Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's the The Great Implosion, Charlie Brown


This week is one of my favorites. It's the stretch before Halloween, which means I'm busy finishing up my costume, carving pumpkins, jumping in leaf piles, and watching any and all scary-related programming on TV.

And on this past Saturday night, I got a front-row, first hand seat to one of the scariest things I've seen in a while: the implosion of the WVU football team.
That's not a happy face

Just two short weeks ago, after a brilliant victory in Austin over the Texas Longhorns, Mountaineer fans were riding an extreme high. Our team was ranked #5 in the country, and our quarterback was seemingly a shoo-in for the Heisman trophy. Although our defense was...shall we say, shaky?!?....our offense was lighting up the sky with an air raid that was as exciting to watch as it was automatic to count on.

Then Texas Tech happened. In horror, we watched as the Red Raiders manhandled our squad like a bunch of Pop Warner league school children. To make matters worse, rumors of the Mountaineers' arrogance and attitude swirled faster than Coach Dana Holgorsen's hair in the blistering Texas wind.

"An anomaly," I thought. "They have those games every year. I bet they'll come back next week at home with a vengeance." So I didn't worry too much. Sure, that loss was unfortunate, but it wasn't devastating by any means. A win over #4 Kansas State would put us right back in the driver's seat.

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When all was said and done this past Saturday evening, the carnage was like something out of a George Romero movie. I'll spare everyone the awful details, only to say that the final box score read:  K-State- 52, WVU- 14.

And after that travesty, it was time to face facts: WVU is in full implosion mode.

Why? What the hell has happened in the past two weeks to make things go downhill so, so terribly fast?

Well, for starters, the defense is clearly well past shaky. They suck, pure and simple. According to the coaches, it's not the schemes being run...it's the players. Alright, I'll buy the fact that we don't seem to have personnel that can cover any pass deeper than two yards. However, if the coaches know that to be the case, isn't there something they can do to "dumb" down the coverage? Or maybe tell their guys to at least be in front a receiver, not behind him, when a ball is being thrown down the sidelines?

But we all knew the defense wasn't going to win any awards, and having the best two defensive players out in Will Clarke and Broderick Jenkins isn't helping. The TRULY frightening thing is what's happened to the offense, and more specifically, Geno Smith. The Heisman leader has looked anything but the last two games, leading this sportsonista to believe something is going on with him mentally or emotionally.

When asked what the issues were with the offense following Saturday's slaughter, Holgorsen snidely commented, "We've put up hundreds of yards of offense. I didn't suddenly forget how to coach."

So, then Holgs...what, exactly, is the problem? Is not having Shawne Alston as an extra back finally taking its toll? Is it Stedman Bailey's sparse play the last two games? Did Geno buy too much into his Heisman hype?

All I can say is, I'm glad the team has a week off to work out their issues. Because if something isn't turned around, and fast, it's going to be a longggggggggggg rest of the season.



Image provided by espn. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Take Me to the Promised (Grant)land


Bill Simmons is my idol.

The way young girls worship Justin Beiber? The way ultra-Republicans pant over Rush Limbaugh? That's how I feel about Bill Simmons.

Mr. "Sports Guy" himself is the reason I wanted to start a sports blog. He's like if a sports encyclopedia mated with Conan O'Brien (or someone equally as funny). His pithy, witty sports columns are all that I strive (and, probably mostly, fail) to be.

Our relationship started out fairly breezy, as my friend Leah would say. I would occasionally take a gander over to ESPN.com to catch a Sports Guy column...mostly mail bags, but also a feature piece or two.

Then came his "Bill Simmons Goes to Vegas" piece (read part 1 and part 2 here). I read it until I cried. I made my parents read it. I told the world about it. I was that annoying person who would refer to Simmons as if we brunched every weekend and then, when people would give me dumb looks, would incredulously say, "You don't know who Bill Simmons IS?"

It was probably at that moment that I went past "breezy" to full-fledged obsessed.

**************************************************************

Last year, Simmons branched out from his ESPN gig to create a safe environment for other hilarious sports-minded writers like himself.

I'm still waiting for my invite to join the staff, BTW.

Thus, Grantland was born. And it was glorious.

But, I didn't visit as often as I should. Not even when Mark Titus of "Club Trillion" (a Bill Simmons prodigy and former walk-on for the Ohio State Buckeye basketball team) joined the ranks.

