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Best Warm-Up Routines Before Sports 2

Posted on May 22, 2017 by Scott Huntington

Most sports injuries occur when we fail to properly prepare before hitting the turf or the track. Warming up properly loosens muscles before activity and allows for better range of motion without harming joints and ligaments.

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There are many different ways to warm up before physical activity. Some routines might fit your sport better than others, but what is important is to find one that works and see it through prior to your exercise. It can make the difference between a stellar performance and sitting out hurt.

Why Warming Up Is Critical

In professional sports, it’s often the athletes who are not only talented, but stay healthy, who leave lasting legacies. A dynamic warm-up routine serves to activate all of the muscle groups you will use during your workout.

Read the rest of this entry →

How Racing Safety Has Evolved 0

Posted on May 15, 2017 by Scott Huntington

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Former F1 pilot Hans Stuck is credited with one of the most memorable quotes in autodom.

“When I raced a car last,” Stuck proclaims, “it was a time when sex was safe and racing was dangerous, now it’s the other way around.”

Social commentary aside, Stuck is right. The advances made in safety for racing drivers over the last half-century have reduced the sports mortality rate by orders of magnitude, and even allowed drivers to walk away from crashes that at one time would most certainly have been fatal.

Even now, engineers and medical experts work tirelessly to continue to improve the safety record of a sport that is inherently dangerous. Let’s take a look back at how things came so far.

Read the rest of this entry →

Unexpected Dangers of Sports Tailgating 0

Posted on May 12, 2017 by Scott Huntington

Sports tailgating can be a thrilling way to experience a sports team’s culture. The act of tailgating — where fans celebrate in the vicinity of a sports stadium before and after a game with drinks and food — often involves a variety of dedicated fans. In many cases, it can be a fun way to immerse yourself in the excitement of sports, though there are also a number of unexpected dangers associated with sports tailgating.

Tailgating can be fun and accident-free, and, being aware of potential mishaps, you can better avoid the potential of them occurring:

Rowdy Tailgaters

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Even if you’re of sound mind, there’s always the potential of being confronted by intoxicated tailgaters in your vicinity. In fact, a study found one in 12 are people drunk at sporting events — that doesn’t include those sitting with a buzz. The research from the University of Minnesota found those who tailgate, specifically, were 14 times more likely to depart the game intoxicated.

Considering that drunkenness can lead to poor judgment and irrationality, fights and unnecessary confrontation may arise.

Expect some people tailgating near you to be intoxicated, and stick to a group of people you know can handle their alcohol. If confronted by another group who are intoxicated, do your best to avoid them or tailgate elsewhere. Even though it can be a nuisance, moving your tailgating elsewhere can be a better alternative than serious injury. Read the rest of this entry →

What The Original NFL Looked Like 0

Posted on December 22, 2016 by Scott Huntington

The National Football League is rich with history. The league, formed in 1920, hosted a variety of teams, some dissolved or renamed prior to the league’s first Super Bowl in 1967. The fact that only two current NFL teams, the Decatur Staleys – now the Chicago Bears – and the Chicago Cardinals – now the Arizona Cardinals – were founding members of the league shows how considerable and diverse the NFL’s team-based history is.

From the Boston Braves to the Portsmouth Spartans, some early NFL teams are unknown among fans today, though it’s well worthwhile to dig back into history to see their uniforms, success and overall history to get a better grasp of the league’s evolution:

Chicago Cardinals

f21866_chicago_cardinalsThe Cardinals are the oldest team in the NFL, acquiring the Cardinals name in 1901 while starting as the Morgan Athletic Club in Chicago’s South Side. Although showing a strong performance in recent years, the franchise has mostly suffered, only winning championships in 1925 and 1947. Despite being the oldest team, they have yet to win a Super Bowl, their last opportunity coming in January 2009 in Super Bowl XLIII when losing to the Steelers. Read the rest of this entry →

History of NASCAR Pit Crews 1

Posted on December 07, 2016 by Scott Huntington

One of the most iconic aspects of a NASCAR race is the nonstop, top-speed action of the pit crew on the sidelines. These amazing individuals are in charge of high-speed maintenance and repairs for the cars that are tearing their way around the track. We’ve all probably watched them change a tire in a few seconds, but did you ever wonder how these pit crews got their start?

1950s -- 55 seconds

The Time Before

Races didn’t always need the skills of a pit crew. When racing became a mainstream sport back in the 1950s, most of the races were less than 100 miles, total. The only race that really needed the assistance of pit stop engineers was the Southern 500, which was arguably ahead of its time.

That didn’t mean the shorter NASCAR races didn’t have their own version of the pit crew. Cars would blow tires, bump fenders or destroy engine parts that required replacement in order to keep racing. Until the mid-1950s, all these changes were done by hand. The pneumatic air guns that we’re so used to seeing didn’t make a debut until later in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Back then, the fastest recorded time for a tire change was about 55 seconds utilizing manual tools.

Choreography and Timing

After the pneumatic air gun hit the mainstream and pit technicians were able to change tires and remove faulty parts faster than before, the focus switched to speed and efficiency. By using impact wrenches and much faster floor jacks, pit crews could reduce the time it took to change a tire by 17 seconds.

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Adding choreography and practicing the motions that each pit crew position needed to do brought the overall pit stop time down to 33 seconds.

Specialized Pit Crew Roles

Until now, the idea of pit crews included the concept that everyone was interchangeable. The guy handling the fuel one pit stop could be slinging a tire at the next. Through the late 1970s and early 1980s, the idea of specialized pit crew roles began to emerge.

By creating these specialized roles, pit crews were able to practice and perfect the nuances of their specific role rather than trying to do everything.

Today, the average pit crew is made up of 12 people, each trained to perfect their specific role, including:

  • Front and Rear Tire Carriers: As their name suggests, these are the people who carry the replacement tires into the pit and the worn tires away.
  • Fire and Rear Tire Changers: Changes the tires, handling the impact gun to remove and replace the lug nuts.
  • Jack Man: Operates the hydraulic jack that lifts and lowers the car.
  • Gas Man: As the name suggest, he refuels the car usually using two 12-gallon cans.
  • Support Crew: They pick up any slack and help the crew with little tasks.
  • Car and Crew Chiefs: The car chief figures out the best adjustments to make on the car itself. The crew chief is in charge of the crew.
  • Engineer: Works with the car chief to figure out the exact build for each race car.

There will also be a NASCAR official in the pit to make sure all rules are followed, as well as an extra man that may handle tasks like assisting the driver or cleaning the windshield.

By relying on these specialized roles, pit crews can pull off a four-tire change in an astonishing 12 seconds, getting their drivers back on the track that much faster.

The history of the NASCAR pit crew is an exciting and varied one, and every change and invention has helped it become the efficient machine that keeps races going. NASCAR wouldn’t be the same thing that it is today without the smooth motions and choreographed movements of the pit crew.

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 →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • George Musso: From Longshot to Hall of Famer
      August 5, 2017 | 4:52 pm
      George Musso

      George Musso

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month went from small college long shot to Pro Football Hall of Famer.

      When George Musso finished his college career at Millikin College in 1933, Chicago Bears coach George Halas offered the 6-foot-2, 265 pound lineman a tryout and eventually a $90 per game contract, but had serious doubts whether he could make the transition from small college football to the NFL.

      It took a year for Musso to adjust, but by 1935 he was an All-Pro tackle. Two years later, he moved to guard and again earned first team All-NFL honors. He became the first player in NFL history to earn first team All-League honors at two different positions.

      Read more »

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