• Sports

    Top Sports Video Games

    Most people will never experience the thrill of running 50 yards down a field holding a misshapen ball in front of a 40,000 person crowd or driving a car through a hairpin turn at 130 mph. The skill required to compete in professional sports is simply incredibly rare. For those not lucky or dedicated enough to be professional athletes, modern sports video games provide a remarkably accurate and realistic substitute for the real thing. Among a huge field of sports games, a select few truly stood out as the best of the best.

    Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 (Wii) – Due to Tiger’s Wood recent scandal, it is very likely that this will be the last video game with his name on it for quite some time. Tiger Wood PGA Tour 10 lets the player play as one of twenty three different golf pros on one of twenty seven unique, realistic, and gorgeously rendered golf courses. As expected with a Wii title, the game is controlled by swinging the motion sensitive Wii remote and due to Wii MotionPlus compatibility, the controls are precise and tight.

    Madden NFL 10 (PS3, 360) – This is the 21st installment in the Madden NFL series and this game continues to prove why the Madden NFL series is the best football video game series on the market. This installment utilizes many new and improved features, including PRO-TAK animation technology, an enhanced fight for the fumble system, improved ratings system, the ability to design your own plays, and a new injury system, just for starters. In addition, player statistics are updated weekly based on real life play and injuries, keeping online play as realistic as possible.

    ExciteBots: Trick Racing (Wii) – ExciteBots is the spiritual sequel to the Wii release game Excite Truck. Sporting nearly identical control scheme and graphics, ExciteBots adds a host of new features and introduces a new race theme. Instead of trucks, the race is run by animal themed robotic morphing vehicles. Like in Excite Truck, winning the race is only half the excitement of the game, progressing to later tracks requires not only speed, but completing a large number of difficult and dangerous tricks while racing through the track. In addition to the large cache of new items strewn around the track, ExciteBots also adds online multiplayer action for up to 6 players.

    UFC Undisputed (PS3, 360) – In previous generations, wrestling games were among the best of the sports games. The popularity of the UFC has changed that dynamic completely. UFC Undisputed allows for realistic mixed martial arts game play where the player controls one of over 50 unique and real-life UFC fighters. The ability to play as different fighters who each have mastered different fighting styles gives the game significant single player replay value. In addition, like any good sports game on the market, UFC has well supported online multiplayer play.

    FIFA 10 (PS3, 360) – While one of the least popular professional sports in the U.S., soccer is one of the most popular professional sports in the rest of the world. According to EA, FIFA 10 was the fastest selling sports game in Europe ever, selling nearly 2 million copies in the first week alone. Game play is still just as smooth and responsive as the previous best selling installments of this series, while the season manager system has been greatly improved. FIFA 10’s win of the GameSpot Sports Game of 2020 award simply highlights the obvious quality in this amazing game.

    Forza Motorsport 3 (360) – In 2009, Forza Motorsport 3 has stolen the title of best realistic racing simulator from the perennial winner, Gran Turismo. Unlike many racing games on the market, there are no power ups, no jumps, no tricks, and no weapons in this game. It is simply a well balanced, beautifully rendered racing simulator for over 400 customizable real world cars on over 100 unique tracks. With literally millions of possible racing variations, single player season mode is a unique experience every time and the multiplayer mode takes advantage of the full potential of Xbox Live. With exquisite graphics, extremely tight game play, and almost infinite customization ability, this game is the new standard in racing games.

    Sports games have almost always been niche games, because the fans of sports games are necessarily those who enjoy the sport but can’t play it for some reason or another. With modern graphics and motion sensing technology, sports games have increasingly become main stream, with the best sports games selling millions of copies. Whether the technological improvements have started to reach their limit or whether there is still room for improvement is yet to be seen, but either way it is clear that sports games are just as popular, if not more so, as in any previous point in history.


