Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now


The Greatest Athletic Feat Ever?

Posted on September 22, 2018 by Joe Fleming

KipchogeMarathon runners train for years and years to not just compete against other marathoners but themselves, working tirelessly to shave even a handful of seconds off their personal best time. One marathoner put the rest to shame recently, running the fastest marathon ever and completely obliterating the world record.

The most dominant marathon runner of the modern era, Eliud Kipchoge, of Kenya, shattered the world record for marathon running in his most recent race in Berlin on September 16, 2018. He passed the finish line after only 2 hours 1 minute and 39 seconds (2:01:39). The previous world record was 2:02:57.

To put that in perspective, Kipchoge ran 26.2 miles in around a couple hours averaging 4 minutes and 38 seconds per mile. It’s one thing to run that fast. It’s another to run that fast for so long.

Granted, this wasn’t Kipchoge’s first rodeo. He is the reigning Olympic gold medalist having won the marathon in 2016 in Rio, which was just one of the 9 marathons he has won since 2013 (not including the most recent Berlin race). That is practically unheard of.

This most recent marathon was his first time, however, to inch so close to the 2-hour mark for an official timed marathon race. (He did run a marathon in 02:00:25 in 2016 for a Nike experiment, however, it was on an optimized track). Read the rest of this entry →

Is Sports an Expensive Activity?

Posted on September 22, 2018 by John Harris

tennis=2018If you’re a sports lover, then you might have noticed something: it’s not always the cheapest activity on earth. From the equipment to the clothes to supporting your local sports team, there’s always one cost or another to pay. But can we call it ‘expensive’? We’re not too sure. After all, there are millions – billions? – of people around the world who engage in some sort of physical activity, and most of them are not rich. Below, we take a look at the various costs attached to sports and try to come to some conclusion about the matter.

The Equipment

You need some equipment to play sports, even if that’s just a car to take you to the track. But most sports require much more than this. Let’s take, say, soccer. You’d need a ball, the right footwear, and a goal if you’re going to play a version of the sport that looks like the real thing. The ball will be cheap, but everything else? Those costs add up, and in the case of the footwear, will need to be replaced over time. The good news is that you generally only need to buy the bulky, most expensive pieces of equipment once.

Having the Right Gear

You can’t go out to engage in your favorite sport wearing your everyday clothes! You need the shorts, shoes, and shirts – not to mention various other apparel – that has been custom made for sports. And generally, you want to buy the best stuff: the sport is more comfortable to play if you’re wearing high-quality clothing that was designed for top-end performance. Walk into a sports store, and you might blink twice at the cost of these items, but there are cheaper ways to buy. Take a look at Nike discounts and deals, and you’ll be able to make big savings on your essential sportswear. The best clothing only looks expensive to begin with. Once you know where to look, things become much more manageable. Read the rest of this entry →

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Famous Runners with Flat Feet

Posted on September 12, 2018 by Joe Fleming
Alan Webb

Alan Webb

Nobody would ever argue that their flat feet offered any physical advantage to their fitness regime. Instead, the postural deformity of fallen arches is known to cause an array of uncomfortable complications, including Achilles tendonitis, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, or shin splints.

However, in modern times, flat feet are no longer considered to be the immovable obstacles that they once were, and these troubles are hardly enough to prevent ambitious runners from reaching their full potential. In fact, many of the world’s greatest runners who were seemingly cursed by flat feet still managed to find a way to move faster than anyone else. To celebrate these triumphs, here is a list of three highly impressive flat-footed athletes, who will hopefully motivate you to keep your own arches marching.

Saïd Aouita

Considered one of the first famous Arab sportspeople, Moroccan born Saïd Aouita boasts an extensive list of achievements which left his competitors in the dust. His passion was firmly fixed to the track and field events, and he left his permanent mark on that scene when he won the 5,000 meters at the 1984 Summer Olympics. Saïd’s impressive résumé doesn’t end there either, as he’s set many world records too, including the fastest time for the 1,500 meters (at 3:29.46), 2,000 meters (at 4:50.80), 3,000 meters (at 7:29.45), and twice for the 5,000 meters (at 13:00.40 and 12:58.39). What’s more, these are only a small portion of the man’s complete accomplishments.

Despite attaining such monumental successes, Saïd Aouita admits that his fallen arches have been an issue during his entire career. ”My only problem is that I have flat feet, which promotes tendinitis,” he admitted to French newspaper L’Equipe. Since then, Aouita has credited his special shoes for providing the additional support he needs, which is the same solution that many similar runners have discovered for themselves. Supplementing fallen arches with an orthotic insole can help balance out the pressure on your feet and better support the adjoining ligaments and tendons.

Alan Webb

In 2007, American track and field athlete Alan Webb broke the U.S. Record for the fastest mile time ever, clocking in at 3:46.91. Said record still remains unbeaten to this very day. Alan is also known for his representation of the United States during the 2004 Summer Olympics where he ran the 1,500-meter race. Due to such an impressive biography, it’s no surprise to anyone that Nike hired him to represent their brand from 2002 – 2013. Read the rest of this entry →

Top 4 Ways to Find the Right Equipment for Your Home Gym

Posted on September 12, 2018 by Michael Sanduso

Home gymThere’s something exciting about getting back into the habit of working out. Before you begin comparing what different fitness equipment stores have to offer, set some ground rules for choosing only the best. Here are a few tips that will help.

Start With the Basics

It’s been a long time since you worked out regularly. Now is not the time to invest in a lot of equipment that is beyond your ability. Focus instead on basic equipment like benches, weights, and other resources that you can use to tone those muscles and build endurance. The day will come when you can add more equipment and take advantage of the great pricing for new exercise machines for sale. For now, simple and basic will serve you well.

