Tuesday, July 24, 2012

From NBCNews.com: For first time, women from every nation ready to rock Olympics

This is just so awesome. According to Scott Stump's article, for the first time in the history of modern Olympics, all 205 nations competing at the Summer Games in London are sending at least one female athlete: Brunei, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia are sending a woman for the first time, and it's the first time the U.S. will have more female athletes competing than male athletes. Maybe it's hormones, but that kinda brings tears to my eyes. When the Olympic Games are pretty much the only place to see female athletes compete on a main stage, it's kick ass that they're getting more of an opportunity than their earlier counterparts (even from as recently as two years ago!) and it's kick ass for all the little girls out there today who need strong, positive female role models, whether those little girls want to grow up to rock the Olympics or just rock the world.

You can read the whole story here.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A quick thought on the NCAA sanctions against Penn State

Well done.

While the penalties the NCAA imposed on Penn State this morning may seem harsh to some - $60 million in fines to be put toward external programs to prevent child abuse and/or help child abuse victims, 4-year postseason ban, a reduction in scholarships, 5 years probation, and 13 years of won games erased from Joe Paterno's record and the schools record - I'm relieved to see that someone, that some organization, realizes it should never be "football first." And not just talking about football - that no college sports program should take priority over the college itself, or in the case of Penn State, over the welfare of a child. Kids go to college to get an education. Colleges are institutions of higher learning. For some people, sports are their ticket in. For some schools, sports programs, but especially football programs, are their way of helping pay for improvements or additions to the school to assist their students in furthering their education. But when the school becomes ancillary to the sports program, when the coach becomes so popular and powerful that he answers to no one, when the heads of the education part of the institution defer to others in decisions and don't stand up for their students or for the integrity of the institution, then there is something really twisted and really wrong. And when innocent children become the victims because of that twisted culture, when they have nobody to stand up for them, then there's something really, REALLY wrong. Jerry Sandusky was a monster. Joe Paterno was not a monster but he placed football above all else that he allowed a monster to survive - the same can be said for all in Penn State's administration who allowed him to survive. Sometimes athletic programs that are money makers for a school think they are above the school. Sometimes the athletes themselves think that, sometimes it's the coaches, sometimes it's the school itself. So good on the NCAA for stepping in with sanctions harsh enough that other schools will have a "think about it first" attitude before letting something like this happen again. And as a side note, also good on the NCAA for doing what it can to help out all of the Penn State athletes in the football program who will be affected by these sanctions - they were part of the program but not part of the problem, and it's the program and school that's being punished, so good for the NCAA for trying to minimize the amount of the punishment that will affect those players.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rant of the day: Poor sports in Kansas City

Hope everyone caught the Home Run Derby last night - congrats to Prince Fielder for winning it for a second time - that dude is a beast! As a sports fan who can't help but become embroiled in bitter sports rivalries (how excited was this fangirl that the New York Yankees took 3 of 4 games from the Red Sox this past weekend??), it's always nice to see, at something like the Derby, players from opposing sides of those rivalries laughing together and cheering each other on. David Ortiz kept encouraging Robinson Cano and was excited as a little kid at almost every Mark Trumbo homer. In the middle of a season of playing against each other, the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game are a chance for players - and fans - to play with each other and have a little bit of fun. The players were all having fun, so why was it that when Robinson Cano got up to bat, the stadium erupted into boos and didn't stop the entire time? How is that sportsmanlike? How is that fun? Kansas City fans were upset that Cano, captain of the American League Derby team, hadn't picked one of their players to hit in the Derby. Really? That's worth acting like a bunch of petulant 5-year-olds? There are only four spots on each team - four. There are probably a dozen players who deserved to be on each team. It's not like Cano picked every single one of them EXCEPT Billy Butler. But you win - your booing worked and Cano didn't hit a single home run. He came in dead last. Dead last with a smile on his face. He was tweeting throughout the entire Derby and every single tweet was something encouraging for another player, was something upbeat, fun, excited - he was having a grand ole' time, in spite of the nastiness of Kansas City fans. And really, in the end, I guess Cano wins after all, because all three players he chose over Butler were the last men standing - guess he made the best choices after all.

Here endeth the rant. All-Star Game tonight - be there!