If you've never heard of Mark Titus, please read his "Love in an Elevator" blog post. You're welcome.

Anyhoo, I think it was the narcissist in me. Or the lazy in me. Either way, I didn't want to be influenced by the awesomeness that I would find on the site. I needed to keep a sense of self in my own blog, even if that sense was totally inferior.

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About now, you may be asking yourself...why the hell is she telling me this? Is the sports-o-nista that hard up for topics that she's rambling about other sports blogs?

Well, yes, partly. But mostly because as of late, Grantland has been focusing on one particular topic near and dear to my heart: WVU.

It started last Friday with a blurb about current Heisman front-runner Geno Smith. I promptly shared on my facebook page, then spent the entire weekend asking people if they had seen it. When they responded "No", I would make them listen as I read it aloud.

And then Tuesday, this post appeared. Anything that likened Head Coach Dana Holgorsen's hair to being ravaged by a family of vengeful squirrels was alright in my book. I mean seriously, can you imagine?

I guess what I'm trying to say is this....Bill Simmons already had my heart. But now that Grantland has made my Mountaineers their go-to topic of choice? My obsession has been reinforced, reinvigorated, and revitalized.

So, thank you Bill Simmons. Thank you Grantland. I was never good at "breezy" anyway.


Images provided by sportsjournalistsprofile, and kwc.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Replacements

As Edward O'Neil, played by the talented Jack Warden, so eloquently stated in the very hilarious football movie The Replacements, we've all  "seen monkey-shit fights at the zoo that are more organized than this." 

"This", of course, refers to the disaster that is currently the NFL replacement refs. 

Seems Legit
The regular men in stripes, who before the season were locked out by the league over union disputes involving pay and pensions, have always been the focus of fan hatred.

"WHAT THE F*&*&* was that ref? Get off your knees, you're blowing the game!" is the battle cry that has echoed throughout stadiums since the dawn of organized sport.

But now? Now those beloved officials and their "expertise" have probably never been as sorely missed.

Exhibit A: Monday night's game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers.

With the 'Hawks down 12-7 and facing a 4th and 10, QB Russell Wilson heaved up a Hail Mary pass that was intercepted by Packer Safety M.D. Jennings. Once Jennings fell to the ground, Seattle Receiver Golden Tate grabbed onto the ball. 

The result was one ref signaling an interception and one signaling a touchdown. Simultaneously. 

After a ten minute debate in which both teams cleared the field, the "ruling" on the field was indeed a touchdown. 

Except, you know, it wasn't. 

But let's be fair..."real" refs have blown calls too. Remember in 1990 when Colorado came from behind to beat Missouri 33-31, all thanks to a "fifth down"? Remember in 1999 when the Thanksgiving game between the Steelers and Lions went into OT, Jerome Bettis called "tails" but ref Phil Luckett heard "heads", and the Lions "won" the coin toss and ultimately the game? Or how about when the phantom offensive pass interference call against Darrell Jackson took points off the board for Seattle in Super Bowl XL, thus giving the Lombardi trophy to the Pittsburgh Steelers?

So, refs blowing calls? Not anything new. It's just that these replacements are going beyond an occasional miss to out and out ridiculousness. Ignorance of rules, confusion over downs, not sure where the ball should actually be placed...all things that have become the norm these past few weeks. 

Perhaps my favorite outlook on this was a story done by Deadspin, who tongue-in-cheekly suggested that these scabs were intentionally sabotaging games. You know...just cause they can.


It's like the Three Stooges meets the NFL. While it's sometimes so mindblowingly terrible that it's funny, eventually the players safety and the integrity of the games is going to be sorely affected. And that moment might have already arrived.
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Weigh in on the referee sitch. Should the NFL and Roger Goodell suck it up? Should the players go back on strike? Let me know!

Image provided by www.whatdoumeme.com.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

You Say (Flying) To-MAY-to, I Say Jail Bird

I debated whether or not to post on the Shaun White arrest because I like to keep things classy and professional on this blog.
Oh honey, that's not a good look for you.

LOL just kidding...this is tres good shit, non?

