Category Archives: Other

Throwback Thursday: This week in history (July 31-Aug 6)

Most athletes will tell you that from a team perspective, the most important thing is winning… but from an individual perspective, everyone wants to write the their name in history and be remembered forever.

In this week’s edition of Throwback Thursday, we take a look back at some of the memorable events in sports that took place from July 31st to August 6th.

July 31, 1990: Nolan Ryan wins his 300th game

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Arguably the greatest pitcher of all-time, Nolan Ryan reached the pitching holy grail in 1990 by recording his 300th win. He became the 20th pitcher to do so.

August 2, 1998: Barry Bonds charges the mound after being HBP

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MLB’s all-time home run leader and perennial intentional walk victim Barry Bonds was hit by a pitch in 1998 and did not like it very much. Bonds proceeded to charge the mound, resulting in a bench-clearing brawl.

August 3, 1949: The NBA was born

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After the Basketball Association of America (BAA) was founded in 1946, it became a real challenger to the already established National Basketball League (NBL). Three years later, the two leagues merged to create the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1949.

August 4, 1936: American Jesse Owens wins second gold medal in Berlin

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U.S. Olympic hero Jesse Owens claimed his second of four gold medals after winning the long jump competition in Berlin, Germany. This event was especially significant as the feat continued to prove Hitler’s superior Aryan race theory.

August 4, 2012: Oscar Pistorius becomes first amputee runner to compete in the Olympics

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South African runner Oscar Pistorius is a double amputee and became the first amputee to run in the Olympics when he competed in the men;s 400-meter dash in London. Pistorius advanced to the semifinals before being eliminated. Of course, he is now best known for murdering his fiancee and currently resides in prison.

August 5, 1976: NBA merges with ABA

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In 1976, the NBA merged with their rival league, the American Basketball Association (ABA). The previously established NBA welcomed the four most successful teams to join. Those teams included the Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, New York (NJ) Nets and San Antonio Spurs.

August 5, 2013: Alex Rodriguez gets suspended 211 games for using HGH

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It only seemed fitting that I add a little A-Rod to the story, seeing that he may be released by the New York Yankees this week. Rodriguez has been essentially all but shunned by the baseball community following his many altercations surrounding performance enhancing drugs… most notably was this suspension that kept him out an entire season.

August 6, 1953: Ted Williams returns to the Boston Red Sox from the military

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Arguably the best hitter in MLB history, Ted Williams returned to the baseball after a brief stint in the U.S. military. Boston couldn’t have been happier.

#TBT Birthdays:

July 31, 1958: Mark Cuban (58) Dallas Mavericks owner

August 3, 1977: Tom Brady (39) New England Patriots Quarterback

August 4, 1962: Roger Clemens (54) Former Cy Young Award winner

August 5, 1937: Herb Brooks (d. 2003) 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Gold Medal winning Head Coach

August 5, 1962: Patrick Ewing (54) former NY Knicks center, NBA Hall of Famer

August 5, 1982: Lolo Jones (33) U.S. Olympic Track and Field athlete

August 5, 1986: Paula Creamer (29) LPGA professional golfer

August 6, 1965: David Robinson (51) former SA Spurs center, NBA Hall of Famer

August 6, 1973: Max Kellerman (42) ESPN broadcaster

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 Paul Schaum

Sports Writer. Avid sports fan. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater graduate. Currently living in Tempe, AZ.

Why Elena Della Donne’s relaxed approach to coming out is good for sports

In a world where racial, cultural and gender differences continue to separate people, sports have always been a source for comradery among athletes of all backgrounds. On the other hand, sexual orientation has been something that has either been frowned upon or ignored within the confines of a sports locker room. However, within the last few years, athletes have been courageously opening up about their homosexuality.

In 2013, longtime NBA veteran Jason Collins announced that he was gay and became the first professional athlete to come out publicly.

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In 2014, SEC Player of the Year and Missouri Tigers defensive end Michael Sam came out to the public and then became the first openly gay man to be drafted into the NFL.

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This week, a story broke on ESPN that reigning WNBA MVP and current USA women’s basketball star Elena Della Donne has announced that she is gay and engaged to her longtime partner Amanda Clifton. Now what’s more important than the actual announcement, if you want to call it that, is that she didn’t schedule a formal interview to break the story. She didn’t hold a press conference to announce the news to the world. She just said that some writers were doing an article on her, spent some time in her home and that her fiancée was going to be around because she was such a big part of her life.

