Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Champ of Champs: Which Championship Game is the Best?

1896 Baltimore Orioles official team photo, in...Image via Wikipedia

Each of the major North American sporting leagues (football, hockey, baseball, and basketball) does its best to promote its championship as the most exciting, entertaining, enjoyable sports experience that any viewer could hope to experience. However, they obviously can’t all be right, can they?

From a purely marketing perspective, the SuperBowl is the clear winner. Based on the single-game nature of the SuperBowl, everything surrounding the event has become almost as important as the championship game itself. The NFL has convinced millions of non-sports fans to watch a major sporting event purely for the commercials. This has allowed them to charge whatever prices they want for advertising time. It is also impossible to argue with the raw number of people who view the SuperBowl every year.

However, if people spend more time the next day talking about the commercials than the actually game itself, can it be considered the best, or most successful? Also, while the single game nature of the NFL championship is extremely exciting, one game prevents a great deal of the drama and evolving storylines that makes many of the other leagues championships so amazing.

From a purely historical standpoint, Major League Baseball seems to have the strongest claim when it comes to championship games. Unfortunately, age and adherence to the past have left baseball a slow, boring game in the eyes of many sports fans. Unless a major city is involved in the October competition, attendance and television ratings are the lowest of any of the major sports.

The NBA recently enjoyed one its most successful post seasons ever in terms of ticket sales and television ratings. This culminated in near record numbers for the NBA finals. The seven game, alternating location format of the championship series allows for levels of strategic complication and planning unavailable in the NFL with its single game championship. Star power and player accessibility is allowing the NBA to challenge the NFL when it comes to superiority in the hearts and televisions of many Americans.

Sadly, the NHL is not currently in a position where it can challenge any of the other major sports leagues in terms of financial success or popularity, at least not south of the Canadian border. Only a few years removed from a lockout, and with numerous teams struggling to fill arenas, the Stanley Cup Finals may be an exciting event for diehard fans, but it is doomed to ratings obscurity.

From a strict numbers perspective, the SuperBowl is the clear winner among North American championship games, breaking U.S. television records in 2011 with an average of 111 million viewers. Though even adding the total number of viewers over the six games of the NBA finals together only yields a total viewership of just under 103 million people, the NBA numbers have been steadily rising over the last several years, leading to a potential succession in the coming years. Sadly, baseball and hockey both lag far behind.

Amber Tate is a sports fanatic but loves saving money more. Her Kanetix life insurance policy provides all of the benefits necessary for her family.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sports Carnival Ecstasy - July 21, 2011

Julio Lugo of the Boston Red Sox warming up be...Image via Wikipedia

Welcome to the July 21, 2011 edition of Sports Carnival Ecstasy.This time we have 19 stories from some of the best sports blogs online. Cathy starts us off with a preview of the Boston Red Sox vs the Tampa Bay Rays on July 30th. Steve takes a look at Mike Vrabel leaving the NFL to coach at Ohio State were he attended college. This week the SABR Spotlight shines on Jair Jurrjens. And finally we have a face-off between Fathead who sees Derek Jeter as the Definitive Player Of Our Generation and Steve who writes about the top five reasons why everyone hats the Yankees, with Jeter being #1. Hope you like, bookmark, share, tweet, and come back soon.

Cathy presents Boston Red Sox ? July 6 2011 at 03:30 PM, Fenway Park posted at Sports Tickets Schedule, saying, "Boston Red Sox Fans: You don’t want to miss the forthcoming Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays game on July 6 2011 at 03:30 PM. This will absolutely be a game to remember at the Fenway Park."

Jody Sampson presents Celebrity Planking Pics: Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, Katy Perry and More! posted at Concert Tickets | Sports Tickets | Broadway Tickets | Opera Tickets | Vegas Shows, saying, "Planking is a game in which participants have friends take photos of them lying flat (like a plank) in unusual, public and often dangerous, locations. The photos are then shared on social sites like facebook and twitter causing the planking game to continue to gain popularity. Celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, and Katy Perry all enjoy planking- and we’ve got the pictures to prove it!"

Steve presents Why Sports Should Be Part of Every Kid?s Life posted at FryingPan Sports, saying, "Avoiding childhood obesity can be accomplished with a balanced diet and plenty of extracurricular activity."