Yes, Mr. Shaun White...everyone's favorite snowboarder and most-liked carrot top since Lucille Ball....has done a 840 and landed solidly in a crap load of trouble. The boarder got arrested in Nashville early Sunday morning for vandalism and public intoxication.

Oops.

Apparently White went a little overboard on a family and friends celebration and decided to pull a fire alarm at the Vanderbilt Hotel...clearly a celebratory party foul. Further proving that the kid had a littttle too much to drink, White chose not to sign misdeamnor citations, which would have kept him out of the slammer.

AND, Shaun is no stranger to unruly behavior as it applies to fire safety. He was also cited in 2007 for destroying a fire extinguisher in a Breckenridge, CO hotel. For his part, White issued a "mea culpa", blaming his poor decisions on the fact that he merely got "carried away".

Carried away by the Po Po, ammiright? 

At least White has company. Last night, right after their win over the Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner was also arrested for drunk and reckless driving.


Look, I don't know exactly what's going on in the south these days...maybe they're staging a late protest over the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party going dry, or maybe it's just the heat, but seriously....let's lighten up on the boozing shall we? It will save everyone a lot of trouble and really embarrassing mug shots.

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Want to weigh in on the latest pro athletes to cross paths with the law? Hit me up and let me know!

Image provided by gossipcenter

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Brit in King Arthur's Court

Cue up Celine Dion, 'cause Andy Murray is on top of the world. 

It was just merely a month ago that the young Brit defeated Roger Federer to win the Olympic Gold Medal at his home court of Wimbledon. Now, Murray can add one more title to his resume: US Open Champ.

On Monday, after being delayed by rain deluges, Murray flew high once again....this time taking down Novak Djokovic at the legendary Arthur Ashe stadium in New York. His win also broke a 76 year old streak of Great Britain being sans a Grand Slam title winner.

Pretty impressive for a guy who seemed to be always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Straight set losses in 2008 to Roger Federer at the US Open, the 2010 Australian Open, and at 2012 Wimbledon, combined with the loss to Djokovic in 2011 at the Australian Open, had left Murray feeling a little like an outsider looking in at the grand world of a Grand Slam title.

Then came London in August of 2012.

Maybe Princess Catherine sent her fairy godmother to help a brother out. Maybe Murray's gorg girlfriend Kim Sears has been cooking him better food. All I know is, the Brit is on a roll.

Plus? I like listening to him talk. Like all freaking day.



So kudos Andy Murray. In a country that has a long history of royalty, you are more than apt to become the next king of tennis.



 Image provided by telegraph.co.uk.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Football Fashion Police...Pt. 3

It's here guys...the 2012-13 edition of the Football Fashion Police. I'd like to say that uniform design is getting better, but let's be honest...it's getting more outrageously hideous with each passing year. And I LUV it. So without further ado, let's check out the madness shall we?

    *****************************************************************

DON'T make your uniform look like something out of the periodic table. If I wanted to be in chemistry class, I wouldn't be at a football game.


Nebraska and Wisconsin...H..2...hell no.

DO make military crispness a fashion statement, like our friends from the Air Force. These clean and neat unis are spectacular.

Love these. Love the stripe, love the lightning bolt, love it all.


DON'T try to make "Flomo" happen, Gretchen Wieners! It's not fetch, ok???? Flomo, for those of you who are unaware, is this fall's trend of mixing cammo and floral, as it seems our brethren from Wyoming are trying to do. Just...ew.

The cows aren't going to fall for that disguise, and neither are we.



DO make a uniform that people like moi will lust after. Seriously, I'm LUSTING. Well done, Utah State, well done.




DON'T forget that horizontal stripes aren't necessarily a flattering fashion choice. I saw these beauties when Northwestern played against Syracuse this weekend, and they are as hideous in play as they are in theory. It's a little better in the darker shades, but not by much.

I feel your pain #12. I'd be asking "Why God, Why?" too.


DO realize that after a disastrous attempt at cool uniforms in 2011, you can really only go up. Kudos Maryland for not being nearly as hideous as last year.  I have a feeling that may be the only bright spot in your season, judging by your game against William and Mary.

Anything beats that seizure producing helmet and turtle shell pattern.

And in a category I like to call "I honestly have no idea"....

The Virginia Tech 2012-13 Helmets


I personally think the turkey tracks are cool, but the cammo helmet is ridiculously stupid. So....yeah.

