Not Your Average NFL Season

With the loss to Miami Dolphins the first week by the New England Patriots as well as the ascension of the Arizona Cardnials & Dallas Cowboys, this is not your average NFL season. Isn’t this a good thing? The predictability from past seasons, has lead the world to believe that this season was supposed to turn out like those. The season also started out with violence and drug abuse issues, but thanks to the overall inability to harp on a subject for that long, these issues have passed for now.

Despite the issues, viewership does not seem to be lagging. The huge business machine that is the NFL keeps on ticking with the Thursday Night Football collaboration of CBS and NFL Network. The Sunday tradition of many games on CBS, FOX, and Sunday Night Football on NBC graces TVs throughout the world. Despite the previously mentioned issues, and questions many have for Commissioner Roger Goodell, Super Bowl predictions are flying about like the wind.

The many records breaking seasons Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers, and more are having this season is contributing to this intriguing season of American Football.  Which teams will we see in the Super Bowl?

NFL

What’s Going On In College Football?

It’s week 6, and many fans of college football have been wondering what is going on? Yes, the usual dominant teams aren’t really that dominant as evident by some great wins. There was the upset with Arizona Wildcats beating the number 2 ranked team Oregon Ducks in a thriller on a Thursday night on ESPN. Perhaps the Pac-12 isn’t really that weak of a conference.

Keep in mind this after the EPIC Hail Mary vs. Cal Golden Bears the week before.

Violence in NFL

It’s week number two of the NFL, and there has already been some bad headlines plaguing the league. First there was the Ray Rice video that came out months ago showing him dragging his unconscious wife out of an elevator to last week’s video of what happened in the elevator right before. Already due to the latest updates of that situation, Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league began to go into “foot in mouth” mode.   Making the just two game suspension, a suspension indefinitely followed by a bunch of press conferences involving the league, Ravens organization,  plus Rice and his wife.

The interesting thing in all of that situation was the sheer fact that Rice’s wife quickly came to his defense.  Upon that decision, media began to dissect the reasons why they would stay in a relationship involving such domestic abuse. From CNN’s Anderson 360 to ESPN to the three major networks, it seemed to bring up the problem of domestic violence once again.

As you can tell, this includes Keith Olbermann commenting on how Commissioner Goodell handled this Ray Rice situation.

However, there may be a good thing out of this Ray Rice situation. It has prompted Adrian Peterson of the Vikings to turn himself in for the “possible” child abuse he has committed. The issue beyond the violence itself seems to be the profile these players have built for themselves causing the league to think more about marketability than reputation. Hence, the mistakes Commissioner Goodell has made in acting in a urgent manner.

There seems to be a snowball effect in announcements of violence in NFL though. The latest being Greg Hardy of the Panthers being deactivated as week 2 was well underway.  It has been said that NFL or American Football is violent in itself, but when domestic and child abuse enter the picture, there is a problem with said sport.  Let’s leave you with the following video of ESPN anchor Hannah Storm emotionally making her own remarks on this tumultuous time with violence in NFL.

How Apps Can Help You Stay Fit

With the accessibility of apps that can be downloaded straight to your smartphones, there is literally no excuse to lead an unhealthy lifestyle anymore. Yes, leading a life with a balanced diet, interspersed with just the right amount of exercise is a life choice but as the App Store and Google Play fill up with more and more apps daily, there are health and fitness apps that cater for just about anyone. There are apps that help you track your dietary requirements, calorie intake, and a multitude of fitness-centric apps, meaning that even if you lead an extremely hectic lifestyle there is always was of ensuring that you have your own wellbeing at the forefront of your thoughts.

The marketplace for health related apps is booming! The aforementioned App Store and Google Play have an estimated 700k apps currently on offer in both of their online stores. And the innovation of developers continues to amaze consumers. Example: recently a group of German-based researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology came up with a design for a smartphone-connected tool, which can monitor dust levels within urban areas to help aid public health. High levels of dust, if inhaled can cause breathing difficulties, so this app has been warmly received initially by app industry hacks. The intricacy of the designs and mechanics of modern day pioneering apps are evolving rapidly in today’s marketplace.

