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Premier League at 25: How Do ex-Pros View the Modern Game? 2

Posted on August 18, 2017 by Peter Addison
The Premier League is celebrating 25 years.

The Premier League is celebrating 25 years.

As the Premier League celebrates its twenty-five year anniversary, there can be no doubt that football has changed irrecoverably over that period. It seems that the modern game is all about money, and the grip of the money giants means that plucky upstarts like Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers can no longer hope to challenge the elite as they have in the past (we’ll excuse Leicester City’s 2015-16 EPL win as an anomaly).

The question is, how do ex-Pros view the cash-cow that modern football has become? Are they resentful of the money that current pros earn – after all, Middlesbrough’s Britt Assombalonga, a player who’s never even played in the top flight, is reportedly on £40,000 a week.

In a recent Emile Heskey interview at the fan-created site AskFans.co.uk, the former Leicester City, Liverpool and England striker gave his thoughts. “The game’s quicker, people are looking after their bodies better, and there are certain more athletes around then when I first started,” said Heskey. He also cited Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and new Manchester United record signing Romelu Lakuku as modern-day players he would like to have played with.

One player who has seen it all is George Haigh. You’ve probably not heard of him, but currently, at a staggering one hundred and two years of age, Haigh is the oldest surviving professional footballer, having made his debut for Stockport County in 1936. He doesn’t actually see much difference between the modern era and sepia-tinged times. “I would’ve found it easy playing today; centre-half would’ve been dead easy for me knowing what I know now, I’d have been an international!  And the equipment is so much better; the boots were so heavy in my day, especially when it was wet.  In the modern era, David Beckham is probably the one who stands out, I’d like to have taken him on.” Read the rest of this entry →

3 of the Top Lesbian Sports Stars 1

Posted on July 19, 2017 by Sudhir Singh
Brittney Griner is one of the biggest stars of the WNBA.

Brittney Griner is one of the biggest stars of the WNBA.

It takes a strong female to rise to the top of a male-dominated sport. In many traditionally male-centric sports, the glass ceiling is being shattered by talented women who are proud of their athleticism and who they are as individuals.

Here are three stars that happen to be lesbians who bring pride to their sport and the LGBQT community.

Megan Rapinoe

The U.S. women’s soccer team star, Megan Rapinoe, has been in the national spotlight for over a decade. She helped her team secure Olympic Gold Medals in 2008 and 2012 and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. One of Rapinoe’s most memorable career highs is when she became the first and only player, male or female, to score a Goal Olimpico at the 2012 Olympic Games. After opening up about her sexuality in 2012, she has continued to advocate for LGBQT rights. Rapinoe knelt during the national anthem like NFL player Colin Kaepernick in protest of racial injustices across the nation.

Brittney Griner

American professional basketball player Brittney Griner has some impressive stats. While playing at Baylor University, she became the only NCAA player to score a whopping 2,000 points and block 500 shots.  The 6’8 ball player who boasts a wing-span of 86 inches has also made the U.S. Olympic team twice and helped bring the gold medal home in 2016.  Griner was named The Associated Press’ 2012 Player of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. In her 2014 memoir, “In My Skin: My Life On And Off The Basketball Court,” the reserved Griner talks about being bullied during her adolescent years and how it affected her confidence. She also reveals how she was unaware of Baylor University’s policy on homosexuality when she joined their team (Griner came out in high school but during her years at Baylor, was asked by officials to keep her sexual orientation concealed). Griner held true to herself and lives her life with integrity today. Read the rest of this entry →

Playing Football Themed Online Games 25

Posted on February 06, 2017 by Stewards Mike

Online-soccerFootball themed online games are among the most popular of the online casino slot games that have sports themes. There are different sports that are going to show up over and over again in these categories of games. Football is one of the main ones.

In the world of online casino gaming, there are lots of people who really like sports in general. They are going to enjoy sports betting in particular. There is also going to be a sizable overlap between the people who really love gambling of all kinds and the people who really love sports. Both activities are exciting, they both involve both skill and luck, and they are full of tense moments where every second really counts. It makes sense to try to combine these two types of games together in the form of online casino slot games.

Online casino slot games work really well when it comes to building excitement. Adding a sports theme to the mix is only going to make things that much better in that regard, especially something like football. Football is one of the most intense of all sports, and a lot of people tune in all around the world to watch as the action unfolds. They are going to feel really excited to play online casino slot games that remind them of their favorite games. Read the rest of this entry →

How to Be the Soccer Coach Every Kid Dreams About 0

Posted on January 24, 2017 by Ashley Andrews

youth soccer coachesDo you remember what it was like to play soccer as a kid? Did you idolize your coach, or did you dread the thought of each practice and game? Did you imagine yourself growing up to be a soccer star, playing at some of the most famous stadiums in the world? Did you dare to dream? Did you learn the art of the game?