Let me know what you think about this year's dos and don'ts. Anyone I missed? What about Penn State having their names on their jerseys for the first time? Hit me up!

Images provided by tucsoncitizensportsgridgazetteafasportslostlettermenhelmetgamecbssports and gamedayr.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I'm BAA-AAA-CCKKK

Oh HAY guys! It's been a hot second since we were last together, but can I be honest with you? The Olympics burned me out. It got to the point where I was feeling immense guilt if I didn't tune in each night, and that's just cray cray, ammiright?

Anyway, I'm feeling slightly refreshed after my few weeks hiatus, which is good because FOOTBALL SEASON IS HERE. Actually, more importantly, COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON IS HERE.

Now, I hope everyone has had ample time to check out your favorite sports news media outlet and see what conference your team is now playing for, because chances are it's changed since last January.

For instance, about a week and a half ago, I went on ESPN to catch up on bloggy news about WVU, and it took me a few seconds to remember to go to the Big XII site. I don't even really remember WVU being an independent, as I was 10 when the Big East was formed, so that was trippy and weird and a little uncomfortable.

But my alma mater is certainly not the only one that has switched lanes and gears and everything else when it comes to conferences. The Big XII is also welcoming in the Horned Frogs of TCU while bidding farewell to Mizzou and Texas A&M, who are headed to the SEC. Meanwhile, the Big East (who is not yet losing Syracuse and Pitt to the ACC) is welcoming back Temple- the same team they kicked out just 8 years ago. I guess when your conference members are dropping like flies, a 14-80 record in conference play doesn't look quite as bad as it used to.

And when 2013 and 2014 roll around? Hands up as to who's going to need some sort of Conferences for Dummies guide book.




There are also plenty of new coaches: Mike Leach at Washington State (welcome back!), Hugh Freeze at Ole Miss (welcome to the SEC!), and Bill O'Brien at Penn St (welcome to what is probably going to be your worst nightmare).

Then there is Urban Meyer. The illustrious former Florida Gator head coach is returning to his alma mater Ohio State to take over a probation-laden program. The good news? Ohio State is apparently talent-heavy and ranked in the top ten pre-season. The bad news? It doesn't really matter, because playing for pride isn't nearly as fun as say...playing for a national championship.

Well, this sucks.
When all is said and done with the pre-season back stories and predictions, however, it all comes down to what will happen on the gridiron. And that, my friends, begins tonight.

Who better to kick off the 2012-13 season than the Ol' Ball Coach himself Steve Spurrier? His #9 ranked South Carolina Gamecocks travel to Vanderbilt to take on the Commodores. The fun continues tomorrow night with a match-up between a pair of ranked foes in #24 Boise St. and #13 Michigan St.

But the REAL excitement will come on Saturday evening, when #8 Michigan takes on #2 Alabama at neutral Dallas Cowboys Stadium. Remember when Michigan lost that opener a few years ago against lowly App. State at home? Remember that 'Bama is the reigning National Champ after beating conference rival LSU in a controversial rematch? Yeah, this one should shake out to be pretty entertaining.



In short, I am glad that college football, like moi, is indeed back. Aren't you?

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Hit me up and let me know what you're most looking forward to this season. See ya on the flip side!

Images provided by wvusportsespn, and lh6.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pedal Through the Medals


Wow, what an exciting week and half it's been for the Olympics already! We've had tears of joy, tears of sadness, and tears of disgust from women all over the world finding out Ryan Lochte pees in the pool.

We've had history made: the USA winning both the women's team gold and All-Around gold in gymnastics, a para-Olympian making it to the semi-finals of the 400 meters in track, an American man failing to make the 400 meter finals for the first time EVER, and a swimmer who has become the most decorated Olympian in history (Michael Phelps with 22 medals, just in case you've been living under a rock).



We've seen Mckayla Maroney, American gymnast and vaulter extraordinaire, fail to earn a gold medal in her event. You know, the gold medal that, next to the US basketball squad,  was about as assured as a gold medal can get? We've seen Gabby Douglas fail to earn a single invidual event medal after taking the All-Around title...a first in the sport.



And speaking of gymnastics, we've seen some of the most ridiculous parents EVER this past week. Special gold medal awarded to the people sitting behind Aly Raisman's folks just for tolerating the crazy.



