S. Open finals included unfamiliar faces in Kei Nishikori and champion Marin Cilic.

The 2015 US Open is around the corner, and one thing is certain – it’s a can’t-miss experience for both diehard and casual fans alike. Grab your tickets now – they are going fast.

These are the top 3 reasons that you can’t miss out on the 2015 US Open.

1. The tennis is electrifying.

Have you ever seen Serena, Roger or Rafa play, their talent and shot-making on full display? Now, imagine seeing them live and in person. There’s nothing like it. It’s exciting, it’s intense – and it’s impossible to fully appreciate through a television set.

2. The celeb-spotting opportunities are endless.

At the US Open, the stars are on the court and in the stands – oftentimes sitting right next to you.

The US Open is an event to see and be seen. Alec Baldwin is a regular and several other celebrities have made appearances in years past.

3. The food is really good.

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    • Maureen Connolly: Little Mo
      July 3, 2015 | 3:39 pm
      Maureen Connolly

      Maureen Connolly

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the most dominating women’s tennis player of her career before a tragic accident ended her career while she was still a teenager.

      Maureen “Little Mo” Connelly won the final nine majors in which she competed, which is quite impressive given how challenging Serena Williams is currently finding it to win four straight majors for the second time in her career.

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