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Most people will read that article and think that it’s not a big deal, and it’s just another athlete coming out. Well, that is where we find the biggest movement of all. Pro athletes, college athletes and kids in high school will see that an MVP is openly gay without making a big deal about it. This message could potentially resonate with homosexual athletes everywhere, as well as the athletes that share a locker room with them. The message is that it’s ok to be gay AND be yourself in sports and in life. If you are comfortable with yourself then other will be comfortable with you regardless of sexual orientation.

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Change has been needed for years. More change will continue to be necessary as we push to evolve to a better, more equal society for people of every race, gender, culture and sexual orientation. I just hope that people don’t ignore the progress that we are making along the way, no matter how small it may seem.

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 Paul Schaum

Sports Writer. Avid sports fan. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater graduate. Currently living in Tempe, AZ.

Twitter: pjschaum6

No Tiger For 2016: Good or Bad for PGA?

Earlier today, as reported by the Golf Channel, former number one golfer in the world, Tiger Woods, has announced that he will not be participating in the PGA Championship. This means that he will miss the rest of the 2016 season, which is devastating to the handful of Tiger fans that remain, including myself. The man who redefined the game of golf in the late 1990’s, Tiger is a legend, a hero. His name on the leaderboard is missed every tournament, and the massive gatherings of golf fans miss chanting “Tiger, Tiger.” Speculation surrounds the question of whether he’ll win another major, or even yet, if he’ll ever play again?

Since early 2014, he has had three back surgeries. After his latest back surgery this past year, people have been saying that Tiger should just retire.

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What’s the rush? I would love to see him back as much as the next guy, but I want him back 100%. I want to relive the glory days, where the Tiger I grew up watching was fist-pumping his way to the top of every leaderboard… not the Tiger who is wincing in pain after every shot from the fairway or tee. However, since Tiger has been absent, there have been plenty of other players in the spotlight, which still makes for good golf.

As the old saying goes, “Out with the old, in with the new.” Enter Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth. These four young competitors have not only taken over the top of the World Golf Rankings but have been attracting large crowds all over the world. Unfortunately, the older golfers, like Tiger and Phil Mickelson, will not be around forever. As of July 17th, Day is No. 1 in the world golf rankings, while Johnson is No. 2, Spieth is No. 3 and McIlroy is No. 4. When it comes to majors, expect these guys to be towards the top of the leaderboard. Not only are they playing well at a young age, but they make the game exciting… just like Tiger did back in the day.

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Woods is no stranger to the spotlight, winning tournaments since 1996. After the dramatic Masters victory in ’97, he seemed invincible. He essentially revived the game of golf, making it not only enjoyable to play but to watch as well.

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As we all know, he has made headlines not only on the course but off of it as well. After the cheating scandal, it seemed as if Woods had lost his motivation to win, or better yet, to even compete at a high level again. There will be people who will remember him as a “cheater” or “unloyal,” but for those that have seen him play, they will always remember him as one of the greatest golfers this world has ever seen.

There is no one like Tiger, whether you like it or not. His reactions after a shot, his fist pumps after sinking a putt and simply his presence are some of the key reasons why we need to see him tee up again.  Sooner or later, his “mamba mentality” will kick in. Expect Tiger to come roaring back in the 2017 PGA season.

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    Matt Hrncar

Raised in a competitive family, sports has been the majority of my life. Not only playing but watching as well. Born in Oak Lawn, IL (suburb of Chicago), I tend to have a bias, but I try to keep an open mind. Nonetheless, I enjoy watching and talking sports.

Henrik Stenson wins first major title in historic fashion

In the midst of the next generation takeover in golf, we were able to see two old guys duke it out for a major championship this weekend. No, one of those guys was not Tiger Woods; however, one of them was Phil Mickelson.

The weekend was looking good for the 46-year-old when he started the tournament on fire, but it was a sign of things to come when he was unable to sink his birdie putt on 18 to finish with the first 62 in a major championship. Instead, he finished tied for the record with a first-round 63.

Stenson has been a top-tier golfer for almost 15 years, but the 40-year-old had never won a major heading into the weekend. He was not going to be denied his first Open title this time around as he finished with four straight sub-70 rounds.

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Stenson capped his magical run with style, sinking a 20-foot putt on 18 at Royal Troon. He walked away with the Claret Jug and a number of records including the lowest total amount of strokes in a major championship (264).

The PGA veteran became the first male Swedish golfer to win a major and the ninth golfer to win his first major at the age of 40 or older. His previous best finish was tied for second at the 2013 Open in which Mickelson won.

Mickelson’s 11 major championship runner-up finishes ranks second all-time, behind only Jack Nicklaus (19).

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Paul Schaum

Sports Writer. Avid sports fan. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater graduate. Currently living in Tempe, AZ.