We've seen beach volleyball superstars Kerri Walsh-Jennings and Misty May-Treanor lost their first Olympic set in...oh, ever. But we've also seen them rally back to their superb form, setting up a gold-medal battle against fellow Americans April Ross and Jennifer Kessy. On the flip side, we've seen defending Olympic champs Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser fail to make it to the medal rounds.



We've seen the Chinese continue to dominate in diving and the Jamaicans continue to be really, really fast.

We've seen countless bouts of judo, handball, and table tennis. LOL, just kidding...no one watches that crap.

We've seen the Phelps/Lochte showdown get overshadowed by young swimming phenoms like Missy Franklin, Elizabeth Beisel and Katie Ledecky.

And yes, above it all, we've seen a man overcome a lackluster start to earn not his 19th, not his 20th, not his 21st, but his 22nd Olympic medal. And in a week filled with so many memorable moments, that's about as history changing as you can get.



So guys, what's been your most memorable Olympic moment so far? Or have you abandoned all hope for cable tv? Let me know!

Images provided by guim.co.uk, salon, wallpapersup, and dailyguideghana.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

International (Fashion) Affairs

Two weeks ago I kicked off my Olympic 2012 coverage by examining the controversy that was the American Opening Ceremony outfits. But that was just the tip of the iceberg my friends. We're not even through a whole week yet in London, and there have already been some very definite fashion DOS and DON'Ts. Judges?

DO be insanely cool like Usain Bolt and rock a military-inspired jacket while flashing that famous smile. Le sigh!

Judges Score: 9

DON'T wear a rhinestone grill to your medal ceremony. I don't care how patriotic you think you're being...that's just not necessary, nor is it particularly attractive. 


Judges Score: 3

DO be cute as a button in classic cardigans and full skirts ala the Denmark squad. And we all thank you for not looking like airline stewardesses.

Judges Score: 8.5
DON'T, and I mean for the love of God, don't wear scrunchies. For all the innovations we've had in the sport of gymnastics lately, can't we find something else to hold our hair back? A pretty ribbon perhaps?

Judges Score: 2

DO live in a country small enough to be clad entirely by Italian designer Salvatore Ferragamo. Sure, the women of San Marino look a little silly carrying handbags, but who cares? It's a freaking Ferragamo for crying out loud!

Judges Score: 9.5...a deduction was taken off because I'm jealous

and finally...

DON'T look like you were styled by Ugly Betty, mmmkay? Mexico deserves better. We all do.

Judges Score: DQ for burning my eyes out with this nonsense

So friends...what have been your highlights or dislikes of the Olympic fashion scene so far? Hit me up and let me know!



Images provided by stilettosandstuffnojustno.co.uk, and fashion.telegraph.co.uk.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

XXX


It's finally here. The London Games! The 30th Olympiad! The sporting event that pre-empts every other TV show!

It's been a while since we've last met, but the Olympics are a special occasion. Ergo, I thought I'd bring you a special live blog of the Opening Ceremonies...5 days later. You know, just like NBC. Now, this may not make any sense if you didn't watch the ceremony Friday night, but that's not my problem, mmkay?

Enjoy!

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Initial thought....are they just going to do everything on grass? 'Cause that's both lazy and weird. Pastoral, but weird.

Oh no wait...there goes the grass. Whew.

The 2012 games are brought to you by Danny Boyle's 5th Grade diorama.

Ahh, look. There's Kenneth Branagh. How much do I love him? (answer...a lot). I'm now explaining who exactly he is to my stepdad, though. Sure, he's no Mr. Bean, but he played a mean Hamlet.

Moving on to the industrial revolution....they're now forging a ring with lots of fire and smoke. There's surely a Tolkien joke in here somewhere, but I'm not in the mood to think of it.

In a land called Mordor...far, far away...


Hold up now...is this Daniel Craig aka James Bond? Why, yes it is! Someone British I adore even MORE than Kenneth Branagh. No explanation required on this one. And wait for it...he's with THE QUEEN!!!! HRH!!!! They are so their own Dream Team. As I'm watching them load into this helicopter and "jump" out of it to make their grand entrance, I'm struck by the thought that I had no idea the Queen was such a great sport. I guess everyone wants to be a Bond girl.

Words cannot even express...


