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Sports Then and Now


Improve Your Golf Game: How to Hone the Pre-Shot Routine

Posted on February 03, 2015 by John Harris
Golf is one sport where practice is essential.

Golf is one sport where practice is essential.

If you watch any professional golfer in action, you will have noticed that they all have their own pre-shot routine and if they get distracted for any reason, they step back and start all over again.

Developing your own pre-shot routine will really help you to improve your golf game, and if you really needed any proof of that, you only to have remind yourself why all the pro golfers do it.

If you check out a resource like BirdGolf, you can find some help with your game in the form of professional tuition, but in the meantime, there are some methods you can work on as well in order to improve your scorecard.

Developing good habits

Golf will never cease to be a challenging game, which is why we love it so much, but it is made harder by the fact that it many of us find it so tough to get a great swing and contact every time we play.

The secret to a successful game and what keeps the professionals in contention, is developing some good habits and sticking to them with a disciplined attitude and approach, so that you can respond well to changing conditions and become more consistent.

One of the best habits you can develop is a good pre-shot routine. If you go through this same routine every time you step up to take a shot, you will improve your confidence and have a much better chance of performing to the best of your ability every time you play. Read the rest of this entry →

Super Bowl Bound Brits: Understanding American Football

Posted on February 03, 2015 by John Harris

Great Britain is a country rich in culture, with a diverse language and a patriotic and proud people who live on a European island serving Queen and country. Fish and chips at the pier, tea and crumpets during lunch, passing the time with online casino games or watching the footie on the telly are all standard fare.

But just across the Atlantic you will find our long lost brothers from yesteryear, a culture built on freedom and ammunition, America. A country made famous in the media for its delicious fast food and muscled heroes. But, none of these things mean anything without all-American Football!

Also known as football or gridiron, American football is a strategic game that originates from rugby. The game is all about making sure your team has as much territory on the field as possible.  The offensive team has control of the ball and they have to ensure they make up as much ground as possible without being stopped by the defending team.

There are also multiple zones on the field and, depending on how much ground the offensive team has made up, these will determine whether or not they retain control over the ball.

Typical equipment worn in American football includes bulky shoulder pads as well as kneepads and a gridded helmet. Although all this protection may seem a little unnecessary to us, as rugby players don’t make use of them, it sure helps preventing major injuries as seen in traditional football back in Europe.  Read the rest of this entry →

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The Fairest Fairways: Top Tips for Golfing in Mont Tremblant

Posted on February 02, 2015 by John Harris
The golf courses at Mont Tremblant are among the most picturesque around.

The golf courses at Mont Tremblant are among the most picturesque around.

There are a lot of factors that play into a tourist’s decision-making process. Selecting a destination is based upon a number of factors, including ease of travel, local accommodations, attractions, and the local environment. When it comes to traveling in pursuit of sport, golf is one of the few sports that draws people to all corners of the globe for a mix of natural splendor and sporting challenge. If you’re contemplating a visit to Mont Tremblant, what tips do you need to plan the perfect golfing trip?

Mont Tremblant Golf Courses

A visit to Quebec is not complete without a day on the links at Mont Tremblant. The facility boasts two championship courses with spectacular plateaus, beautiful greens, and impressive views that challenge you to keep your focus on the game, and not on nature. Le Diable lives up to its name, with devilish surprises hidden at every turn. The course features long, narrow fairways which are bordered by dense forests. Massive red-sand bunkers await any wayward shot.

Le Géant offers a similar challenge to golfers, with impressive mountainside views of the vast Laurentian landscape. The course at Le Géant exists in perfect harmony with the dense forests and impressive mountain landscape surrounding it, challenging you to remain focused on your next shot rather than the scenery around you.

Accommodations

Golfers don’t cross international borders to sleep in tents before hitting the links. Before you spend four hours on the fairways and greens of Mont Tremblant, you’ll need a good night’s sleep. There are a variety of Tremblant rentals available that will wrap you in luxury, power up your game with good sleep, and help you relax after a day on your feet. Vacation rentals in Tremblant include amenities such as sledding for kids, skiing for your travel partners ice skating, and spa retreats to help soothe your muscles at the end of the day. Read the rest of this entry →

Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors are the NBA Midseason Leaders, But Will They Be Standing in June?

Posted on January 31, 2015 by Dean Hybl
Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors have the NBA turned upside down.

Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors have the NBA turned upside down.

At the halfway point of the 2014-2015 NBA season the league seems to be turned upside down.

The best records in the league are held by the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors, two teams with marginal pedigrees.

The Warriors last hoisted the NBA championship trophy 40 years ago when Rick Barry and Jamaal Wilkes led the way.

The last championship won by the Hawks was in 1958 when the team was based in St. Louis and Bob Pettit was the quintessential NBA star.

