- Jay Busbee at The Turnstile17 hrs ago
Sports can be a diversion. Sports can be a hobby. And, for a fortunate few, sports can change the world.
Nelson Mandela, the legendary South African activist and politician who died Thursday at 95, stands as one of the 20th century's most notable figures for his efforts to end apartheid. And while he used a combination of methods to dismantle South Africa's system of institutionalized racism, sports ranked high on the list. Mandela realized the transformative and unifying power of sports, and used that power to make changes that protests and diplomacy could not.
Mandela was a driven athlete, an amateur boxer who ran two hours every morning as a young man. He kept himself in excellent shape during his 27 years in prison. But it was a sport to which he had little attachment which would change his life and cement his legacy.
- Jay Busbee at The Turnstile1 day ago
Four years from now, someone in ESPN Human Resources is going to get a letter with someone listing their previous work experience as "President, United States: 2008-2016." That ought to be enough to get at least an interview, don't you think?
While President Barack Obama was in Southern California last week, he revealed one of his post-White House hopes: to host the Top 10 list on ESPN's SportsCenter. Obama, who made a major economic speech at DreamWorks, met with many entertainment industry moguls, including Disney's Robert Iger and Alan Horn, Fox's Jim Gianopulos, Sony's Amy Pascal, and CBS' Leslie Moonves.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Obama, a noted sports fan, made his pitch to Iger at the private briefing amid much laughter. Of note: Iger didn't commit to giving Obama the gig. Perhaps he wants to get a look at the president's references.
- Jay Busbee at Yahoo! Sports Blogs3 days ago
This video is like a fine wine. You can't just gulp it out of the bottle, you've got to let it breathe. Sure, it looks like a typical family ski vacation. But give it a few seconds. Then you get the guy in the background doing that flip-the-ski move that would tear your knee ligaments to pasta if you tried it. Then the guy tries to show off for the camera and, well ... magic. The ski flipper is apparently former World Cup skier Didier Cuche, who we presume would know how to flip a ski ... and how to fling it, if necessary.
Is it fake? Sure, it's possible. Easy enough to do, right? But so what? Are we so jaded, so weary that we can't enjoy the simple spectacle of a guy impaling a bus window with a ski? We know the Avengers and the Hobbit are fake, and we enjoy those, right? (Hunger Games, though: that's real and happening right now.)
Anyway, where were we? Oh right. If you have any translations for this bus driver's sad laments, hit us up at the email address below. And do not try this at your home ski slope; chances are it won't go so well for you.
- Jay Hart at The Turnstile17 days ago
The former head of world cycling encouraged Lance Armstrong to cover up his doping, the disgraced cyclist alleges in an interview with Britain's Daily Mail.
One of the many insidious tales to come out in the Armstrong doping scandal is a story from 1999, before he'd won a single Tour de France. During that '99 Tour, Armstrong allegedly tested positive for a banned substance corticosteroid. At the time, cycling was reeling in the wake of the Festina affair, a incident in which team officials were caught trying to transport performance-enhancing drugs across the French border during the '98 Tour.
So when Armstrong tested positive in '99, he alleges Hein Verbuggen, then president of the International Cycling Union, instigated a cover up.
"The sport was on life support, and Hein just said, 'This is just a real problem. This is the knockout punch for our sport,' " Armstrong told the Daily Mail. "It was the year after Festina. And he just said, 'We gotta come up with something.' And so we just backdated the prescription."
Armstrong went on to win the '99 Tour and six straight after that.
- Jay Busbee at Yahoo! Sports Blogs24 days ago
Mike Tyson's autobiography "The Undisputed Truth" hits bookstores on Tuesday, and to term it "intriguing" is to say Tyson had a little bit of pop behind his punches. In assessing his life, career, dreams, and misdeeds, Tysonlays bare some fascinating tales of determination and depravity.
One of the more interesting segments of the book deals with the weeks before Tyson was facing prison in 1992. At age 25, Tyson had been convicted of raping 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant Desiree Washington, and was facing 60 years in prison.