We're about an hour or so into this, and I'm beginning to wonder when Harry Potter will make an entrance. Someone on Twitter remarked that Harry would be lighting the Olympic cauldron with his wand. Now THAT would be amazing.

We've moved on to a tribute somehow incorporating British children's lit and the health care system. Okkkk then. Looks to me like just a bunch of kids sharing a gurney. Do you really have to share beds as part of Great Britain's health care? Cuz they might want to re-think that.

As the kids fall asleep into some sort of nightmarish world (because you know you're not having good dreams with little Tommy kicking you from the foot of the bed), blow-up villians from famous books appear. Among them, a blow-up Voldemort (Yay Harry Potter!). Now all we need is a Roald Dahl giant peach rolling kids over Indiana Jones-style and we're all set. PS...the ginormous baby at the end of this sequence was BY FAR the scariest thing. *Shudder*

*Insert Mr. Bean/Rowan Atkinson/Chariots of Fire skit here*

Some sort of MTV on crack portion is happening now. I have no idea what's going on, other than Meredith Viera is singing like she's in her shower and not broadcasting an event watched by billions. I'd say this would be the most awkward thing of the entire evening, but it's not.

I immensely enjoy the Bowie homage, but am thoroughly confused by the London rapper. They have those? I thought Great Britain just shipped in Kanye when they wanted rap. Also? Who else thought that Prince Harry should have been in the middle of that house party, doing some sort of keg stand. No? Just me?

Oh hayyyyy the Parade of Nations is finally starting. Let the inappropriate and insensitve comments commence!

First up, Bob Costas makes a pretty funny badminton joke (not funny enough for me to recount here, but funny). Apparently Denmark is the most competitive non-Asian country in badminton. Huh, how bout that.

Five hours later, I'm trying to get over my appalled horror at the Ugly Betty inspired Mexican outfits when I hear Costas refer to the genocide in Rwanda as "the trouble they had in the 90s". Yes Bob, that would be one way of putting it. Thank goodness they've gotten past that though, right? Genocide really brings down a party.

And.....I'm drifting off....zzzzzz....OH THE USA! I mean, can't we just go by America? That would make this thing so much easier to watch. I love that LeBron is surrounded by some white dudes who are not-so-subtly trying to get him their camera shots. Everyone loves a winner.

Great Britain has entered, which means we're just one cauldron lighting away from being done this ten hour broadcast. Now usually this is some top-secret "Winston Churchill is rising from the dead to light it with a cigar" kind of thing, but nope. The British showcase a bunch of nobody teenagers who may or may not succeed in sports one day. The multi-petaled fire thingy is super cool though.

YAY! The torch is lit, the Queen has declared the Games open, and Sir Paul McCartney is leading everyone in Hey, Jude. This party is officially started.

Welcome to London, ya'll!



Images provided by usatodaycsmonitorcoventrytelegraph, and popwatch.ew.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Let the Controversy Begin!





Guys, the Olympics are just around the corner and already the drama is in high gear. No, a Russian judge hasn't gone rogue and started handing out threes for artistic merit, and a South Korean coach/official hasn't complained yet.

I'm talking about something much more serious....fashion ya'll.

Last week the USA Olympic team opening ceremony outfits were unveiled to the national public. American Designer and icon Ralph Lauren was pegged to create the ensembles, which are supposedly a throwback to the 1940s (30s? 20s? I don't know which one, but it's a low decade definitely).

Before I get into the real outcry, can we discuss the actual outfit for a sec? I love the blazers, the pleated skirts, the jaunty ascot-like scarf, and even the beret. But Ralph, seriously....what the heck is going on with the women's footwear???? Are they wearing orthopedic shoes? Saddle shoes and anklets? I mean, I kinda adore the high-heeled booties in the drawing, but the real life depiction....(shudder).

Anyhoo, it's possible these outfits won't even make it to the main stage in London due to the fact that they're not American-made. Yes, these lovely uniforms were harvested from China, causing uproars of epic proportions.

Ok, look...I get it. But honestly, chill out. Here's why having Chinese-crafted uniforms are actually perfect:

A) The Olympics are all about bringing nationalities together. Multicultural awareness and all that. What better way to do so then to outsource our products?

B) Is there really anything more American these days than something made in China? It's like tradition. It's free trade and cheaper labor and angels smiles all rolled into one.

