Monday, January 30, 2012
George Foreman retired from boxing in 1977 after he held the title of World Heavyweight Boxing Champion and won an Olympic gold medal. Unlike other athletes, Foreman had a successful return from retirement. He became the oldest heavyweight champion ever in 1994, at age 45. His healthy lifestyle was then used to promote the "George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine." He attributed his success in boxing to his strict diet of indoor-cooked hamburgers and turkey burgers. However, that is only the side of George Foreman that everyone knows.
Much less known is his love of Pokémon. After retiring from boxing a second time in 1997, Foreman needed an outlet for his competitive nature. George asked his 8 year old nephew what he would do if he had 100 million dollars like his Uncle George, and his nephew responded, "Play Pokémon Blue." As his nephew had never steered him wrong, George set out to try this "Pokémon Blue." George was a natural. He beat the entire game in 4 hours and 16 minutes despite never using the bike. In a 2001 interview with Ring magazine, George stated that his favorite pokémon was Jigglypuff. George dabbled in the card game, but felt strange as a man among boys (It's not a picture of Jerry Sandusky. That would be too easy.). In 2011, to honor his love of the game, he released a limited edition "Pokéball George Foreman Grill."
Thursday, January 26, 2012
As the weekend approaches, so does the beginning of a new epoch in New York Knicks basketball - the Baron Davis era. Called everything from "The Modern Day Messiah" to a "fat, injury prone knucklehead", Baron has been a polarizing figure from his days at UCLA not because of what he's done so much as what he's considered capable of. A superb athlete with a gift for getting into the lane and 5 Dollar Boxes from Taco Bell, Boom Dizzle has drawn both the awe and ire of fans everywhere he's been - and he's been to quite a few places.
It's popular to trade Baron Davis; his reputation for enthusiastic starts and disdain for conditioning has made him the consummate trade bait, a player capable of generating unparalleled excitement around a basketball team when it's good. But he's also capable of drawing criticism when his team plays poorly, and just as he feeds off the energy of an enthusiastic crowd, he feeds off the unsold hot dogs and fries when attendance falls and interest wanes.
However, the truth is that Baron Davis simply doesn't love basketball, and that's meant in the most complimentary way possible. The game has been a means to numerous ends for him, ranging from sponsoring the Nike of the East to charity to his own clothing line. This is perfectly captured by his personal website, Baron Davis' Boomiverse, on which only a single link is related to his basketball career. In today's media saturated environment, we often expect athletes to love what they do; they play a children's game and earn a man's wage, traveling to exotic locals such as Cleveland and inspiring generations of children with their heroics to do what they love. But perhaps Baron Davis is a different kind of hero, a hero for not embracing the mainstream. His charitable work is admirable, and he has used his platform as an athlete to both spread awareness about important issues and do what he does love: fashion, creation, interaction with fans. So what if he isn't around for extra wind sprints?
Baron is slated to make his Knicks debut any day now and with the team slumping his impact, positive or negative, will only be amplified. In the coming months many fans will rise with him to epic highs, and decry some epic lows. In all of this, I only urge fans to remember who Baron the person is, and that the same obsessive quality he lacks in basketball has allowed him to do good for others, and lead a happier, more fulfilling life. If that's not the boom dizzle, I don't know what is.
Joe Silvestro is a regular contributor to Sports Casual, check back every
Accolades: 2001 U.S. Open Champion, 2002 Wimbledon Champion, World #1.
Pros: Being ranked #1 in the world for anything, for any length of time, is a pretty cool accomplishment.
Cons: It was tennis.
Sport: Competitive buoyancy.
Accolades: A plethora of Olympic medals, including 5 golds.
Pros: The "Thorpedo" is an awesome nickname.
Cons: Only five?
Accolades: 55 English Premier League goals, all-time leading World Cup scorer for Australia
Pros: A cracking strike!
Cons: What the fuck Evan, we're down 2 points!
Sport: Hunting crocodiles.
Accolades: Multitudes of crocodiles hunted.
Pros: Turned what should have been a pointless and mundane activity into sensational television.
Cons: May he rest in peace.
Accolades: Tied NFL record for most punts inside 20.
Pros: 3+ seasons with the Arizona Cardinals means lots of punting opportunities.
Cons: Australian Rules Football makes no sense. None. (The AC-DC doesn't help.)
Sport: Some type of surrogate robot boxing.