  • Sports

    A New Stance in Board Sports

    It may be hard to believe in the evolving world of board sports, such as skateboarding and snowboarding, that one can become at a certain point bored over all with the same day in day out approach to riding. Working on tricks and style isn't always the key point to board sports, and when you ponder on what is left, you can certainly pinpoint riding as being the key element to all of this. In every person that ever started a board sport, lies a deep appreciation for the sheer ride of such simple creations starting from the first sit on a moving board. Though shaky at first, control is developed through practice, thus creating to each their own style in a new and unique hobby. These very feelings are the reason to take up a new board sport, to experience the fundamental elements that got you started rolling around in the first place. The following are a few interesting new beginnings to obtain that feeling all over again.

    To start, wintertime is going to be the most challenging time to pick up a new boarding sport due to the obvious conditions, unless you've never gone snowboarding before, which would be a great start on something to try out if you haven't. Alternatively, an in-between approach at the winter time "board"om is the cross over sport snow skating, which has the best of both skateboarding and snowboarding characteristics. Like snowboarding, you are able to glide around on top of snow with the help of a ski-acting board attached underneath a skateboard sized deck. Like skateboarding, you are free to slide your feet to maneuver the board as you are not strapped in to it. This sport is a great ride to take up to help keep your riding fluent during the winter season if you don't feel like waiting around on the few days that you wont damage your skateboard with winter conditions.

    A more up and coming board sport to check out is what is known as the wave board, a two wheeled often split section deck that varies from hard plastic to metal, and is propelled by what is known as caster wheels. Caster wheels are most like office chair type or grocery cart type of wheels that allow the entire wheel to spin 360 degrees. Though it may take some getting use to, the wave-board is a great change up from skateboarding because the focus in no longer on the tricks. With the wave-board, the rough feeling of skateboard wheels is replaced by two smoother rollerblading type wheels that does not require the kicking motion of a skateboard, but merely the shifting of weight to be propelled. Since skateboarding wheels do not swivel, the traditional power slide motion that you can pull in skateboarding- is turned into just another direction in which you can ride-much like how a snowboard would allow one to. Though it easy to find many kids and more adamant thrill-seekers riding wave-board like skateboards and doing flip tricks on them, it should be noted that it is much more difficult and risky to attempt these types of things on a wave-board due to your small area of balance compared to a skateboard. With a wave-board, the front and back areas of the board itself move independently as you shift your weight, thus making a less stable landing than the four wheel stationary feeling of a skateboard.

    Moving on to a more strapped in approach to board sports, the snake-board is essentially the far less heard of little brother of skateboarding featuring the standard four wheel, two truck set up but with independent control. Both the nose and tail areas are split from the middle of the board, which sometimes in more "old school" productions sometimes offered only a bar between the two, that propel the rider by pivoting motion from the nose and tail independently. For anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to never have to worry about losing the board in the air, the snake-board is a dream come true. Since it is still much like skateboarding in it's idea, and has a feeling of being strapped, it is a great sport for both skateboarders and snowboarders alike who are trying to cross train. It can also serve as a great tool in learning to transition different ramps and bowls, as it takes the focus off of losing the board.

    Before moving away from the strapped in approach to unique board sports, both freeboarding and mountainboarding have a lot to boast in their own terms. With a freeboard, you are strapped in, with the standard deck,(much larger than a skateboard) four wheels and two trucks, but with the added caster wheel in the middle of each truck to allow a more free flowing ride that can accommodate the power slide movement with ease. Most enthusiasts of freeboarding ride for speed and style as snowboarders do, focusing on the overall ride of the board. As for mountainboarding, there is no limit or certain area that the riders of these boards could be grouped to. Mountainboarding is a sport that offers a longboard style shaped deck with large tracked wheels that can take on an array of different terrain. From mountain areas with rocks and dirt, to dirt tracks like BMX would have, this strapped in sport is sure to thrill any bored skater looking for a different approach to riding.

    Last but most unique in structure, the flowboard is an amazing new approach to street style riding that is not to be confused with the flowboarding culture that follows surfing. Unlike any other in design, the flowboard stands out from the rest by offering a deck sitting atop a total of fourteen wheels!. Lined up seven side to side on both the nose and tail in an arch like formation, the flowboard rides like no other because it can carve harder than any other. Though you are not strapped in, it is similar to snowboarding in that the same toe to heel concept that follows snowboarding, is applied and can propel a rider by the shifting of their weight to certain area of the board. With the added amount of wheel structure, it does have more weight than a skateboard, but without the bindings still has the ability to be flipped in any direction. Put it all together and you have a board that rides with the technique of a snowboarder, the creativity of a skateboarder, and the ability to carve the streets like a surfer!

