Archive for the Sports Category

My Year in Running – 2011

All said and done, 2011 was probably my most accomplished year in athletics, specifically running.  I ran the year prior, but I did much more in 2011 than in 2010.  2011 was rough in terms of weather and running outside, so I took to swimming.  Little did I know that swimming would propel me a level forward from a running standpoint once Spring weather broke.  I started running in the spring of 2011 after a tough winter and my stamina and speed were at levels that I’d never thought I was capable of achieving.  So, the results with 2010 numbers in parentheses for comparison…

Overall, I ran 609.77 miles (445.5).  It took me 78 hours, 19 minutes and 48 seconds (64:13:12.)  My average speed was 7.8 MPH (6.9).  I burned an estimated 90,190 calories (67,308) over the course of 124 activities (118).  The max distance I ran all year was 13.1 miles (twice) (8.37 miles in 2010) and my average distance for the year was 4.92 miles per run (3.78.)

I ran tons of races this year as well.  A few highlights.

I ran a five miler in Mentor in September and really outdid myself in terms of pace as I completed the race with splits under 7 minutes per mile.  6:47 to be exact.  I ran my first mile in 6:30 to get off to a good start, paced myself in the next three miles and sprinted the last mile in with a speed of 6:37.

One of the craziest races was the Potato Stomp 9 miler in Mantua.  It was an UGLY September morning and started to pour about halfway through the race.  Then the lightning kicked up, but we were halfway through the course and there was nothing to do but try to finish fast.  In the torrential downpour, I was not only soaked and cold, but my shoes were filled with water and it killed my iPod.  Despite all this, I ran the 9 miler in 1:04:05 for a 7:07 average.  Considering how wet I was and everything else, I was elated to have such a good time.  I also passed about five or six people in the last two miles as I had splits of 7:05 and 6:49 to finish really really strong.

In a two-day span in September, I ran two races.  I won my age group running the Shaker Lakes 5k in 19:57.  It was probably a bit short, but I still finished in under 20 minutes, technically, so I’ll take it.  🙂  The next day, I decided to go out and run a five miler which I finished in 35 minutes for a 7 minute per mile average.  I was pretty proud of that time considering I did it in back-to-back days with the best knife sharpener.

The best by far was my half marathon.  In the Towpath Marathon event, I ran a half marathon despite having a bad cold.  Despite those odds, I ran my 13.1 mile race in 1:35:36 for a 7:19 min/mi average pace.  This is despite hitting the wall about mile 10 and running the last three miles with splits closer to 8:00.

Those are the highlights.  It was a great year and I had lots of fun.  I survived a painful foot injury in November without too much problem and I am looking forward to doing even better in 2012.  Life might get in the way of doing as many races, but hopefully I can get my mileage going.  And who knows?  Maybe I’ll do something crazy like a marathon this year.

Cleveland Indians Posts Worth Reading

I haven’t had much to write about lately with July being so slow a sports month when the Indians stink.  If you want to read a very in-depth series about the Indians problems and how they can fix them, Todd Dery has done an excellent job at WaitingForNextYear.com where I am an almost constant contributor.

The All-Star Break is Here… Thank Goodness

All-Star Break Analysis: The Indians Bullpen

All Star Break Analysis – The Position Players Part I

All-Star Break Analysis – The Position Players Part II

All-Star Break Analysis – Manager and Front Office



Wrong Again Jemele Hill… Wrong Again

Jemele Hill is on ESPN’s Page 2 talking about Plaxico Burress today and once again, she is driving me insane.  She makes some decent points about how the media is letting Burress’ allegedly complicit teammate off the hook, but then she saves some criticism for New York City Mayor Bloomberg and she falls off the rails.

I’m not saying Burress deserves any sympathy, because the moment he decided to attend a nightclub with an unlicensed, loaded firearm tucked in his waistband, he was jeopardizing his life and the lives of others. But did Burress’ actions warrant Bloomberg’s irrational grandstanding? You’d think the mayor of the nation’s largest city would have bigger concerns than the stupidity of a professional athlete. But since when do politicians pass on an opportunity to make themselves the center of attention?

“If we don’t prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law, I don’t know who on earth would,” Bloomberg said Monday. “It makes a sham, a mockery of the law. And it’s pretty hard to argue the guy didn’t have a gun and that it wasn’t loaded. You’ve got bullet holes in and out to show that it was there.”

First of all, the whole argument of, “I would think this guy would have bigger problems” is a commonly used argument that logistically is a sham.  We are complex beings and we can do multiple things at once.  I am surprised Jemele Hill has time to write articles when she isn’t keeping herself alive by eating and breathing while living under shelter.  You see how stupid that is?  The mayor of New York can express concern about someone blatantly violating NYC gun laws while still paying attention to any number of other things.  They aren’t mutually exclusive.  Please can we stop using this argument?

Jemele further digs into a hole with some race baiting.