Accolades: This film somehow made it to theaters.
Pros: I guess, the whole Wolverine thing...?
Cons: According to Wikipedia, at the end, the bad guy wins ON POINTS. That's not how robot boxing should work.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Hasheem Thabeet is the worst player in the NBA. Let's see if we can turn Thabeet into a superstar and Houston into a winner. Ignore rules about not being able to trade a player you just traded for (if that rule even exists). Every trade works in the ESPN NBA Trade Machine.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Last night, the New England Patriots brought Denver's miraculous season to a crashing halt. With the loss comes this reckless prediction: Tim Tebow will never start another postseason game in his career. The stalwart New England defense and the powerhouse Kansas City Chiefs have shown the rest of the league how to stop the Teb-meister: put any 11 guys on the field, contain the edges, and loosely cover underneath routs.
Before we say goodbye to Tim Tebow forever, I'd like to play one of my favorite games that I just invented. I call it: "Teach Me How To Tebow." Below are the statistics for Tiny Tim and the starting quarterback for the opposing team in each of Tebow's 13 starts. Can you pick which stat line belongs to Tim Tebow?
Week 7: Denver at Miami (Moore)
A) 22 for 33, 197 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
B) 13 for 27, 161 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Week 8: Denver vs. Detroit (Stafford)
A) 21 for 30, 267 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT
B) 18 for 39, 172 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Week 9: Denver at Oakland (Palmer)
A) 10 for 21, 124 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
B) 19 for 35, 332 yards, 3 TD, 3 INT
Week 10: Denver at Kansas City (Cassel)
A) 13 for 28, 93 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
B) 2 for 8, 69 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Week 11: Denver vs. New York Jets (Sanchez)
A) 9 for 20, 104 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
B) 24 for 40, 252 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Week 12: Denver at San Diego (Rivers)
A) 9 for 18, 143 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
B) 19 for 36, 188 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Week 13: Denver at Minnesota (Ponder)
A) 10 for 15, 202 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
B) 29 for 47, 381 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT
Week 14: Denver vs. Chicago (Hanie)
A) 12 for 19, 115 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
B) 21 for 40, 236 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Week 15: Denver vs. New England (Brady)
A) 11 for 22, 194 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
B) 23 for 34, 320 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Week 16: Denver at Buffalo (Fitzpatrick)
A) 13 for 29, 185 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT
B) 15 for 27, 196 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Week 17: Denver vs. Kansas City (Orton)
A) 15 for 29, 180 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
B) 6 for 22, 60 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Wild Card: Denver vs. Pittsburgh (Roethlisberger)
A) 22 for 40, 289 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
B) 10 for 21, 316 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Divisional: Denver at New England (Brady)
A) 9 for 26, 136 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
B) 26 for 34, 363 yards, 6 TD, 1 INT
Answers: B, B, A, B, A, A, A, B (really), A, A, B, B (twist), A (order is restored)
A Perfect 13: Married to Gisele Bündchen
10-12 correct: State Farm commercial co-star
7-9 correct: President of the the Kyle Orton Fan Club
Less than 7 correct: Starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
From the start of spring football right until the clock hit double-zero in the BCS championship game, this season has been full of headlines. Some were good; most were not. Here's what I'll remember from this year's installment of college football.
6. Kickers need to relearn how to kick - It's been a while since so many chipshots of extreme magnitude have sailed wide of the uprights.
5. As good as Andrew Luck might be in the NFL, his last season at Stanford was something of a disappointment - Luck put up some very impressive numbers this season, throwing for 3,517 yards, 37 TDs, and 10 INTs. But Luck's final college season is better characterized as one where he 1) lost the big games and 2) sported an exceptionally repugnant beard.
4. College football has missed USC, will miss Ohio St, and welcomes back Michigan - I hate the Trojans just as much as the next guy, but there's no use loathing USC if their seasons are wholly irrelevant. The Pac12 was deprived of what could have been a great championship game in lieu of a much less exciting Oregon vs. UCLA contest. Along those lines, keeping Ohio St. out of the post season will hurt the viability of the Big Ten. On the other side of things, it's good to see the Wolverines back in the headlines for winning.
3. Honey Badger is a stupid nickname - Please stop using it. I'm talking to you, Brent Musburger.
2. The Penn St. scandal was the most upsetting news to ever hit college football - For the school, the victims, and anyone else involved, this situation has been nothing less than devastating. The magnitude was enormous; the consequences are grave. Sadly, it's far from over; when the trial begins, the media circus is sure to resume.