So please, people. Save your hurt feelings for when it really counts, like when Lance Armstrong ultimately gets drug-tested for the 10 millionth time or the USA Men's basketball team does something stupid, like lose to Hungary.

And if you, like me, could care less about where the uniforms were made, you can get your own official gear.     Or you can let me know what you think about the Chinese-made clothes or just the outfit itself.

Otherwise, I'll see you in London in 9 days!


Image provided by instyle.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Beating the Heat

My friend Leah and I attended the Pirates/Giants baseball game this past Saturday in Pittsburgh. With temperatures well in the 100s, we were both dreading sitting out in the blazing sun for the afternoon. Thus was born Operation: Don't Die of Heat Stroke. Part of that was sitting in an air-conditioned restaurant for the first few innings. The other part was a carefully planned outfit to maximize comfort for even the hottest of summer sporting events:

Plain White T-Shirt

Lightweight Bright Denim Cutoffs


Neutral Strappy Sandals


Straw Fedora


and of course, the ultimate accessory:

Misting Fan

These misting fans saved our lives. Sure, your fellow fans might be a little jealous, but hey...it's called Darwinism people. Only the strong survive.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Choice: The Prince or the Rose


Last night I was faced with what can only be described as my own personal Sophie's Choice. Should I watch the fantasy date episode on The Bachelorette, or should I tune into the 2012 Home Run Derby? The evil TV gods had scheduled both for the same time slot, and I was torn.

So I did what any self-respecting sportsonista would do: I switched back and forth between both. And while I won't bore you with details of The Bachelorette, I will share some thoughts on the Derby.

Confession time... I didn't catch most of the first round, but of course, the HR Derby wouldn't be anything without some drama. The initial round was chock full of it. Andrew McCutchen getting overshadowed by the Josh Hamilton interview, captains Matt Kemp and Robbie Cano combining for ONE blast, and last years champ Cano getting lustily booed by the KC fans. And by lustily, I mean booed past the point of good-natured rivalry into the territory of awkward panda. Of course, Cano took to twitter to retaliate:


It's the second round, however, where shiz got real. How fantastic was the George Brett interview and his subsequent delivery of ribs to John Kruk? Umm pretty damn fantastic. But I guess that's what being an "ambassador" of the All-Star Game does...has greasy, messy food delivered to the broadcast crew. Well played, sir.





Side note...did you know both Brett and Kruk are from WV? Me either. 

Anyway, to recap the second: the kid Mark Trumbo was crushing them out of the park, threatening to put holes in the outfield wall. Trumbo was a questionable pick, but he provided some Josh Hamilton excitement to the contest. Meanwhile, Prince Fielder got ├╝ber friendly with the outfield fountains, securing a spot for the championship after barely eking into the second round. First round leader Jose Bautista only needed three homers to make it into the finals, but with one out left and only two blasts recorded, the drama (as Chris Berman surmised) was on. Bautista sent it into a swing off with Trumbo, but knocked two out to advance against Fielder. Oh the drama!

To the finals we go....

Fielder went first, and by his sixth home run, I was almost convinced Bautista was going to just call it a day. But he didn't, and the Prince hit for an impressive 12-run third round, tying Cano's record set last year. For his part, Bautista put up a good fight and recorded 7 dingers, but in the end it just wasn't enough.

The Prince was King in last night's Derby
Prince Fielder became just the second player to win two Home Run Derbies (Ken Griffey Jr. is the other), and the FIRST to win it as a National and American League player. He also won both of his titles in the state of Missouri (taking the title in St. Louis in 2009), proving that he takes the Show Me State motto to heart. 

And so, with that another Home Run Derby contest concluded. It wasn't the most epic battle we've ever seen, but it had ups, downs, and yes Chris Berman, it had drama.

Just like the Bachelorette. 


Images provided by orioleshangout and bleacherreport.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fashionable Fourth



Happy 4th of July everyone! This is perhaps one of my favorite holidays to rock
some cute fashion. The hot weather dictates that comfort is key: boat shoes, mini skirts, lightweight material, and of course, vibrant shades of red, white and blue.