Conversely, two teams with nearly half of the titles in NBA history between them, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, are out of contention and already looking at next season.

According to top sports betting sites listed at www.sportsbettingacumen.com, the Warriors and Hawks are now among the favorites to win the NBA title.

However, given that neither team has a great track record of playoff performance, it is hard to slot them in as the likely finalists just yet.

Even with a 36-8 mark to start the season and two legitimate stars in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, it will be tough for the Warriors to make it out of the tough Western Conference. With seven teams in the conference already with 30 victories, the Phoenix Suns close behind (28 wins) and the Oklahoma City Thunder (23-23) now healthy and likely to push for a spot in the playoffs. Read the rest of this entry →

Spare the Grizzlies

Posted on January 31, 2015 by Peter Getty
Fresno Grizzlies

Fresno Grizzlies

The offseason is an important time for a baseball team. The winter is when a team’s farm system gets more attention than usual. For the Giants, that usually means there’s going to be some derision for their feeder teams. But is the Giants farm system really that bad?

Golden Gate Sports ran an article that puts the Giants farm system into better perspective. It’s easy to disregard the Fresno Grizzlies, our AAA team, which was 13 games behind last season – and hasn’t fared much better for years. The trouble is, this ‘ineffective’ farm system has produced some of the most valuable players of the Giants roster over the last 10 years!

Next time you hear a fan complaining about the Giant’s farm teams, remind them about the players who came up through that very system, leading to three World Series wins over five years.

Madison Bumgarner and Pablo Sandoval, both essential pieces of this year’s championship, were drafted by the Giants. Matt cain and Tim Lincecum, vital to the 2010 and 2012 teams, were too. And what would we have done without Travis Ishikawa’s World Series home run in 2014? Or Brian Wilson’s 2010 strikeout of Nelson Cruz? All these players played on farm teams for San Fran.

In fact, 13 of 25 players on this year’s World Series roster were drafted by San Fran. Two others had only ever pitched for the Giants. Similar numbers were true for 2012 and 2010. According to calculations made by Golden Gate Sports, a full 68% of the Giant’s full 40-man roster officially called San Francisco their first professional home.

This all points to the whole point of a farm system. I’d argue that they don’t exist to win minor league championships, but first and foremost to groom players for an eventual place on the major league team. After all, in the AAA’s Pacific Coast League, where the Grizzlie’s placed last in 2014, Reno had the best record. Reno is the feeder team for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who ranked last in the National League West, and dead last in the entire league.

So, which farm system is really working out?

Peter Getty’s love of sports began at the age of nine. Baseball first caught his attention when, growing up, he played catch with his dad, Gordon Peter Getty, the former CEO of Getty Oil.  During his youth, Peter participated in all the usual team sports–baseball, basketball, soccer and football. After coming to the realization that he was “awful” at all of them, he decided to be content with being a major sports fan by writing about them. Based in San Francisco, Peter stays current on all the Northern California teams, and has an excellent understanding of all professional sports. In addition to his posts on Sports Then and Now, you can also check out his own blog.

Super Bowl XLIX: Can Brady and the Patriots Deflate the Seahawks?

Posted on January 28, 2015 by Dean Hybl
Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch are hoping or a repeat f Super Bowl XLVIII when they were the dominant team.

Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch are hoping or a repeat f Super Bowl XLVIII when they were the dominant team.

After a week in which we have learned more than we ever wanted to know about the air pressure of a football or Marshawn Lynch’s personality (or lack thereof), we are now closing in on the important topic of just which team will win Super Bowl XLIX.

If live betting trends are any indication, it will be a close game. The defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks were the early favorites, but as the game has drawn closer, the Patriots seem to be attractive to many folks who are laying down money on the game.

One reason the Patriots have become a hot pick is because they dominated the AFC Championship Game while the Seahawks needed a late comeback to earn their back-to-back Super Bowl appearance.

Regardless of whether you think the Patriots gained an advantage in the AFC Championship Game because of the pressure of the footballs, there is no disputing that the Patriots dominated the Colts to reach the Super Bowl for the sixth time in the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady era.

The question now is whether they can claim their fourth victory or if they will fall for the third straight time in the biggest game of the year.

Pete Carroll and the Seahawks didn’t look like they would have a chance to repeat early in the season, or with 10 minutes left in the NFC Championship Game for that matter, but they fought their way back to the top and now have a chance to win back-to-back titles for only the ninth time in Super Bowl history and first time since the Patriots did it a decade ago.

As was the case a year ago when the Seahawks whipped the high-scoring Broncos as well as in each of the two Super Bowl losses the Patriots suffered at the hands of the Giants, the game will hinge on whether a talented offense can overcome a dominant defense. Read the rest of this entry →

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