    No matter what the hobby or sport, anything can become mundane after much repetition. For anyone who skates, motivation is key to continuing the pursuit of getting better at the sport. After a while, it can become too predictable going to the local skate park and taking your turn with clusters of all aged kids sharing a small space. The underlying point to be obtained in all this is simply get out and try something new, and get back to the main fundamental elements that got you skating to begin with.


  • Sports

    How to Do a Light Warm Up for Sports

    Warming up your body for a workout, martial art or otherwise, is very important. It raises the heart rate and supplies your muscles with fresh oxygen and blood. Warming up your muscles allows your body to move from position to position smoothly and easily. Have you tried moving quickly in a sport without warming up? Intense exercise without warming up is bad and it feels bad too. It feels awkward and slow. Warming up your muscles helps them to do their best and should be done before any kind of workout.

    Step 1

    Work from head to toe in a warm up. It keeps you focused and also ensures that you’ll get everything warmed up. If you were to warm up different parts of your body at random, it would be easy to forget and miss some places.

    Step 2

    Neck: Roll your neck around a little. Stretch out until it feels stretched but don’t do it too hard or until it hurts. Your neck is important. Be careful with it. Do this for a minute.

    Step 3

    Shoulders: Shrug your shoulders and swing your arms. Do this for 1 minute.

    Step 4

    Hips: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your feet pointing straight forward. They should not be turned out hardly at all unless it’s uncomfortable to stand with your feet pointing forward. Put your hands on your hips and push your hips out to the front. Now roll your hips around the left to the back, and then to the right and back to the front, all the while pushing them outwards. Do this a few times to increase circulation and reverse directions every few rotations.

    Step 5

    Legs: Jog lightly in place for around 30 seconds. Then stop and rotate your feet around to warm up your ankles.

    Step 6

    If you’re in a specific sport, you may need to do a sport specific warm up. However, this warm up should work as a pre-stretching warm up for most sports. Stay safe!


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  • Sports

    Top 5 Sports Movies

    This is a list of the top five sports movies ever made. Obviously I can only give my own opinion, but I think most will agree that these movies deserve to be on the list.

    5. Bull Durham- Set in the metropolis of Durham North Carolina this movie starring Kevin Costner and Susan Surandon is great because it has a deep and complex love story, while the setting of a minor league baseball team makes it easier for the common man or woman to identify with.

    4. Days of Thunder- This movie is about an up and coming stock car driver named Cole Trickle who is played by Tom Cruise. The story involves him coming up in NASCAR after leaving the open wheel ranks, as well as the love connection between him and a doctor Claire Lewiki, played by Nicole Kidman. It is both a sports movie and a love story which makes it the best racing movie of all time.

    3. Sandlot- This story of neighborhood boys playing ball on a vacant lot the call the “sandlot” speaks to what many peoples childhoods were like, or wish they were like. This story is as American as Ronald Reagan eating homemade apple pie on the fourth of July.

    2. Hoosiers- This movie is great because it teaches that you can’t overcome the demons of your past just by geography, you have to achieve this by your actions. Gene Hackman who plays basketball coach Norm Dale tries to outrun his problems by going from New York to Iowa, but winds up conquering his problems at that locale.

    1. Rocky- The hands down greatest sports movie ever has to be Rocky. The story of the underdog Rocky Balboa, played by Sylvester Stallone, speaks to what every American wants, to see the underdog triumph. This movie, though maybe not so much the nine sequels, motivated many young men and women to seek their dreams no matter how difficult it seemed. The Rocky theme song is also second only to ‘eye of the tiger’ in the world of workout jams.


  • Sports

    Streaming Sports Online for Free

    To be an American and have the fever for the rest of the world’s favorite sport can be a little agonizing. Even more agonizing when you don’t have any extra money set aside for cable or a dish. However I do pay a paltry fee for some DSL and decided to take a look for some type of website that would stream me the games from around the world. Preferably something legal.