Cathy presents Saturday July 30 Seattle Mariners vs. Tampa Bay Rays posted at Sports Tickets Schedule, saying, "Come see the highly hoped-for Seattle Mariners vs. Tampa Bay Rays pastime on Saturday, July 30 2011. Enjoy watching your favorite Baseball team as they effort for AL East domination!"

Steve presents Three Years Since the Bulldogs Went From Underdogs to Top Dogs posted at BrutusReport, saying, "Most of us have heard of various, sports-based Cinderella stories, especially those that are centered on professional sporting teams."

Steve presents Mike Vrabel Returns to Ohio State as a Linebackers Coach posted at BrutusReport, saying, "The recent resignation/retirement of Jim Tressel has opened the door for Vrabel to retire from the NFL and take the linebacker coaching position vacated when Fickel was promoted to head coach."

baseball

Graig presents Changing Speeds posted at The Perfect Game, saying, "Become a better pitcher now!"

Graig presents Long Toss posted at The Perfect Game, saying, "Read it, Share it and Use it!"

bknutson@emcp.com presents The SABR Spotlight: Jair Jurrjens posted at COSFBA.

Fathead presents Derek Jeter: The Definitive Player Of Our Generation posted at Fathead Blog.

Steve presents 5 Reasons Why Everyone Hates the Yankees posted at FryingPan Sports, saying, "Let’s take a look at five reasons why most people hate the Yankees."

basketball

Michael presents OSU Basketball Update With Thoughts From Coach Thad Matta posted at eScoutRoom, saying, "Jared Sullinger appears to be in better shape than ever for the upcoming Ohio State basketball season."

Michael presents OSU Basketball Star David Lighty Is Going To Play For Italy posted at eScoutRoom, saying, "Things may have gone differently if the NBA lockout had been avoided, but Ohio State forward David Lighty is now set to play in Italy this coming year."

Just Basketball Defense presents 1-3-1 Zone Defense posted at Just Basketball Defense, saying, "Basketball Defense"

Just Basketball Defense presents Don?t use defensive slide drills? posted at Just Basketball Defense, saying, "Defensive slides Basketball"

football

Joe presents NOW IS THE TIME posted at NFC NORTH AFTERHOURS.

Matt Regaw presents 2011 Notre Dame College Football Preview: Is This The Year the Irish Return To Prominence? posted at Bookie Blitz, saying, "Notre Dame preview for 2011"

Michael presents Pat Elflein from Central Ohio Joins the 2012 Buckeyes posted at eScoutRoom, saying, "He joined the Football Buckeyes today after receiving close to 10 scholarship offers from a number of Big 10 and Mac schools."

mma

Cheryl Ragsdale presents Strikeforce Challengers 16 Julia Budd post-fight interview: “Girls just gotta get in there” posted at That Girl is Funny, saying, "In the first women’s MMA match-up under Zuffa, Strikeforce fighter Julia Budd dominated and neutralized Germaine de Randamie’s kick-boxing game by taking her to the ground and keeping her there."

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of sports carnival ecstasy using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Tim Dwight's Back in Iowa and Racing

The Gazette (Cedar Rapids)Image via Wikipedia

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA
June 17, 2011
Tim Dwight, former track and football star of Iowa City High and the University of Iowa, and NFL football player from 1998-2007, returned to Iowa compete in a celebrity-filled Legends car race on Friday during Van Meter Industrial Night at the Hawkeye Downs Speedway. Tim, voted the all-time greatest athlete from the Cedar Rapids area in a 2007 survey in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, was only too happy to race for charity in this fund-raising event for the Children's Miracle Network based at the University of Iowa Hospitals.

Dwight said that, though he hadn't raced these Legends cars before a few weeks ago, his experience in riding motorcycles gave him a feel for this track event. His competitors in the race were Mike Gassman, a Van meter executive, and Jared Aarons, local television personality. Dwight started out slow, but took the lead early on until spin-outs by Aarons forced a restart. Gassman then took the lead and kept it for the win, with Dwight coming in second.

Dwight has been in a hurry all day. He started out the day in Iowa City running a football camp and didn't get to the track until ten minutes before the start of the celebrity race. Dwight didn't mind much, remembering how much he hated waiting around during his school days for his start time in the sprints and the long jump. Despite two previous rain-out dates for the event in the past two months, Dwight held to his commitment, showing up all three times all the way from California and happy finally to be racing this last time.

