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Cartoon Sportscaster Tank McNamara and the “Norts Spews” 0

Posted on February 09, 2016 by Mike Raffone

Tank McNamara

With a name that perfectly captures his comic strip persona, Tank McNamara barrels into Sports Then and Now with the “norts spews!”

Boasting a 40 year run as a syndicated comic strip character, big mouthed, broad shouldered broadcaster Tank McNamara easily bogarts his way into today’s blog with his “norts spews” or sports news.

Sure, I may have personally given Tank a mulligan – or two – or thirty when considering this bumbling, brash and bumptious local television reporter of comic strip fame.

But, his inclusion in today’s blog as well as in my sports comic book Favorite Sportscasters stems from the brilliance of two men who brought this imperfect talking head on sports to life.

Creators Jeff Millar and Bill Hinds

Until his 2012 passing, writer Jeff Millar and artist and now writer Bill Hinds gifted the American sports loving public with this magnificent creation.

Since 1974 Millar and Hinds have employed the overly confident Tank McNamara to lampoon the absurdity of sports.

However, the square jawed reporter, famous for his fumble mouth pronunciations like “norts spews” instead of sports news, quickly and frequently gets cut down to size.

Millar and Hinds expertly crafted the seemingly self-assured sportscaster into a buffoon of a former football player, beloved by readers of as many as 300 American newspapers.

In spite of his warts and easily deflated bravado, Tank McNamara remains a fan favorite. Loyal readers can easily recite the brute’s football bio from his fictional alma mater – Enormous State University – to the same #55 jersey number he wore as a college Sandcrab player and later as an NFL defensive lineman.

Distributed by Universal Press Syndicate, the Tank McNamara character seamlessly weaves commentary and illustrative artwork into American culture while furnishing a biting satire of today’s sports world.

Tank McNamara Pricks Societal Ills

From gambling to steroids, domestic disputes to felonious arrests and from breaking news on DUIs to sexual misconduct stories, Tank McNamara poignantly pricks all societal ills.

Tank McNamara’s snarky humor reaches its annual peak when creators ask readers to nominate their choice for Sports Jerk of the Year.

In the less-than-perfect world of sports entertainment, there is usually no shortage of candidates.

And, with a flawed former football player named Tank McNamara reporting on the winner of Sports Jerk of the Year, it’s easy to understand why this likeable lunk finds his way into my sports comic book Favorite Sportscasters.

Click above to download the book from Amazon to read about Tank and other “norts spews.”.

MIKE on sports!

The Palestra: College Basketball’s Most Beloved Arena 1

Posted on February 01, 2016 by Mike Raffone

The Palestra

As the NCAA basketball season inches towards tournament time, allow me to highlight my favorite place on the planet to watch college hoops.

As Philadelphia’s most revered sports venue, the Palestra is appropriately called the Cathedral of College Basketball.

Recognized as the birthplace of college basketball, this hallowed arena opened its doors on the University of Pennsylvania campus on January 1, 1927. On that seminal day, Ivy League rivals Penn and Yale tipped off in what would become the first of thousands of games held in this building.

Named after an ancient Greek rectangular enclosure, the sparkling new facility was designed to house 8,722 spectators.

However, more than 10,000 excited fans crammed into the Palestra to witness Penn beat Yale 26 – 15 on its opening day.

Since then, the Palestra has hosted more NCAA college basketball games than any other arena in the country.

Beginning 1955, the Palestra has also served as the home court for the round robin of Big 5 college basketball games. Though not an official league or athletic conference, the Big 5 boasts five successful college basketball programs located within a 17 mile radius of center city Philadelphia. Read the rest of this entry →

Does Mobile Technology Influence the World of Sports? 2

Posted on January 19, 2016 by John Harris

Mobile-techA good question – and, in my opinion, the answer is a definite no.

Today’s mobile technology influences a lot of aspects of our lives. It has changed the way we communicate with each other, growing the use of social media and various chat apps over the traditional voice calls and text messages. It has changed the way we consume media, putting video streams into our pockets. The increased use of smartphones has determined the increase of mobile internet speed, allowing for faster downloads and seamless video streaming. But sports? No, it didn’t change it in any way.