    At first it looked like a bunch of sites that would stream your footage for a fee, and I’m too cheap to be bothered. First of all, it’s a stream on the internet and chances are it will never look good enough for me to justify paying money for. Secondly, the sites just looked like scam central. Many of them used similar wording and phrases, and when you see different websites promising the same thing with the same words it’s a good time to lock the credit card up.

    But then it came to me a few pages in on a Google search – . This site streams nearly every sports league imaginable. Major League Baseball, NBA, NCAA Basketball and Football, MLS and that’s just the American stuff. When the Euro Cup was on the ABC played us a game from the semi’s and a game from the finals, but with I was able to watch all of them with commentary. Cricket World Cup? Check. J-League Soccer? Check.

    What’s more the browser has “real time” stats that come up as the game progresses and depending on your connection speed you can have other games playing simultaneously in smaller windows that you can peak in on. My computer was Sports Center. And if you missed the game they archive it for for a couple of days. The over all experience is better than the Olympics streamed through NBC’s website and no where near as taxing on my system. With the only caveat being video quality, which improves with connection speed. So if you are paying for those upper tier Mb/s then you shouldn’t have a problem. You get what you pay for, in other words.

    Which brings me to crazy part: I’ve been paying for this service the whole time. Chances are, you have been, too. You see, ESPN 360 is available only to people who’s Internet Service Providers pay for the service. After a quick test, ESPN 360 told me that AT&T; has paid for the service and I get to benefit. My question is, how come AT&T; never told me? There’s no harm I suppose, but it’s pretty peculiar that AT&T; opted into this plan that would benefit their customers and not tell them about it. I could speculate that the reasoning being that they want you to pay for ESPN in their Advanced TV package, but the Phillies are playing the Dodgers in a little bit and I’d rather than enjoy that than care about AT&T;’s marketing follies.


  • Sports

    Dreamer – Another Sports Movie Inspired by a True Story

    How many sports movies were inspired by a true story? “Remember the Titans” was about an African American football coach who coached high school football in a newly integrated and previously white school. Who could forget “Hoosiers” about a small town high school basketball team that wins a state championship? Are you ready for another sports movie based on a true story? Like some of the others mentioned, “Dreamer” is worth watching and is newly out on DVD.

    In the movie racehorse trainer Ben Crane (Kurt Russell) loses his job after one of the horses he had trained, Soñador, breaks her leg during a race. Never mind that Ben had told the owner the horse needed rest. Ben, who demanded his full payment immediately for himself and the men who helped him train horses, was denied the chance by the owner. Instead the owner said he would give a partial payment and mail the rest. Ben took a lesser amount plus the horse-to keep the animal from being put to sleep.

    Ben refuses to put the horse to sleep, and his daughter (Dakota Fanning) falls in love with the animal. Unemployed and penniless, Ben has a plan to treat Soñador and when her leg heals breed her to be able to sell the animal’s colt. All during the time there is bad blood between Ben and his father (Kris Kristofferson).

    On the other hand, Cale, Ben’s daughter has dreams of the horse getting better and of racing her. Could that be only a child’s fantasy?

    The plan to use the horse for breeding falls through. One day the horse, with a healed leg and with Cale on top, breaks free and starts running loose. After Ben chases the horse down and Cale jumps to her father, the other men who had helped Ben train horses noticed the animal was running pretty fast after recovering from a broken leg.

    Then the training starts to get Soñador back into racing. No more of the plot will be revealed-to not spoil it for anyone who might want to watch it.

    It will be mentioned, however, that this is a good movie for a family to watch together. One can learn a lesson from Ben about fathers spending time with their daughters.

    One can be inspired by the value of never giving up on your dreams, after watching how Soñador succeeds after a broken leg. The movie was inspired by Mariah’s Storm, a horse that also had a broken leg and then came back to race again after the life threatening injury. Ben used Mariah’s Storm as an inspiration in the movie. In real life, Mariah’s Storm came back to win several races and raced in the famous Breeder’s Cup.