Off the track, Dwight contributed even more, socializing with the fans, signing autographs and getting pictures taken; a helmet he signed was raffled off to raise even more cash for charity, boosting the total to hundreds of dollars. And Dwight gets back more than he gives, he says, in the way he'll enjoy reliving the race from the pictures and videos. Next week, he'll be taking part in an Ironman triathlon, but his goal here was to make the most of any chance to do a great thing and to be involved fully with the fund-raising.

A high point of the evening for Dwight was the chance to spend some time with Sierra Manning at track side. Sierra, eleven years old with an inoperable brain tumor, is currently a patient at the University of Iowa Hospitals and rode in the evening's pace car, proving the importance of the Children's Miracle charity to all.

The evening also had a regular slate of races for weekly points. It seems that Dwight had warmed up the car he drove in the celebrity race -- Rod McGlothlen drove that car to a win in the Legends feature race, a feat he has already accomplished with three different cars.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Top 10 Golf Courses in the UK

LYTHAM ST ANNES, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 02: C...Image via Wikipedia

Golf was born in the UK, so as you might expect some of the finest courses in the world can be found throughout Great Britain. From ancient Scottish links to purpose built parkland courses, there is so much choice across Britain that the golfer is truly spoiled.

While many of the top ten courses in the UK are home to the British Open, Ryder Cups and other top UK tournaments, all of them can be played by amateur golfers although this will need to be arranged beforehand.

Here are 10 of the best golf courses that Britain has to offer:

St Andrews Old Course, St Andrews, Scotland

It may be an obvious place to start but the most historic golf course in Britain is the pinnacle for most amateur golfers and everyone strives to play here. It is thought that golf may have been played as far back as the 12th century and that is one of the reasons why St Andrews can rightly be called the 'home of golf'.

St Andrews allocates places by way of a ballot, but it's worth having a try just to say you have played here. The Old Course plays to around 6700 yards from the medal tee and buggy hire is available. If you are lucky enough to win the ballot, costs can range between £64.00 to £140 per round, depending on the time of year you play.

Muirfield, East Lothian, Scotland

Staying in Scotland, the superb course at Muirfield has also played host to the British Open, as well as other major tournaments in the UK. It will probably be best remembered for Nick Faldo's dramatic Open victory in 1987 that set him on the way to becoming a dominant force in the game.

Muirfield is a links course with an unusual layout that consists of an outer and an inner loop. The course is a par 70 6673 yards and the cost of a round is between £75.00 & £190.00, depending on the time of year. Buggies and trolleys can be hired if required.

Royal County Down, County Down, Northern Ireland

For many, the Royal County Down is something of a hidden gem, but with Northern Ireland firmly back on the golfing map, this beautiful course is being discovered anew by amateur golfers the world over.

Over the years, the Royal County Down has played host to the Walker Cup and countless home internationals. Old Tom Morris engineered the increase from 9 to 18 holes and the current course is a par 71 that plays to 6,902 yards. Buggies and trolleys are widely available for hire and you can expect to pay between £50.00 in low season & £180.00 at peak times, but for the most spectacular views imaginable, any green fee is worth every penny.

Royal Lytham & St Annes, Lancashire, England

Royal Lytham in Lancashire has played host to the British Open on no fewer than 10 occasions, up to and including 2001. It has also held the women's open championship in the past.

At 6,371 yards at a par 71, the beauty at Lytham is in the challenge to the amateur golfer and this is widely known as the one of the most testing courses around. Green fees vary from £105 to a fairly hefty £212.00 at the height of the season and you will find buggy and trolley hire can be easily arranged.

Turnberry Ailsa, Turnberry, Scotland

Scotland's Turnberry offers a choice of courses but the Ailsa, home to many British Open Championships is the finest of all. This is one of the most picturesque courses in the world and that alone attracts countless visitors every year. The course plays to 6,493 yards and visitors can expect to pay between £95.00 and £175.00 for green fees depending on the time of year. Buggies and trolleys can be hired.

Royal Dornoch, Dornoch, Scotland

In Scotland once again, the Royal Dornoch is thought to be the best of those courses that don't regularly hold major championships. Designed by old Tom Morris, this is a beautiful links course that fits the contours of the land to leave a challenging 6,595 yards 18 hole course. Trolleys and buggies can be hired and at green fees between £45.00 and £100.00, this represents perhaps the best value of any course in the UK.