Why wasn’t the mayor as willing to stand on his soapbox when New York City police officers shot and killed Sean Bell? Bloomberg called for a “thorough” investigation at that time, but he didn’t damn those police officers the way he did Burress. (All three officers were acquitted earlier this year.)

(Head ready to explode.)  POLICE OFFICERS DESERVE THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT.  PLAXICO BURRESS IS NOT A POLICE OFFICER.  On top of this, if you read about the Sean Bell case it isn’t as clear cut as an athlete who is CLEARLY guilty of having a gun in a place where he wasn’t allowed to have a gun, without a license and also handling it in about as hazardous a manner as you can handle a firearm, short of giving it to a child in a crib.

Finally Jemele cements herself as a desperate columnist who will stop at nothing to make a point even if it is based in non-sequiters and base level emotional manipulation.  IE the economy is hurting people right now.  I will link Bloomberg to the bailout and Wall Street in order to criticize his opinion on unlicensed guns floating around the city he is responsible for.

I also wonder why Bloomberg didn’t act this outraged after the American people were forced to bail out some of his Wall Street buddies because of their bad decisions?

Do you wonder why?  I don’t.  He might be outraged, but it isn’t necessarily in his best interest or under his jurisdiction to make a comment about his Wall Street buddies.  Someone carrying a gun in the city is a Bloomberg issue.  Wall Street’s federal bailout is NOT necessarily a Bloomberg issue.  See, there is no need to wonder.  It is easy to see.

Then again, what could I possibly expect from a “columnist” who is so consistently off the mark and hypocritical.

Kimbo Slice Set to Face Ken Shamrock

If this was Ken Shamrock in the 90’s it might be meaningful.  You know, when Ken Shamrock wasn’t 44 and winless over his previous four years?  Kimbo Slice is the youtube, backyard sensation who occasionally fights on CBS as a part of the EliteXC branding of mixed martial arts.  He might be the scariest looking dude on the face of the planet.  He is one part Hulk Hogan, one part Mister T, along with one part of Junkyard Dog.  At the same time, he has been pretty humble as he begins his MMA career.  He always claims that he has a lot more to learn.

With that being said, is this match set for October 4th on CBS the right stepping stone for Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson?  Is this the equivalent of when the UFC put Brock Lesnar against Frank Mir?  Or is it an even lower rent version of that?

Frank Mir had disappeared from the competitive landscape before his fight with Lesnar, mostly due to a motorcycle accident in 2004, but even as of this writing the dude is only 29 years old.  Ken Shamrock had a considerably more impressive career than Frank Mir, but the dude is 44 years old now and he hasn’t looked formidable in years.

Shamrock certainly doesn’t look as impressive as he did the day I sold him a set of electric ear and nose hair trimmers in Brookstone in the Copley mall in Boston.  (True story.  Wrestlemania was in town and Ken was in the WWF now WWE for a shot at the Intercontinental belt.  See how I pushed that story in here for no apparent reason?)

Anyway, it should make for an entertaining fight at EliteXC on October 4th on CBS, and it definitely is another step up in opponents for Kimbo Slice.  At the same time, it also proves Dana White’s point when he scoffs at Kimbo Slice as a formidable MMA fighter.  White is on record as saying that Kimbo Slice is an interesting personality, but that he would get smashed by pretty much any fighter that the UFC has under contract.

There is certainly no way of knowing for sure based on who Kimbo Slice has fought thus far, and Ken Shamrock probably won’t be able to provide any kind of proof one way or the other.

Cuban Tae Kwon Do Guy Kicks Ref in Head Video

The title says it all.  Just amazingly stupid.


Ktick – MyVideo

LeBron and Company Bring Gold Back to USA

I went to bed at 11:30 PM on Saturday night.  I woke up at 2:30 AM Sunday morning to watch the gold medal game between the United States and Spain.  I am quite happy that I made the effort.  I got to see the United States and LeBron James play one of the most entertaining games that I have ever watched.  The US led the game almost wire to wire, but the margin was constantly in jeopardy.  The US would go up by ten or twelve and then all of a sudden the talented Spanish team would tighten up on defense and bomb some threes and it would be back down to six points, and then four.  I think a couple times it even got down to two.

There was additional drama provided by a sketchy international referreeing crew.  The US got into foul trouble early.  After five minutes passed LeBron James and Kobe Bryant both had two fouls each.  Certainly this was not the preferred scenario for Mike krzyzewski and the US Olympic team.  That is where the depth of such a team comes into play.  When your first team gets in foul trouble and your team strategically has left Dwyane Wade on the bench to come in and overwhelm opponents with his tenacious attack of passing lanes, it is a bit of an advantage. But then the referreeing started to even out.  At the end of the game, I think both teams had a right to complain almost evenly about the foul situation and inconsistency.  Considering that Spain had to foul the US intentionally at the end of the game, the fouls were almost even as the US had 26 whistles blown against them, to Spain’s 29.