A Little Fun Won’t Hurt

While you may be sticking with the basics for now, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun at the same time. You’ll find that the better fitness equipment stores offer equipment that almost makes it seem as if you are playing instead of working out. Remember how much fun it was to jump rope when you were a kid? Consider adding some time jumping rope to your workout routine. It’s a great stress reducer and works out more muscles groups than most people realize. Jumping rope is also a lot of fun even if you aren’t particularly stressed right now. Read the rest of this entry →

5 Predictions for the 2018 NFL Season

Posted on September 08, 2018 by Dean Hybl
Expect Ezekiel Elliott to have a huge season in 2018.

Expect Ezekiel Elliott to have a huge season in 2018.

It is finally that time again, can you say “Are You Ready for some football?”

The 2018 NFL season should be an interesting one as the Philadelphia Eagles are the defending champions, the New England Patriots may finally be coming back to earth and the Cleveland Browns seem likely not to go 0-16 again.

For anyone looking to make a killing at 10 Bet Football below are five predictions for the 2018 season.

Buy Ezekiel Elliott and Sell Le’Veon Bell

Last year Le’Veon Bell was one of the best players in the NFL and Ezekiel Elliott suffered through a rough sophomore year that included a six game suspension.

After a full training camp, watch for Elliott to be focused on returning to the elite running back status he displayed during his first NFL campaign in 2016.

Conversely, Bell sat out training camp for the second straight year and after returning before the first game last year, he is not playing in the 2018 opener and could be out for a while.

Given that the prime performance years for running backs is historically short-lived, Bell is determined to get a large guaranteed payday while still at his highest level.

Last year he touched the ball more than 400 times, which is usually one of the major reasons that running backs don’t last. Knowing that the Steelers are not going to use him wisely once he joins the team, Bell and his representatives have decided that they need to take control by sitting for what appears to be multiple games.

So, my prediction for 2018 is that Elliott will be an All-Pro while Bell will not have a special season, but will likely position himself for a pretty good payday in 2019.

Watch Out For the Browns

I am tempted to predict that the Cleveland Browns will win more games than the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, but that might be just a little too bold.

What does seem likely is that the 2018 Cleveland Browns will win more games than has been won in Cleveland over the last two seasons. Granted, they just need two wins to exceed that total, but I do believe the Browns have elevated their talent level and will be competitive this season.

Heck, even though they were the second team in NFL history to go 0-16 last year, head coach Hue Jackson had them playing hard almost every week. They just lacked enough talent to make enough great plays to win games. Read the rest of this entry →

Serena Williams is Right – Carlos Ramos Is a Thief

Posted on September 08, 2018 by Dean Hybl
Tennis Thief Carlos Ramos.

Tennis Thief Carlos Ramos.

Sports officials have been doing their collective best to ruin sports, ensure they are part of the show and occasionally thrust themselves into the outcome of a contest for years, but tennis umpire Carlos Ramos has now taken that self-indulgence to an unprecedented level by stealing the opportunity for a competitor to fairly compete for a title at the 2018 U.S. Open Women’s Final.

Naomi Osaka played a great match to win the women’s tennis U.S. Open, but there is no doubt that Carlos Ramos stole the chance for Serena Williams to win her 24th Grand Slam by deciding he was bigger than the players or the match.

Early in the second set he gave a penalty to the coach of Serena Williams, Patrick Mouratoglou, for what he called coaching during the match. While Mouratoglou admitted after the match that he was coaching, he also said that he and every coach does some type of coaching during every match. That was acknowledged by Chrissie Evert during her commentary.

Williams, however, insisted that she was not cheating and Mouratoglou said after the match that he was pretty sure that Serena didn’t see him.

Later in the set, after having finally broken Osaka and then being broken back twice, Williams broke her racket in frustration.

Because of the previous violation, Serena received a second conduct warning, which resulted in the loss of a point in a game that Osaka won by love.

At the next break, Serena was still frustrated and multiple times asked the umpire to apologize to her for what she considered calling her a cheater. As he kept refusing to acknowledge any culpability, Serena said that he stole a point from her and then called the official a thief, which seems to be pretty accurate. Just to be clear, she did not cuss at him or use any abusive words.

Showing that he was determined to make this match about him, Ramos called a third conduct penalty on Serena, which he knew when he was doing it would result in a game penalty and basically end the chance for Serena to win the match because it took away a chance for Williams to break Osaka and brought her within one game of losing the match.

As an experienced official with previous grand slam experience both on the men’s and women’s side, Ramos should have known that this was the time for him to show restraint and understand that athletes in those situations are playing with great emotion and adrenaline and if they are not using abusive language should receive restraint from someone in his position. Evert and the other ESPN commentators after the match suggested that Ramos should have spoken with Williams and told her she needed to stop what he considered to be an aggressive tone or he would give her a misconduct penalty. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Billy Kilmer: Hard-Nosed Quarterback
      September 2, 2018 | 7:32 pm
      Kilmer

      Billy Kilmer

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month began his NFL career as an athletic running quarterback, but he endured a near fatal car accident to completely change his game during a career that spanned nearly two decades.

      Anyone who is familiar with former NFL quarterback Billy Kilmer probably remembers him as the portly, un-athletic, but very tough quarterback for the Washington Redskins in the 1970s. However, during his first two NFL seasons, Kilmer was primarily used as a running quarterback and running back for the San Francisco 49ers.

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