Royal St Georges, Kent, England

In the heart of the Kent countryside, Royal St Georges is another regular on the British Open circuit and many memorable tussles have been played out here. There have been many alterations over the last few years which have left a testing par 70 course of 6,630 yards. Trolley and buggy hire is available and green fees range from £70.00 in low season, to £150.00 at the height of summer.

Royal Birkdale, Southport, England

Southport's Royal Birkdale is another British Open course that is known for its combination of longer holes and extremely tight fairways. Birkdale is a testing 18 hole par 72 course at 6,817 yards. Buggies and trolleys are widely available and prices are on the higher side, ranging from £120.00 to £195.00, depending on the time of year that you play.

Royal Portrush, Portrush, Northern Ireland

Dunluce. Back in Northern Ireland, the Portrush course made history when it held the British Open Championship back in 1951. A links course with beautiful coastal views, this location is growing in popularity every year, so make sure to book well ahead. This is an eighteen hole, par 72 course at 6,658 yards and you can expect to pay from £60.00 in the low season up to £140.00 in the summer months. Trolleys and buggies are widely available here.

Sunningdale, Sunningdale, England

Just 30 miles to the west of London in picturesque Berkshire lies Sunningdale, which has been home to the British Masters, the Women's British Open and the Seniors open through the years. With fast greens and some long, testing holes, this is reputed to be one of the toughest challenges for the amateur golfer. The course is an eighteen hole par 70 at 6,443 yards and green fees vary from £95.00 to £155.00, depending on the time of year. Buggies and trolleys are available here at Sunningdale.

Written by the team at travelsupermarket.com, a travel comparison site that has great deals available on hotels throughout the UK

Monday, July 11, 2011

Five Top Rated Mountain Bikes - Post Injury Rehabilitation

GUANGZHOU, CHINA - NOVEMBER 18:  Chun Hing Cha...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Mountain biking builds strength and increases stamina. If you are recovering from an injury, mountain biking could be a good way to strengthen your legs, arms, and abdominal muscles in a fun setting. Most indoor gyms offer mountain biking settings on their stable bicycles to provide you with the same sort of workout without the demands of an outdoor biking trail. If you're ready to take the bike out of the gym, here are some of the best mountain bikes on the market today. Make sure you choose a bike that fits you well, and practice working the gears until you are comfortable with them before you go off-road with your new bike.

The following bikes are the best for off-road touring and for flat trails. They perform well in steep climbs and descents, but are not designed to handle more rugged terrain. If you are recovering from an injury, you should be avoiding that sort of riding until you Linkrecovery fully.

Trek Fuel EX 8

This bike has full suspension on both the front and rear tires so that it can handle almost any kind of trail comfortably. The aluminum frame sports a 9-speed gear box, and the bike is equipped with hydraulic disc brakes. You can find the Trek Fuel EX 8 in five sizes for men and one size for women. Experts and bikers agree that this is probably the best mountain bike you can buy.

Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp

This bike also has full suspension on the front and rear tires, with an adjustable shock on the rear. The adjustable shock makes it easy to configure the bike to handle different kinds of terrain, from climbing steep hills or cruising down the other side. The shifting mechanism is very smooth, and the bike is perfect for longer rides.

Santa Cruz Blur LT

The Santa Cruz Blur LT is a little more expensive than the Trek Fuel or the Stumpjumper, but biker reviews indicate that it is worth the extra cost. It is durable and comfortable, but it offers a high level of performance on the trail. This bike is especially good at climbing steep hills more easily than other bikes at this price range.

Pivot Mach 5

This bike is known for the amount of grip that the tires offer. It provides a sturdy, comfortable ride on all sorts of terrain. The only complaint about the Pivot Mach 5 is that it can become a little unstable on steep climbs. The comfortable suspension and responsive pedals more than make up for the bike's climbing ability.

Felt Virtue 2

This is a lighter bike that is known for its comfort on longer rides. The wheels and tires on the Virtue 2 are a little heavy, though, so you might do better changing them out for something lighter so that you can take full advantage of the lightweight frame. This bike is priced relatively low for the features and comfort it offers, which makes it an excellent deal.

Jessica Bosari writes about health for TherapistSchools.com. The site is an information resource for those seeking careers in the therapy field. They offer details about physical therapy careers such as physical therapist salary and schools.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sports Carnival Ecstasy - July 7, 2011

North end zone at Lambeau Field which displays...Image via Wikipedia

Welcome to the July 7, 2011 edition of Sports Carnival Ecstasy.In this edition we have 18 posts from some of the best sports blogs on the Internet. MattD starts off with a look at Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan as we all wait for camp to start. Eric Gargiulo has some great articles including a look Previous champions who are contenders to win Super Bowl XLVI. Finally Steve has an article from the Ohio State drama in Eddie Rife Pleads Guilty to Selling Marijuana and Laundering Money. Hope you enjoy the articles, bookmark, share, tweet, and come back soon.

