‘The Ultimate Fighter’: Season 13 cast

Spike just released the cast list for the new season, and so like every other MMA blogger without a full-time office job, I’ve been scouring Sherdog and elsewhere for info about each guy. Here’s what we have — good luck pinning those the records on any TUF cast: – Nordin “Fists of Tangier” Asrih: 16-5-1 (he says 16-6-1); 32-year-old German with a lot of European fights, including one M-1 Challenge loss. Notable losses include Tomasz Drwal and Lucio Linhares. – Shamar Bailey: 10-3, with a couple of fights in Strikeforce. Beat John Kolosci on the Fedor-Rogers undercard. 0-2 in 2010. … Continue reading ‘The Ultimate Fighter’: Season 13 cast

2012 ball sports: Yay, team! Except you folks with bats

Let’s see … I’ve done projections for archery, athletics, badminton … let’s call up the spreadsheet and see what’s next:

Baseball!

Oh … right.

Baseball and softball are gone from the Olympic program because, as we all know, it’s easier to turn an 18-hole golf course into an Olympic venue than it is to put a fence around a small part of an Olympic green and have baseball and softball games. Or something like that.

That still leaves us with a few team sports: Basketball, field hockey, soccer, handball, volleyball (beach and indoor) and water polo. (We’ll save synchronized swimming for later.)

Continue reading “2012 ball sports: Yay, team! Except you folks with bats”

Could D.C. fans find Freedom in W-League?

Here’s what we know about women’s soccer in the D.C. area and what we don’t know, all leading up to a couple of hypotheticals: KNOW: The WPS team formerly known as the Washington Freedom is now magicJack’s Washington Freedom. Yes, magicJack … not magicTalk. Dan Borislow, the team owner, says the product name “magicTalk” will be changing. DON’T KNOW: How many, if any, games this team will play anywhere near Washington. The schedule released today says the following: “The home venue for magicJack’s Washington Freedom will be Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. The team might play one or … Continue reading Could D.C. fans find Freedom in W-League?

Here comes the judge …

Time for that annual tradition for much of the country: Watching the Westminster Dog Show. (Or, if you work in journalism, creating Westminster-related content that will get startling traffic numbers.) It’s fun to watch, but does anyone really have a clue about the judging? We see the judges peek in their mouths, stroke their coats and watch them trot, but if not for the expert commentators, most of us couldn’t tell first place from last. That difficulty isn’t unique, though. Judging is an issue in MMA, even though the actions and their impact are often easy to see. Then come … Continue reading Here comes the judge …

A farewell to Fedor? Plus other Strikeforce thoughts

One unfortunate aspect of being a latecomer to MMA is that I clearly missed some of the best fighters in their prime. I know Chuck Liddell dominated for years, but the first time I saw him in person, Rashad Evans knocked him unconscious. A couple more KOs later, he’s done. Fedor Emelianenko is a more complicated story. Though he looks like your middle-aged uncle, he’s only 34, not too old for a sport that sees many fighters remain competitive past 40. But his glory years were a long time ago. Since beating Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira on New Year’s Eve 2004, … Continue reading A farewell to Fedor? Plus other Strikeforce thoughts

Style points: Why everything you think about the present or future U.S. soccer mentality is wrong

Soccer America’s Best of American Soccer 2010 has a terrific profile of FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman, whose breakout year in 2010 is just a small part of his compelling story. His background is one reason why I’ve found the stereotypes of U.S. soccer in this otherwise interesting BigSoccer thread, which popped up in response to my ESPN piece on Claudio Reyna’s quest to overhaul U.S. youth development, so frustrating. The stereotypes say U.S. coaches are all about finding athletic players and aren’t interested in having decent touch on the ball or other soccer skills. If players have creative flair, … Continue reading Style points: Why everything you think about the present or future U.S. soccer mentality is wrong

2012 badminton: Any hope for Europe?

Badminton is one of several Olympic sports that thrives in Asia, gets a smattering of interest in Europe and is mostly invisible elsewhere. In Beijing, the badminton venue flat-out rocked.

OK, so I can’t show you how loud it was. Pretty, though, isn’t it?

The hosts won eight of the 15 medals in this buoyant atmosphere, which was enough to turn a contender into a medalist. The other medals went to South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia. All hotbeds of the sport, all expected to win medals at any competition, anywhere.

But Europe has a few people who can play as well. Denmark has had a handful of Olympic medals, as has 2012 host Britain. Perhaps a friendlier atmosphere in London will help?

Continue reading “2012 badminton: Any hope for Europe?”