But mobile technology has had a major influence on how we attend our favorite games. The improved speed of video streaming makes it possible for a basketball fan to watch a game live at the stadium, while following another one on a smartphone. You can even bet on a game while you sit in the stands if you like, thanks to your smartphone and the various online betting services available today. Mobile technology allows you to be in two places at the same time (virtually, of course), or even three. Read the rest of this entry →

The Biggest Football Injuries of 2015 & How Players Are Recovering 1

Posted on January 18, 2016 by Ashley Andrews
Losing Tony Romo to a broken collarbone twice in the 2015 season derailed the season for the Dallas Cowboys.

Losing Tony Romo to a broken collarbone twice in the 2015 season derailed the season for the Dallas Cowboys.

Football is a tough sport. Injuries are a constant part of the game that can even occur on the practice field when players aren’t even giving it their all. That’s the nature of a contact sport with strong guys that can weigh in at a solid 300 pounds.

But the 2015 season was riddled with hundreds of injuries that sidelined just as many players. Experts are blaming the onslaught of injuries, many of which happened early in the season, on overuse. It’s a result of football teams training and/or playing almost year round.

Past injuries were also a hot topic. One of the biggest stories of 2015 was the NFL concussion lawsuit settlement that is now being appealed. The settlement would pay a total of $1 billion to 20,000 plaintiffs that suffered brain trauma while playing in the NFL.

Let’s check in on how players with some of the most serious injuries this season are recovering.

Ricardo Lockette’s Possible Career-Ending Neck Injury

Mid-way through the NFL season, Seattle Seahawk’s wide receiver Ricardo Lockette suffered one of the scariest injuries of the year. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Lockette said that he was extremely dazed after a hard hit and felt completely numb. He ultimately had to have neck surgery for the disc and ligament damage that he suffered. Lockette felt normal mentally after surgery, but he then began a long physical rehab process that started with just walking down a hall. It’s still uncertain where he’ll be at the beginning of the 2016 season. Read the rest of this entry →

Celebrating Jesse Owens on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 0

Posted on January 18, 2016 by Mike Raffone

MIKE Comic 136 Jesse OwensTo celebrate Martin Luther King Day, allow me to acknowledge one of the greatest athletes of all-time.

This extraordinary man helped initiate racial dialogue in America way back then in 1936 and will unwittingly do so now 80+ years later when a major motion picture about his life entitled Race releases next month.

Before MLB’s Jackie Robinson, the NFL’s Jim Brown, the NBA’s Wilt Chamberlain or boxing’s Joe Louis, track star Jesse Owens was regarded as the USA’s first ever African American sports icon.

On our country’s national holiday, let’s remember this great American who flew past his competitors on the track and soared above the hate and discrimination that he faced away from it.

The son of an Alabama sharecropper, James Cleveland Jesse Owens battled pneumonia as a sickly child before his family moved north to Cleveland, Ohio.

Years later, a much stronger and healthier 5’10″ and 165 lb. Owens blossomed as an outstanding track and field athlete at Ohio State University. Read the rest of this entry →

Most Dangerous Sports for Kids and the Most Common Injuries 4

Posted on January 09, 2016 by Brooke Chaplan

youth-soccerContact sports, by their very nature, are the most dangerous for kids of any age to engage in. These include football, soccer, and baseball and often incur the most serious injuries in kids. Others sports that commonly lead to injury are cheerleading, roller skating, ice skating, floor and apparatus gymnastics, and trampoline competitive sports.

Most Common Injuries in Kid’s Contact Sports
According to one of the top brain injury attorneys, for high school and junior league football, one of the most serious injuries is head trauma. Others may include torn ligaments and ACL and MCL separations, spinal injuries, and wrist, ankle and elbow injuries. Some of these sports injuries may also occur in Little League and high school baseball, though less often. In soccer, the common injuries are broken bones, sprains and strains to muscles, and spine and neck problems. About 80% of soccer injuries occur to the feet and legs.

Cheerleading, Gymnastic and Trampoline Injuries

Cheerleading injuries can be serious, depending on the type of acrobatics involved in the routines, and how soon they are treated. Broken arms or legs can often occur during the performance of aerial acrobatics like front and back handsprings, front and back somersaults, and splits from a leaping position, which can also cause strain on the upper thighs and hips.  Read the rest of this entry →

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      January 10, 2016 | 3:06 pm
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      Ken Anderson

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