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  • Jan 13, 2019 02:02 PM
    Last: 1d

    Being a history buff, and trivia nerd, I really love it when I come across an article which combines both. When it comes to sports, I find the origins of a sport or an event very fascinating. Facts like the term Derby for horse racing derives from a contest founded by the Earl of Derby in the late 1700's, which stuck with the sport ever since. You know, stuff like that.

    While searching through google about the Australian Open, I found an article that contained some fun facts about the tournament. The tournament has been around for 113 years, which is pretty impressive for a sports tournament. Back then, it was called the Australasian Tennis Championships, which is a mouthful, to say the least. In 1924, it received its billing as a major tournament. Here are some other fun facts about the Australian Open.

    1. First Australian Open was actually played on a cricket field

    In 1905, the Australian Open, then referred to as the Australasian Tennis Championships was conducted for the first time under the aegis of the Lawn tennis Association of Australia (presently called Tennis Australia) at the Warehouseman’s Cricket Ground in Melbourne. The place is now called the Albert Reserve Tennis Centre.

    2. First Grand Slam to have a retractable roofing system

    The fact that temperatures frequently rise over 40 degree Celsius necessitated Tennis Australia to take a call to install retractable roofing systems. The Rod Laver Arena was one of the first sporting arenas in the world to get a retractable roofing system way back in 1987.

    3. Australia's scorching summer heat

    The biggest hurdle for players competing in the Australian Open is the scorching Australian summer. The tournament is played in January when summer is at its peak in the Southern Hemisphere. Temperatures soaring above 40-degrees Celsius are quite common.

    4. Unique instances which took place in 1977 and 1986

    The Australian Open was conducted in January from inception in 1905 till 1919. It was moved to March in 1920. Between 1923 to 1976, it was played in August.

    What is truly interesting is that due to scheduling issues coupled with climate vagaries, the Australian Open had to be played twice in 1977. It was played first from 3rd January to 9th January. then later that year, the tournament was again held from 19th December to 31st December.

    The tournament was scheduled during mid-December until 1985. The authorities again decided to schedule the tournament in mid-January. This meant the tournament couldn't be held at all in the year 1986. From 1987 onward, the dates have been relatively the same with the tournament starting in the 2nd week of January every year.

    5. Only Grand Slam to have been played in 2 countries

    The Australian Open is not just the only Grand Slam to have been held twice in the same year (1977), it also holds the unique record of having been held at the most locations - 7 different cities including two different countries (Australia and New Zealand).

    Sydney has played host on 14 occasions, Adelaide on 17 occasions, Brisbane in 7 different years, and Perth on 3 occasions. Christchurch and Hastings, both in New Zealand, were the hosts in 1906 and 1912 respectively.

    Since 1972, the venue has been Melbourne. From 1972 to 1987, the tournament was played at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club. In 1988, the tournament moved to Melbourne Park and along with that, a change of surface from grass to hard courts were also effected. With extensive renovation activities being carried out by the Government of Victoria, it looks unlikely that the Australian Open will be moved again any time in the near future.

    I don't know about you, but I find little fun facts like these interesting. I think it makes me pay more attention and appreciate a sport or an event more. Shoot, it wasn't until I read up on the history of the Chicago Cubs that I became a fan, and found myself rooting for them as they broke their curse at the World Series. Which made that World Series the most special I have ever seen. What do you think? Do fun little facts like these bring more meaning to watching an event such as the Australian open? Is there a sport or an event you began watching after learning more about it?

  • Jan 09, 2019 11:24 AM
    Last: 4d

    I was doing a crossword puzzle today, and I had an 8 letter word with the clue "A stick and ball game being reintroduced to the 2020 Olympics." At first I thought it was cricket, but then that was a 7 letter word, and then I plugged in baseball, and I was not only surprised that it was correct, but I was surprised they they're bringing it back to the Olympics. So I looked it up and found an article that confirms it.

    The title of this thread should have been, "A Real World Series, At Last," but I didn't want to confuse anyone. But it's true. In my opinion we haven't been able to see a real baseball championship between different countries(not counting the Little League World Series) since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where the USA won 3 gold, and 1 silver. Baseball wasn't included in the London or Rio Olympics, but it's back, at least for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I think I'll be watching the Summer Olympics more closely next year, to say the least.

    In the national spectrum of baseball, the founding country of the sport, USA, will have stiff competition. For one, baseball is Japan's most-loved national sport, not to mention, Cuba. I'm interested to see how our baseball champs will stack up to that of those two countries at least. If you think about it, we heavily recruit from both countries. Just because they didn't originate the sport that is called "Americas Favorite Pastime," both Cuba and Japan are legit contenders. I'm confident that it won't be a mop up like in basketball during the 1992 Summer Olympics, #Dreamteam. ;)

    So am I off my rocker? Will a baseball shootout between countries be as exciting as I think it will be? Are there other countries that Team USA should watch out for?