So, now the gold is back in US custody.  It felt great to see the US team celebrate on the court with an almost tearful Mike Krzyzewski clapping for his guys at center court.  You could tell that the players and coaching staff were full of different emotions.  Instead of just expecting to win, this team seemed not only happy and satisfied, but also relieved.  Relieved that their hard work playing in all the off-seasons of their hectic NBA lives for three years would actually pay off.  That it would not only make them more competitive, but put them over the top for the next four years.

As a Cavs fan, it isn’t like winning a championship, I don’t think.  But, it does show LeBron as a true leader amongst any group of basketball players.  He didn’t have the flashiest box score of anyone on the team.  He didn’t hold the ball all the time.  He didn’t take the biggest pressure shots, instead opting to help set teammates like Kobe and Dwyane Wade up.  What he did was play perfect team basketball.  He was defending the fast break, defending the weak side, driving to the basket to stop streaks, and looking for assists.  LeBron insists on playing basketball the right way at all times, even as it has led to criticism at times in Cleveland.

But now, his style and substance has helped Team USA bring the gold back.  It doesn’t feel like the gold is rightfully ours and has been stolen since 2000, like the original Dream Team would have had us believe.  This is a new era with very talented international teams vying for this gold every four years.  It feels like a great accomplishment, rather than just a rite of passage.  In the scheme of things, this is good for the game of basketball and good for the United States.  It is now the kind of accomplishment that seems worth getting up in the middle of the night to watch.

Is Kobe Coming to Cleveland?

Kobe Bryant has an opt-out clause in his contract after this season.  Kobe Bryant has already seen all of what Los Angeles has to offer.  He has tried to be the cornerstone of the franchise and he hasn’t been able to get over the top since Shaq left.  Now, after playing in the Olympics with LeBron James, Kobe probably thinks he can improve his career and legacy by moving to Cleveland.  In Cleveland, he can share the court with another superstar like he did when Shaq was in Los Angeles.  And this superstar, LeBron, is an unselfish player who can help Kobe cement his legacy as a hall of famer with multiple championships to finish his career.

So, while most people claim that big named players need to be in big cities, the truth is they just need to be in high profile situations winning multiple championships.  Because of LeBron James, there is no better place to go and make that happen other than Cleveland.

So, now, all we have to do is find someone who is “close to Kobe Bryant” and lead them into saying that Kobe “would consider opting out of his contract” after the upcoming season.  Then, we need to goad this same “insider” into saying something innocent like, “Kobe has really enjoyed playing in the Olympics with LeBron.”  And then we can extrapolate (unnecessarily and idiotically) saying that it is possible, and possibly likely, that Kobe Bryant is going to opt out of his contract at the end of this season with the express purpose of coming to Cleveland to play with LeBron James and win championships.

You see?  I am making a point.  This is really the same way that the big media outlets speculate on LeBron going to NYC, or Europe.  So how do you like me now?

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the first Kobe to Clevland rumor.  Could it happen??!?!?!??!??

YES!!!!

Dana White is Not Afraid of Criticism

Dana White is the head of the UFC and he is a stand-up guy. He does a Q&A with huge audiences of fans and isn’t afraid of anything anyone might have to say. In this clip, a woman says, “F*** you” to him because he talks so much junk about former UFC fighter Tito Ortiz. Dana’s answer is hilarious. He basically says that he and Tito feud publicly all the time because they don’t like each other, they are both extremely immature, and both probably need counseling.

Ladies and gentlemen, your UFC CEO, Dana White.

Separated at Birth – Michael Phelps and Gheorghe Muresan

I heard this mentioned on Jim Rome, so I thought I would throw the pics together.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

What do you think? It might work.

Smells like Cabbage.

Olympics are Ripe With Condoms… Really

I wouldn’t have guessed that this was the case, but apparently they supplied, AND RAN OUT OF, condoms during the previous Olympic games in Sydney.  How many did they supply, you ask?  Try 70,000.

“There are many young, strong, single people in the athletes’ village and, like everywhere, some will fall in love or other things, so we need to make condoms available,” Ole Hansen, spokesman for UNAIDS China, told Reuters. “A lot of these young people are not married or in relationships so we want to make sure they have the information and tools to protect themselves if they have sexual encounters.”

OK, I have a question.

If an American swimmer and a Korean badminton player procreate in the Olympic village and their offspring turns out to be a super-kid athlete, does the kid play both sports down the road, and more importantly, which country does (s)he represent?  Can the kid swim for the U.S. and Badmint* for Korea?

Taking the contraceptive pill usually results in lighter, less painful and more regular menstrual bleeding. This means it is sometimes also prescribed for women who have problems with particularly heavy, painful or irregular periods. Cilest tablets contain two active ingredients, ethinylestradiol and norgestimate which you can get in a very cheap price online from https://www.ukmeds.co.uk/treatments/contraceptive-pill/cilest/. These are synthetic versions of the naturally occurring female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. Ethinylestradiol is a synthetic version of oestrogen and norgestimate is a synthetic form of progesterone.

(* I think I just created a new verb.)

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