Steve presents Benefits of Training: 100 Day Marathon Plan posted at FryingPan Sports, saying, "There are a number of different ways to train for a marathon. Read about the different proven methods before your select one you feel is best."

Jody Sampson presents Rihanna and Chris Brown- Sexting on Twitter? posted at Concert Tickets | Sports Tickets | Broadway Tickets | Opera Tickets | Vegas Shows, saying, "In 2009, when the incident between Chris Brown and Rihanna went extremely public and the media flooded with images of Rihanna’s bruised and bloody face—would you believe me if I told you there were communicating again? To find tickets for LOUD when Rihanna is in a city near you, visit Dynamic Tickets today!."

Cathy presents Wednesday, July 6 2011 ? Minnesota Twins vs. Tampa Bay Rays posted at Sports Tickets Schedule, saying, "Are you a fan of the Minnesota Twins? The team is playing on Wednesday, July 6 2011at the legendary stadium in Minnesota.Relax and enjoy a day of Baseball and cheer your favorite players on!"

MattD presents Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan: Young Quarterback Enters Elite Status posted at Bookie Blitz.

baseball

Steve presents Ballpark Quirks posted at FryingPan Sports, saying, "Ballparks new and old around the country have small quirks that require special rules to play the game."

basketball

sokun presents Ramblings posted at Abidings.com.

extreme

presents How To Run A Marathon In 4 Weeks posted at The 2nd Wind, saying, "Humorous account of attempting to run a marathon with only 4 weeks of training. Checking off bucket list goals leads to some crazy ideas!"

Ken presents If You Fail to Prepare, You Prepare to Fail…Warming Up Explained posted at Unstoppable Strength, saying, "Not having the proper warm-up can ruin your workout. Find out what methods the country's best strength coaches use to prepare average Joes & Professional Athletes for an injury-free workout with maximum results!!!"

Beth presents Summer Instagrams by Connor posted at ♡ Professional Surfer Keilana Valdez ♡.

football

Eric Gargiulo presents Previous champions who are contenders to win Super Bowl XLVI posted at CamelCluchBlog.Com, saying, "Last year's champs, the Green Bay Packers shocked the NFL betting world and won their 1st Super Bowl Championship under their new regime. But can they go on and repeat?"

Michael presents Ohio State Camp Draws Important 2012 Recruits posted at eScoutRoom, saying, "Ohio State continues to have success in recruiting even-though their famous coach had to resign during the off-season."

Steve presents Eddie Rife Pleads Guilty to Selling Marijuana and Laundering Money posted at BrutusReport, saying, "The character that started the tailspin of NCAA trouble at Ohio State has now pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and money laundering."

Michael presents Najee Murray Became a Member of Ohio State’s 2012 Class posted at eScoutRoom, saying, "2012 recruits from Ohio continue to commit to Ohio State even as the program faces NCAA violations and further penalties."

Sarah Flotel presents Villas-Boas is The Man Who Knoas posted at hotscores, saying, "English Football Blog"

Joe presents AGAINST THE GRAIN posted at NFC NORTH AFTERHOURS.

Eric Gargiulo presents The Useless & Bogus NFL Top 100 Players List posted at CamelCluchBlog.Com, saying, "Honestly, I would like to know which players actually vote as hardly anyone knows of any. that did. Ryan Clark of the Steelers said on Twitter he had no knowledge of any one who voted."

golf

Steve presents Golf’s Rory McIlroy’s Success Includes Strength of Character | FryingPanSports | Other posted at FryingPan Sports, saying, "Rory McIlroy had a great US Open and looks to be the young golf stud the PGA has been searching for since Tiger Woods ran into personal issues."

mma

Eric Gargiulo presents Brett Rogers Charged With 3rd Degree Assault posted at CamelCluchBlog.Com, saying, "Strikeforce heavyweight Brett Rogers is used to giving guys black eyes, but today he has given the entire sport of MMA a big one. Rogers was arrested and charged with 3rd degree assault of his wife according to a Minnesota report."

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of sports carnival ecstasy using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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