1. 2012 will be even more scandal-ridden than 2011 was - No so much in magnitude, but certainly in number. The NCAA practices an exclusively reactionary policy: allow rules to be broken, then punish whoever is still around after the fact. This isn't going to change anytime soon. What we learned this year is that college football has many more situations that demand a reaction, which *hopefully* will eventually mean prevention altogether.
Monday, January 9, 2012
1) LSU's other receivers - LSU's offense has been simple this year: physically overmatch the opposition in the run game and take advantage of one-on-one opportunities with Ruben Randle. Unfortunately for LSU, Alabama is the only team LSU has faced that can physically match up with their offensive line and Ruben Randle, arguably the best receiver in the SEC, will be matched up with Dre Kirkpatrick, a potential top 15 pick in this year's NFL Draft. Alabama forced LSU to play left handed in the first game, and LSU had no counter. If LSU can't run their normal offense, look for them to start running more misdirection/zone-read/option type plays to take advantage of the Alabama aggressive style, and if that doesn't look for them to attack the other one-on-one receiver matchups, specifically with Russell Shepperd and Odell Becham. If those two guys are beating their man early on, expect LSU to look for them on 1st down throws throughout the game.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Monster trucks are awesome. I went to Thunder Nationals Monster Jam on Friday and it was the best sporting event ever. It had everything I've always wanted and more.
Doing the pregame activities properly was essential. We went to Goodwill to find clothes to fit in at the rally. We were both able to put together quality outfits to blend in for under $10. The less you spend on an outfit, the better. The pregame activities were capped off with a tailgate. I don't want to watch monster trucks on an empty stomach.
The event was very affordable; thus, everyone who wanted to go was able to go. Kids seats were still just $5! Tickets on the street in the lower level were $10. This wasn't the Super Bowl crowd. I would guess that only 25% of the crowd was there on business or got corporate tickets. Accordingly, it was rowdy.
Monster trucks are the most unpredictable sporting event. I didn't even know what events would be included. Last year, they had go kart races and the sphere of death. This year, they blew a guy up in a box and shot a lady out of a cannon! With no prior knowledge of any of the trucks, I had no idea who would win. Grave Digger was the overwhelming crowd favorite, even more popular than Spiderman. I was surprised that there were more Dave Matthews Band fans than action hero movie fans at this type of event. However, popularity doesn't mean wins outside of pro wrestling. Grave Digger didn't even win his heat.
Lastly, the event organizers know how to give the audience what they want. The action is exciting. The cars are loud. Forget people competing; it's about machines competing now. Beyond the quality of the product, the fans got what they want. After the actual monster truck competition, there was a freestyle competition. Give each truck a minute to do whatever it wants, which means run over cars and do donuts. I can't think of anything else I would rather watch, except maybe someone being shot out of a cannon. Oh wait, they already did that.
I can't wait for Thunder Nationals next year!
Saturday, January 7, 2012
In honor of a traditional born out of Jimmy the Greek and continued, miraculously, through the era of Cris Carter and Keyshawn Johnson, Sports Casual will have its expert prognosticators predict the NFL playoffs.
While conventional statistics tells us that the odds of predicting the entire playoffs are 1/2048, the story is much deeper. There are methods of prediction that turn 50/50 guess work into an exact science.
Going into the 2012 NFL playoffs, the story lines are a plenty. We have a few teams that are just thrilled to be there (Lions, Bengals, Texans, 49ers, Broncos). We have a whopping 5 Super Bowl winning quarterbacks (Patriots, Packers, Steelers, Saints, Giants). And the connection between the remaining two teams (Ravens and Falcons)? Obvious! Ray Lewis was indicted for murder in Atlanta, but then completely got away with it. No biggie.
Without further ado, our staff’s picks…
NOTE: We are concerned that Josh Rosenberg believes the Bills made the playoffs. Though that ship sailed at the end of October, a Bengals or Bills Super Bowl championship has already been proven to be impossible.
Realistically, Joe needed his own grid.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Joe Silvestro is a regular contributor to Sports Casual, check back every
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
A wise man once said "kickers are not football players, until they prove otherwise." Many have failed. Few have barely succeeded. One has put together arguably the greatest season in NFL history. Through hard work, David Akers has overcome years of adversity and become the NFL's Most Valuable Player.