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What to Know Before Getting Your Kids Into Competitive Swimming 0

Posted on October 07, 2016 by Scott Huntington

Twenty-eight. That is the number of medals won by Michael Phelps, putting him in the category of “Most Decorated Olympian of All Time.” Truly inspiring not only for Americans who take pride in winning, but also for the next generation of competitive swimmers. Exhibit A: the much-circulated photo of Phelps and Katie Ledecky taken in 2006. She would go on to win her own boatload of medals at the Rio Olympics alongside Michael. The young swimmers diving into the pool today might not have the opportunity to swim alongside Phelps on an Olympic Team, but that won’t diminish their hopes for the gold.

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As parents, there are a lot of things you can do in support of your young swimmer beyond just dropping them off at the pool. Here’s what to know before getting your kids into competitive swimming:

You’ll Need to Start With the Basics

As with any type of sport, it is essential that your kid start with the basics. Swimming lessons are a great way to introduce your young swimmer to the various strokes and styles. They’ll quickly discover the challenges associated with competitive swimming, including the importance of a proper turn. These swimming lessons will become the foundation for all that follows in their competitive swimming career. Read the rest of this entry →

How “The Hunger Games” Helped Archery as a Sport 0

Posted on September 01, 2016 by Scott Huntington

When you hear the word archer, some of the names you think about are Robin Hood, Legolas and the Green Arrow. However, credit for making archery cool in the U.S. goes to a different archer.

After the 2012 release of “The Hunger Games” showed audiences the heroics of Katniss Everdeen, portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence, the popularity of archery in the United States soared. Children dressed up as little archers for Halloween. Young adults started reading again, starting with the book series for the movie.

It wasn’t just that Katniss Everdeen was an archer – archers have been portrayed in movies before. Robin Hood is a legendary thief, Legolas is a somewhat magical elf and the Green Arrow is a superhero.

What made Katniss so cool is how ordinary she was outside of her skill with a bow and arrow. She was just a regular teenager from the poorest district in her country, and out of nowhere, she won an annual, deadly competition. Katniss gave archery a new coolness it hadn’t quite experienced before.

The influence of “The Hunger Games” has reached near and far throughout the country, making archery something of a phenomenon. Read the rest of this entry →

NFL Injuries That Will Impact the 2016 Season 6

Posted on July 18, 2016 by Scott Huntington

The 2016-2017 NFL season is fast approaching. The first game is a Super Bowl rematch between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, on Thursday, September 8th, and for most fans, it can’t come soon enough.

Before that, though, millions of fans are speculating on everything NFL: Who should I pick for fantasy this year? How will my favorite team perform? Will injuries wreak havoc like last year? They’re all valid questions that fans will be discussing until opening night and beyond.

While the preseason brings a variety of injuries that are speculative in nature, at least in terms of how long they’ll hold a player out, there are several injuries that have a high certainty of impacting the NFL season. These are four of the high-profile NFL injury names to keep an eye on as September approaches:

1. Sammy Watkins

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The Buffalo Bills #1 wide receiver is clearly a star in development. When he’s on the field, he’s electric. However, injuries have derailed him so far at times, with a broken foot putting into question Watkins’ readiness for week one. Recent news is optimistic though, as Watkins posted a video on Instagram of him running, while mentioning that his goal is to “get ready for the first game.” Even if he’s slow or a non-participant during training camp, Bills fans can likely expect him lining up for week one. Read the rest of this entry →

Cheapest and Most Expensive Youth Sports 1

Posted on May 02, 2016 by Scott Huntington

As the market for youth sports and recreation climbs into the billions, it can be difficult to gauge where you should invest your money. With that mind, we’ve compiled a short list of some of the cheapest as well as the most expensive youth sports options today.

The Cheapest Youth Sports

Basketball

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Played in driveways, backyards, neighborhood parks and even in the streets, basketball is a game that can be enjoyed by nearly anyone and at any place. Many middle and high schools offer youth basketball at little or no cost to the parent, and some communities even organize their own leagues that are separate from school-sponsored sports. All you really need is a ball and a hoop and you’re good to go.

Swimming

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Swimming is another youth sport that is easy and cheap to begin. The act of swimming can be practiced in rivers, lakes and even backyard swimming pools, and many students are exposed to swim class either in middle or high school. If not, memberships to community pools are usually quite affordable. It can only start to get expensive at the competitive level, where you’re paying for an abundance of pool time and starting to take long trips for meets. That can be true of any sport though.   Read the rest of this entry →

Worst Injuries in Football History 4

Posted on March 04, 2016 by Scott Huntington

NFL football is the most popular sport in the United States, which comes as little surprise to most Americans. From opening day to the Super Bowl, football is a weekly phenomenon. However, between all the dazzling Odell Beckham Jr. one-handed grabs and Aaron Rodgers successful Hail Marys, there’s an unsettling truth lurking: Football is – by far – the most dangerous popular sport.

In 2013, more than 4,500 NFL players reached a $765 million settlement with the league after being diagnosed with and/or suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease often caused by a severe blow to the head. CTE is impossible to diagnose until death, but many players report the symptoms, which begin to show around 8-10 years after the infliction. CTE sufferers can experience dizziness, headaches and disorientation, in addition to memory loss, poor judgment and erratic behavior.

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While a big tackle isn’t necessarily going to inflict future CTE among the player being hit every time, there’s no arguing that the potential for CTE is a growing concern every time players take the field. It’s a sad reality that, when you turn on a professional football game, it’s extremely likely that players you’re watching will develop CTE symptoms down the line, purely because how the game is played. No other sport involves as much contact or bang-bang tackles. Football leads significantly as the sport with the most head injuries.

When looking at the types of injuries that are fairly commonplace in the sport, certain gruesome injuries come to mind that effectively demonstrate the sport’s high-risk nature, even beyond the brain:

Mike Utley’s Vertebrae Injury

Mike Utley, a former Lions offensive lineman, suffered perhaps the sport’s more gruesome injury when he severely injured his sixth and seventh vertebrae against the LA Rams on Nov. 17, 1991. Although he gave the crowd a thumbs-up as he was removed from the field, his spinal cord injuries made him a paraplegic. Although his career was finished by the injury, Utley has turned it into a positive, starting the Mike Utley Foundation, which supports treatment for spinal cord injuries.

Read the rest of this entry →

A Look At Some Of the Weirdest Races in History 1

Posted on February 15, 2016 by Scott Huntington

Racing is a pastime shared around the world, although the form it takes may differ depending on where you are. From NASCAR to rally cars, from cross-country to the 100 meter dash, we’ve found a huge variety of ways to race. Of course, some races are stranger than others.

Robot Camel Racing

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Camel racing in the Arabian Peninsula is akin to horse racing in Europe. It’s a tradition that goes back hundreds of years, and it’s fiercely competitive. The United Arab Emirates in particular has a strong camel racing community, but in recent years the tradition has undergone a transformation. In the 80s and 90s, it was common to train children as jockeys due to their lighter weight. However, camel racing is a dangerous sport, and injuries were common. That’s where the robots come in. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Paul Blair: Defensive Whiz
      May 30, 2017 | 9:21 pm

      Blair-OriolesMore than 40 years before current stalwart Adam Jones first patrolled centerfield for the Baltimore Orioles, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month roamed the field with grace while also providing the Orioles with timely hitting for more than a decade.

      On a team that built its strength through pitching and defense, Paul Blair fit perfectly. He is one of seven members of the Orioles from that era who won at least three Gold Gloves and is tied with Mark Belanger for the second most in team history.

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