The most astonishing fact about health and fitness apps is a stat reported by MobiHealthNews that there are currently 7 apps that have received more than 17 million downloads each. And there could even be more apps that have received similar download numbers. “Many fitness companies – particularly device makers like Fitbit and Jawbone – have never released user numbers, or haven’t shared them for some time.” These numbers can be attributed to the rising use of smartphones as Alchemy Bet, owners of the pioneering online portal Castle Jackpot, have documented that around 17% of the world now on smartphones and use the mobile Internet.

With all this in mind, we have constructed a list of 10 apps that would help you keep your healthy in check and help motivate you to engage in regular exercise. All of these are available in the App Store or Google Play.

1. Map My Run – Route planner and tracker
2. Azumio – Heart Rate app
3. Web MD – Symptom checker + detailed database
4. SleepBot – Monitors sleeping patterns
5. Lose It! – Calorie intake tracker
6. Runtastic – GPS tracking of the highest quality
7. Nike+ – The perfect tool to monitor training and nutrition
8. Noom Walk Pedometer – Measures walking distances
9. Gym Tuck – Helps with new techniques to improve physique
10. CVS Pharmacy – Helps manage prescriptions

Fitness-Apps

Much to Be Said for Sexism in Sports

One day, there is going to be an even playing field between men and women in the world of sports and sports media. To get you up to speed with the current events, there has been some controversy surrounding headlines. Former NFL coach Tony Dungy made some comments while on air about they type of play Michael Sam is going to be based on his sexuality. Dan Patrick asked valid questions in this interview to address the comments that had been made.

As previously discussed, his sexuality shouldn’t be a performance indicator of this upcoming season. Likewise, when NFL Football player Ray Rice was caught for beating his wife in a domestic violence dispute, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith made some comment regarding the matter.  Just like many times before, Smith’s comments about the situation were not taken lightly, and well has sparked more controversy.

Let’s all be honest, although harsh, Smith has a valid point about domestic violence.  Smith is not condoning violence towards women, but more saying that these issues that may provoke the violence need to be discussed more regularly.  Ray Rice was only punished via a 2 game suspension by the NFL.  This has sparked many other opinions regarding the matter, which were brilliantly said by Kieth Olbermann on his ESPN 2 show.

Keith Olbermann should have just dropped his microphone, and walked off the set after this speech. All of the above needs to be addressed concerning Sexism in Sports.  Back to Stephen A. Smith’s comments, Smith has sense apologized if his comments offended anybody

, yet that apology didn’t seem to please ESPN as much.  As of today, Smith has been suspended from appearing on ESPN for two weeks for his comments.

So what have we all learned from these incidents? That a well known, highly paid NFL player can beat his wife, get a 2 game suspension, then return to the field. A well known person in media, can give their opinion on the matter, and ultimately be punished for making some people uncomfortable. Much to be said for Sexism in Sports these days.

Craig Sager Jr: Thank You San Antonio

This is a guest blog post from Craig Sager Jr. about his experience as a San Antonio Spurs fan. Thank you for sharing! 

 

The 2014 NBA playoffs are a chapter in my life I’ll always remember. I was told my Dad had Leukemia two days before the action tipped off and I was in San Antonio interviewing Gregg Popovich that Saturday. Two months later, the postseason finally ended and it ended in the way I had envisioned since the Spurs’ heartbreaking loss to Miami in the Finals last year. A fifth championship.

I have been a Spurs fan for a while, but I was never born one or forced into it. I would go with my Dad to the conference finals every year and when TNT was assigned to cover the Western Conference, we would often get a match-up with the Spurs. Sometimes it would be my sister out there with me for a game, but most of the trips were just my father and me. He would be on the sidelines working and I was just a teenager sitting by myself in the stands sandwiched between thousands of fans, eyes glued to the action and nothing else. It would be just me and the game and there was no better way for me get a genuine experience of a game at the AT&T Center and what the Spurs were all about.

I know media is not supposed to cheer for teams and this is something I have never really had a problem with over the years. This postseason, I proudly wore my Spurs fan hood on my sleeve because I knew no matter how much I cheered for them it could never reciprocate the support the organization and fan base showed my Dad and family. I have never cried over a team and in terms of being a fan I have never been too emotionally attached. I do not scream profanities at my television or get in fights and I’ll still go out for a beer whether the team I was pulling for wins or loses.