Chances are if you had a good coach, you learned not only how to play soccer, but some valuable life lessons along the way as well. If you now have kids of your own, you can appreciate the importance of having an inspiring coach. A good coach is just as important as having the right equipment. You wouldn’t have your child play without knee pads, cleats and other footwear, or apparel such as a jersey and shorts. Whether you purchase your child’s soccer uniform and accessories from an online retailer that specializes in all things soccer, like Soccerloco, or from your local secondhand store, the most important factor is that your child has fun. That all starts with dressing the part of a soccer player and having a great coach.

If you’re a coach, you no doubt want to be the best coach you can be. Being part of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and attending the convention can help you become an inspiring and respected coach in your community. Read the rest of this entry →

Is The Premier League Getting the Better of Guardiola? 2

Posted on December 16, 2016 by James Thomas
Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola is understandably viewed as a footballing purist. Anyone fortunate enough to witness his Barcelona side in full flow, with miniature maestros Xavi and Iniesta dizzying the opposition, softening them up for the slaloming brilliance of Messi, glimpsed a level of football closer to perfection than anything seen before or since.

Guadiola has always maintained, however, that he is against the type of football known as tiki-taka – passing for the sake of passing. The objective for Guardiola has always been to win and he’s been phenomenally successful. He won the first six trophies available to him at Barcelona – an unprecedented sextuple of La Liga, Copa Del Ray, Champions League, European Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup and the Club World Cup – and didn’t do too badly at Bayern Munich either, winning three straight championships by comfortable margins.

Manchester City fans were understandably thrilled at Guardiola’s appointment in the summer. A manager who wins more than anyone else with greater style than anyone else – what’s not to like?

Others, however, predicted a rocky road for Guardiola in England. The phrase “can they do it on a cold Wednesday night in Stoke” was used, albeit often with irony, to question how Messi, Xavi and other tiki-taka purists would cope in the hurly burly of the Premiership. For many, England posed the ultimate test to Guardiola’s style of play: could artistic football survive a close encounter with Ryan Shawcross and managers in the mould of Steve Bruce, who famously said “some would say it wasn’t even a red card” about the tackle from Martin Taylor that shattered Eduardo’s leg?

Those who stick their neck out as football pundits are used to having humble pie thrust towards them and Guadiola’s stellar start with Man City had many eating their words. City won their first ten games in all competitions under Guardiola, including a highly impressive win away at Old Trafford, and the players looked to be adapting to his unique style of play well.

The first blip in City’s season, a 3-3 draw at Celtic, appeared little to worry about, but was followed by a 2-0 defeat away to Spurs. Mauricio Pochettino’s men brought the full force and physicality of the Premier League to bear on Guardiola’s team that day and won comfortably.

City’s run since then hasn’t quite been disastrous but four wins in 15 games is not something Guadiola is used to. A few of the naysayers have raised their heads above the parapet again and wondered whether the physicality of the Premier League is belatedly getting the better of the Spaniard, but the biggest concerns have been raised by Guardiola himself. Read the rest of this entry →

The 5 Most Common Professional Sports Injuries 14

Posted on August 03, 2016 by Kara Masterson

soccer-injuryProfessional athletes are constantly striving for physical perfection and athletic greatness, and that very often means injuring themselves in the pursuit of those goals. Some injuries and maladies are more common than others among professional athletes, regardless of the sport or activity that they participate in. Here are five of the most common professional sports injuries that befall athletes:

Pulled Muscles

Overexertion and rapid acceleration often lead to pulled muscles, which are the bane of any athlete’s existence. The severity of pulled muscle injuries varies widely: athletes who pull their biceps muscle attempting to throw or lift a heavy weight may only be sidelined for a couple of days whereas athletes who pull their hamstrings running may miss several months. The spectra of a pulled muscle can be mostly avoided with proper stretching and warming up, but they can never be completely eradicated from the sports world.

MCL/ACL Tear or Strain

The knee is an amazing joint, but it is also very complex and fragile and therefore susceptible to painful injury. The MCL and ACL ligaments are frequently damaged by quick stops and starts or rapid attempted changes in direction. These injuries can be devastating to an athletic career, and injured parties require surgery and several months of intense physical therapy to fully recover. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Joe Cronin: Player-Manager
      October 1, 2017 | 8:21 am
      Joe Cronin

      Joe Cronin

      In recognition of the start of the baseball playoffs, we recognize as the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month a man who managed pennant winning teams in Washington and Boston and spent more than decade as a player-manager.

      When the Boston Red Sox acquired Joe Cronin following the 1934 season they didn’t just get an All-Star player, they also got a new manager.

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