  • Dec 30, 2018 03:56 PM
    Last: 16d

    Yeah, you read that right. Cornhole, the favorite tailgating game, where people throw bean bags at wooden-holed platforms for points, has made it to ESPN as a legit sport. A Forbes article that I came across, says it all. It really isn't that shocking when you think about it. Look at all the other games that they have made into broadcasted sports:

    1. Ultimate Frisbee

    2. Dodgeball

    3. Trampolining

    4. Curling

    5. Badminton

    These are just some examples that are questionable when considering if they are really "sports" or not. I guess if the networks can make a buck off something, they will. A quote from the Forbes article seems to answer just that:

    The man behind the business of cornhole is ACL CEO Stacey Moore, who honed his cornhole game at North Carolina State football tailgates. “I saw tailgating as one of the largest informal industries out there and figured there was a way to capture and profit from that,” says the serial entrepreneur Moore. “I created different types of brands to try and figure out how to capitalize on the tailgating lifestyle.”

    Has it gone too far? What sports should not be considered a "sport" in your opinion? Also, what should be considered a sport, but hasn't yet? Quidditch anyone?

  • Sep 05, 2018 09:34 PM
    Last: 4mo

    Despite the controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick's demonstrations during the national anthem back in 2016, Nike has made him the face of their 30th anniversary "Just Do It" campaign. I find it hard to believe that they planned to air it right before the Thursday Night Football Opener. I figured there would be some strings being pulled or something. Like the CNN article says.

    "It's an awkward juxtaposition for the league. The NFL is still grappling with the firestorm that Kaepernick started two years ago when he sat and later knelt during the National Anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice."

    Thoughts anyone? Should the ad air? I hear tell that Nike is still in contract with the NFL to supply the jerseys. I wonder how this commercial falls into the mix.

  • Jul 16, 2018 03:01 PM
    Last: 6mo
    Nice list. Yeah, I remember just eating it on my bike when I was a kid and how terrifying that was. I couldn't imagine what it's like with 10 to 20 others crashing with me.
  • Jun 08, 2018 05:27 PM
    Last: 7mo
    Yeah, I'll definitely be rooting for him. I just think there are so many distractions out there from the real story. Such as all this hoopla about him docking his yacht at the course. I think people tend to forget he's the best golfer to ever live. It's like the people who took for granted that Elvis was still alive. lol
  • Jun 08, 2018 05:27 PM
    Last: 7mo

    I'm not that big into golf, but I do like to keep track of well known players in most sports, especially a Goliath such as Tiger Woods. He's faced countless injuries to both his career, reputation and body. All of that combined can definitely have an impact on a golfers game. It's the tenth anniversary of Tiger's last major win, and some people are thinking he's through or due. There's a strong argument for his improvement this year. He tied for 23rd at the Memorial Tournament, shooting 9 under par, and according to the dude in the video, Tiger claimed he hadn't "hit it" that well in 5 years. His putting was another story. You have to give the guy something for his persistence. He hasn't given up despite the setbacks and the drought. Could this be number 15 for him?

  • May 30, 2018 06:48 PM
    Last: 7mo
    SFriedman Wrote:

    Iceland. You want an underdog to root for? This is easily my pick. They are the smallest country ever to be in the World Cup. I also think they can make some actual waves; I really don't think they will be a one and done team. They qualified ahead of Ukraine and Croatia last year.

    Iceland is my pick. I'm a sucker for the underdog. And NO to France... just because it's France. ;)
  • May 17, 2018 01:36 PM
    Last: 8mo
    Yeah that is pretty gross. Then the above video definitely seems fitting. I've heard of older people enrolling before, but mostly for questionable or creepy reasons, and not athletics. In this case, it seems like it was all of the above. Yeah, post any other stories you find. Now it makes me wonder how many adults are enrolled right now and getting away with it.
  • May 17, 2018 01:36 PM
    Last: 8mo

    High School can be strange for all of us, but it could be even stranger to look to your right or left and see a 25 year old man posing as a fellow student. Now, we've heard about how police will enroll NARCs to investigate possible drug rings, but older folks have made it into High School either with the "assistance" of staff or not to play sports. Perhaps they wanted to relive the glory days of their youth, or they were brought in as a ringer. Either way, it's weird and kinda funny.

    Recently a story hit the web about a 25 year old man who enrolled in the Dallas school system to play basketball. I suppose he looks rather young. I think it's kinda funny when this happens. I wonder if it's a tad insulting to the individual when they find themselves still struggling with subjects they did when they were a teen. This guy pretended to be a high school freshman though? Come on. I'm over 30 years old and most high school seniors look like they're 14 to me now. I guess he used the "over active pituitary gland" argument. haha In another instance a 21 year old enrolled in a Michigan high school to play football. I could see that being more feasible and believable. Can anyone recall any other ridiculous stories of adults infiltrating high school sports?

    Reminds me of this scene Wink :