Even at Georgia when I was on the football team, I saw it more as an experience to build me as a person than something I should stress. But something was always different about the Spurs. I am crazy about basketball and unlike any other team, when the Spurs are on the television I do not look away for a minute. I know what to expect when the Spurs are on. I cannot stand one-dimensional teams in any sport. A football team that can only pass the ball or a football team that can only run it. That will always lose my attention and the frustration drives me crazy.

The Spurs have so many ingredients to look for. Even when the bench is in the game, it is must-see action with Manu Ginobili and company checking in off the pine. It’s been a week since the Spurs clinched their championship and I think everyone is realizing what type of performance the Spurs put on as they remain captivated by the team. Even today, I still have friends and family talking about the Spurs all the way in Georgia. That has never happened before.

Popovich’s message to my father especially got my family on board for San Antonio’s ride to the Finals and my Dad felt like he was still involved with the action as coach Pop continued to reach out and contact the family throughout the postseason and in each of the four rounds. I will always play it fair and stay neutral in my game time coverage, but this was bigger than the game. This year’s championship from my perspective was just as much about what the Spurs did off the court than the greatness they exhibited on it.

Thank you San Antonio, congratulations and “GO SPURS GO”.

 

 

You can find Craig on Twitter @CraigSagerJr. Chat sports with him here: csager@scoreatl.com.csage@scoreatl.com

Al Pullins

Another reason why I love what I do for this website and  the sports community. I was recently contacted to highlight an important figure in Basketball history. Enjoy! 

Hi, I am wondering if you could help me get the word spread about a part of
history that many dont know about. I am writing to you regarding my old
boss. His name is Al Pullins. He was one of the very first five Harlem
Globetrotters, from Phillip High School in Chicago. Al led his high school
team to the state championship, While a Globetrotter he received several
awards.  He has received the first Black Pioneer Award. He was in Ripley s
believe it or not for scoring77 pt in one game, the same year he scored
2582 pts in 151 games, which was the world record, only to be beaten by
Wilt Chamberlin.  he is only 5’9

 In various newpaper articles he is described as  “greatest scoring
threat”, “remembered for his long shots”:, “little wizard of basketball”..

Black Legends of Professional Basketball said in 1999.   “A Truly great
pioneer and Blessed for being a legend in your own time.”.

 In 1960 the Harlem Globetrotters said ” In grateful appreciation for
playing a important role in the advancement of the Harlem Globetrotters. Al
Pullins is also listed as one of the top 25 Harlem Globetrotters of all
time.

Sweetwater Clifrton, first NBA African American player, this years inductee
into the NBA Hall of Fame said  “If anyone should go into the hall of fame
it should be Runt Pullins, He was a little guy who played for the
Globetrotters and there wasn’t a thing he couldn’t do.

He is also listed as the 5th all time Pioneer for integrating African
Americans into Pro basketball.

 For over 50 yrs he dedicated his life to charity by the means of comedy
basketball.  After he left the trotters he formed a team called Al
PullinsBroadway Clowns then changed it to Al Pullins Harlem Clowns . They
traveled the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan and the Philippines, just to name a
few.  They traveled hundreds of miles a day,, 7 days a week, 6 months out
of the year,  At times even playing more then one game a day.

The proceeds for the games have went to many great causes, such as building
a gym on a Indian Reservation, they helped send a deaf basketball team to
the state tournament, Cystic Fibrosis, They helped a special ed school in
Alaska,  Thousands of High Schools athletic funds have been aided  by Al
Pullins Broadway/Harlem Clowns.

I am tring to get Al Pullins into the basketball hall of fame as a
individual and not just as a Harlem Globetrotter. The last two years he has
been nominated for the early pioneer award, but not yet inducted. Please
help us spread the word about this unsung hero,  We have a petition to have
Al Pullins inducted into the Hall of Fame.



I am enclosing several links for your viewing.

 Thank you very much for your time, James Wooley Jr, former Al Pullins
Harlem Clown, and Teresa Marie Hoffman, content creator.


https://www.causes.com/actions/1742595-al-runt-pullins-inducted-into-the-naismith-memoria-basketball-hall-of-fame

https://www.facebook.com/TributetoAlRuntPullinsHarlemClowns

http://originalpeople.org/top-25-african-americans-who-pioneered-the-integration-of-pro-basketball/

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/2009-02-11-4213108739_x.htm

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=ycn-11083466