Fashionable Fourth


Juicy Couture racerback dress
$175 - jades24.com

EKYOG top
$44 - placedestendances.com

J Crew mini skirt
jcrew.com

Vans shoes
$86 - landaustore.co.uk

Kate Spade embroidered tote bag
couture.zappos.com

Friday, June 29, 2012

Different System, Same Problems



After my post Wednesday on the US Swim Trials, a few friends of mine issued their surprise on Facebook over the fact that my topic of choice was not the new College Football Playoffs.

Honestly? I hadn't even thought about it, which just goes to show its level of importance on my radar.

To be fair, it IS a somewhat important development in college sports. After all, the fall out from the conference re-alignments has settled somewhat, leaving a relative calm atmosphere before the 2012 season kicks off in August. I guess we needed something to fill the void.

The thing is....I've never been a proponent of a playoff system. I know the fans have been clamoring for it since...forever, it seems. "The BCS isn't fair!" has been the outcry across the country.

Well, now you've got what you wanted football fans. Let me point out a few factors that are going to make this just another pain in the ass system:

1. Mid-Major teams like Boise St. who had a hard enough time just getting into the hunt with the old BCS? Well, you'll still be watching the big boys play on from your tv. The new system favors those teams who will finish first or second atop the big power conferences.

2. Schools like Notre Dame and Big 10 affiliates, who "sometimes" get into bowl games based on name recognition rather than performance? Yeah, a playoff system kinda eliminates that. Oh wait, this one I don't mind so much.

3.Now your favorite team will be playing in a big bowl game around New Years, then possibly playing in another game in another venue a week or so later. Ummm, I don't know about anyone else, but I only scrape up enough funds to go to ONE bowl-like game a year. I can't imagine two. Plus, I imagine back-end details like ticketing will be a nightmare. We're talking a week or two to effectively sell to the hundreds of thousands of fans wanting to go to the game. Sure, playoffs aren't a new concept in D-I AA (I don't care what the new name is, it will always be D-I AA to me) or even pro football. The difference is teams aren't playing in a new location each time. There is always a home field advantage, making it slightly easier to manage.

Maybe I'm being too skeptical. When WVU hired Bob Huggins to take over as head basketball coach, I wasn't thrilled. In fact, that was perhaps my first sports blog post ever (RIP Myspace), where I enumerated Huggins's faults as I understood them. I fully admit I was wrong.

So hopefully I'll be wrong about this, but I kinda doubt it. And in a few years, when the masses are crying foul again and demanding a new system, I'll be interested to see the next foolish idea someone comes up with.

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I know ya'll have opinions on this. Sound off to me...am I crazy? Or do you agree that this new "playoff" system is just a piece of crap in sheep's clothing. Let me know!


Image provided by rantsports.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Trials and Tribulations


Now that the "championship" period is over, the sports world becomes fairly silent until football starts up again. Unless you like baseball, which I do. Just not enough to keep me riveted to my tv screen.

So....thank GOD we're in an Olympic year. 

Come August, we'll be saying cheerio to the U.S. of A. and hullo to merry old England as the Summer Olympics kick off. But for now, we can get into the mood by watching the U.S. trials.

The trials are a good way to introduce us to potential new superstars, like freestyler Allison Schmitt or backstroker Missy Franklin. Schmitt won the 400 free last night over Chloe Sutton, while Franklin will take on veteran Natalie Coughlin in tonight's 100m backstroke final.

Allison Schmitt and Missy Franklin look to make their mark on the
swim world in London.

Meanwhile, Brendan Hansen took one major step forward in his much-publicized comeback by winning the 100m breast stroke. Hansen had pretty much checked out of the sport four years ago before competing in Beijing. Now? He is relishing going up against old rivals, like current Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Kosuke Kitajima. 





Perhaps the most intriguing match-up, however, is the battle between Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. Phelps' reign over teammate Lochte ended at last year's World Championships, and Lochte continued his rise to the top Monday night- winning the 400m IM. The pair will go head-to-head once more this evening, competing in the 200m free final. Ryan Lochte has already beaten Phelps in this event, as well.

I'm sorry, do we even care who wins as long as we get to see this a lot?

Are you all getting excited for the Olympics? Do you think Michael Phelps will be able to come close to his record setting eight gold medals in China, or will another US swimmer steal the spotlight? Let me know!


Images provided by theswimpictures, biographydy.snimg, and superiortelegram.
 

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