    Also inspiring was how Ben fought for his wife, Lily (Elizabeth Shue) and Cale to provide for his family. Ten-year-old Cale then takes over as trainer and she had to act as strongly as an advocate for her horse as any grownup. She also asks Ben for help.

    Other family values are demonstrated -one example was when Ben and his father work out their differences. Mom told Ben she would work seven days a week for her husband to spend more time with Cale. Ben once said he would have put the horse to sleep if Cale had not been there, and she overheard him. He later apologized for wronging her, telling her he made mistakes. He tells his wife she is smart and beautiful.

    All of the actors in the movie did a convincing job. Russell told Entertainment Weekly that Fanning is the best actress he will ever work with. Russell has worked with Oscar winner Meryl Streep.

    There were a few mild profanities in the movie, with he – – and d – – being used a very few times.

    There is no real violence in the movie, but a scene is shown of Soñador breaking her leg in a race. Very young children could be frightened when the horse breaks free with Cale on her back.

    The movie is rated PG. 


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  • Sports

    Busy Lives of Children in Sports

    Children’s sports is a very common thing and always has been. I believe a lot of parents become too serious about the whole deal but most enjoy just watching their children out there trying and having fun.

    So many years ago when my son, Eddie started sports he seemed too tiny to play soccer, flag football or little league. He wanted to try everything so I allowed him. Rule number one was never quit once you join. Rule number two was you always go to practice and the games. You are part of a team and must follow through. I never had any trouble with that. He always looked forward to his sports.

    Soccer was my favorite. You’d have all the kids running from different directions after the one soccer ball. The traveling pack would move together back and forth with the ball popping up in the air every now and then. It was so cute to watch. They all tried so hard just to get to the ball. I don’t think they had any idea what to really do with it.

    The kids would be so into it they’d smack into each other, go down and jump back up after that soccer ball. One time my son and another child smacked head on. There was my son running with a nose bleed trying to get to that ball. They had to stop the game to take him out.

    Other mothers would ask “Aren’t you going to go down?” I said “Nope, he’s ok.” As soon as they could get his nose to stop bleeding he was back in the game.

    Then with the little league one of my favorites was the gum. Before each game all the kids would each buy one of those long sticks of gum and they’d all be chewing as they played.

    Here comes my son up to bat with one side of his face puffing out as far as it could. I looked as I tried to figure out why his face looked like that. He was trying to chew but couldn’t even close his mouth. He must have stuck that whole pack of gum into his mouth. I was so embarrassed at the time but now I laugh. That vision will always be in my mind. He was told after to not chew it all at once.

    Now the grandsons are into the sports. Collin tried soccer a couple years ago but really didn’t get into it. He’d stand there and look around as everyone else went after the ball. One game I was able to see I called him over and gave him a pep talk. I told him how badly I wanted to see him kick that ball. He went in, kicked it a couple times and almost scored. My daughter, his mother started screaming and cheering. I told her she acted like it was the first time he ever kicked the ball. She responded with “It was.”

    Then there is Lucas his younger brother. His first year he was always after the ball. He would knock his own team mates out of the way to get the ball. These guys go from one extreme to the other. He would stand there before the kick looking at the other team and giving them hand signals of losing. His parents told him about that one. He is a very confident player.

    I also have a 10 year old grand-daughter. All legs but great at soccer. She is going through that clumsy phase as i did at her age but she is great in the field.

    My one grandson J.R. was into tackle football at five years old. Those kids wore the whole outfit and helmet plus he was the shortest on the team. I swear all the other kids stood a head taller than him. My favorite picture of him is one where he is covered with mud. I don’t know if they ran him over or used him as the ball but he looked like a roughed over little football player. So adorable but of course, I could never say that to him. I know he put his all into each game.

    When watching children’s sports I don’t know what’s funnier. Watching the children or the parents. I find my daughter quite entertaining. She was never into sports but watching her boys she is always on the end of the bench.

    The is so much involved in children’s sports. Fun and family involvement is a big part of it. Just remember not to take them too seriously and you all can have fun.