- Jay Busbee at Yahoo! Sports Blogs29 days ago
On Tuesday, Houston voters shot down a plan to renovate the Houston Astrodome, once one of the world's architectural marvels. Opened in 1965, the Astrodome was the world's first domed stadium, and hosted some of the most notable sporting events of the 20th century. But voters have rejected a bond issue of up to $217 million to convert the Astrodome into a convention center, likely spelling the end of the line for the iconic facility.
Former Houston mayor Roy Hofheinz, leader of a group that helped bring baseball to Houston in 1960, claimed that he got the idea for the Astrodome while on a trip to Rome, where he learned that the Coliseum had once sported coverings to protect the populace from the sun. Both the facility and the local baseball team were named in honor of Houston's role in the then-burgeoning space program.
But like that space program, the Astrodome is a relic of a bygone era. Here are some of the most notable moments in the stadium's half-century history:
- Jay Busbee at The Turnstile1 mth ago
Poker as a trend lost its juice somewhere around 2008, a victim of federal crackdowns on online poker and bros' short attention spans. But poker as a source of revenue can still be extraordinarily profitable, provided you're good and lucky all at once. Ryan Riess, a 23-year-old professional poker player, demonstrated that late Tuesday night by winning the World Series of Poker's Main Eventand taking home an $8.4 million payday.
Riess won in a brief but dramatic head-to-head matchup with Las Vegas club promoter Jay Farber, the conclusion of a 62-event tournament that began back in May. The $10,000 Main Event started with 6,352 players and, in the summertime, got whittled down to the so-called "November Nine," nine players who returned this week to determine a champion. Seven of the players were knocked out during a nine-hour session on Monday. That left only Riess and Farber to play for the championship at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
- Jay Busbee at Yahoo! Sports Blogs1 mth ago
The New York City marathon returned to the streets of the Big Apple after a one-year hurricane-induced hiatus. The race winners were Geoffrey Mutai (2:08:24) and Priscah Jeptoo (2:25:07), cruising on a course lined with both fans and security in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing in April.
As one of the world's most notable races, the marathon attracts its share of celebrity runners among its 47,000 competitors. Here's Pamela Anderson, who completed the course in five hours and 41 minutes:
Other celebrity notables included actor Anthony Edwards ("ER"); "Apprentice" winner Bill Rancic, who started in last and tried to pass as many runners as he could; Olympic champion swimmer Summer Sanders; actor Patrick Wilson ("The Conjuring"), former NHL'er and '94 Stanley Cup winner Nick Kypreos, and supermodel Christy Turlington Burns. (For more celeb finishers, click here.)
- Jay Busbee at Yahoo! Sports Blogs1 mth ago
Madison Square Garden has unveiled the results of a three-year, $1 billion renovation program, and as you can see from the ladies above, it's a thrilling overhaul that has the entire city of New York entranced. #alreadybored
Let's dig a little deeper into the remade icon, shall we?
The Garden opened 45 years ago. Think about that: in a world where teams start crying for new stadiums after barely a decade in their current digs, the Garden has been around for nearly half a century. Of course, it carries the weight of history and tradition, which in New York is as omnipresent, and as potentially disease-laden as the pigeons.
Still, as old as it is, the Garden hosts Knicks and Rangers home games, concerts, circuses, and other assorted gatherings almost every night of the year. And even though the New York City Council is trying to shut it down by 2023, it's still a viable and necessary facility for now. And that meant it was time for New York's A-Listers to step up, be seen, and take credit for the project.
- Mike Kromboltz at The Turnstile1 mth ago
Unlike many online trends, the GIF has proven its staying power. Deadspin, the sports blog that, among other things, broke the Manti Te'o story, has perfected the art and science of the GIF, thanks in large to the work of Tim Burke.
In a recent profile in the New York Times, Burke speaks about the GIF's power to capture key moments in sports -- the things people want to share on Facebook and Twitter.
Via the New York Times:
"Video requires a reader’s intervention to play, whereas a GIF adds itself forcefully," Burke said.
He added: "It’s an art object. You’re taking this little moment and making it exist in perpetuity, because it constantly loops," as in a GIF of a fumble by Bears running back Matt Forte.
“A lot of stuff I do here — nobody’s done this stuff,” he said. “How did I learn to do it? I messed around with stuff until I found something that worked.”