Archive for July, 2007

Watercooler Chat: Other than Hall of Fame, still watching Bonds and what’s ugly in sports

contador.jpgphoto: Andrew Hood



Not sure anyone even cares at this point, but Alberto Contador won the grueling Tour de France. He’s 24 years old and the youngest athlete to win in a decade. The problem is no one is talking about Contador. We’re all talking about how the leader, Michael Rasmusen who was disqualified due to suspicion of doping charges and lying about where he was during training. Last year the Tour Champion, Floyd Landis also tested positive for an illegal substance.

Watercooler discussion: Will the Tour de France ever regain its credibility or will the race and cycling in general suffer?


The Falcons quarterback, Michael Vick continues to slide deeper and deeper into trouble (and now it’s financial). In case you haven’t been following, Michael Vick was indicted on charges that he participated in illegal dog fighting. Nike suspended his contract (which he’s had ever since he became the first draft pick in 2001), and Reebok pulled his jersey from the shelves in its stores.

Watercooler discussion: If you owned a Vick jersey, would you still wear it or burn it?


The San Francisco Giants’ Barry Bonds is just one homerun away from tying Hank Aarons’ hallowed home run record and two away from breaking it. Bonds is generally unpopular due to suspicion of taking illegal substances during his career and because of his surly personality.

Watercooler discussion: Will Bonds break the record this week and do you care? 

You’ve got to love sports, every time it brings you down, something happens to cheer you up. After all the talk of the tainted Tour de France, the disgust over Michael Vick, the reluctant Bonds watch and the Donaghy referee scandal, we finally have something to cheer about. Two of the most revered baseball players were inducted in to the Hall of Fame, Cal Ripken Jr. (Baltimore Orioles) and Tony Gwynn (San Dieog Padres).

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Watercooler Chat: Beckham bends for 12 minutes, Danica skids and Bonds could break


I happened to catch the moment soccer history was made in this country when David Beckham entered the field in the 78th minute of the LA Galaxy exhibition match against Chelsea on Saturday night.Chelsea won the match 1-0, but no one seemed to really care. It was all about watching Beckham, who was mostly on the sidelines due to an ankle injury. I hadn’t planned my evening to watch Beckham (sorry LA Galaxy) but when I looked up at the bar and saw the match on TV, I watched intently like everyone else in the room. I’ve got to admit, the most exciting thing about the game was watching the cameras follow all the celebrities in the stands, but I’m willing to keep an open mind. I played soccer growing up, my Kids play soccer now and I think it is an incredible sport. With that said, I just don’t see myself getting all that excited on a Sunday afternoon to watch 2 plus hours of a match where we might only see one goal scored. Another indication that soccer has a long way to go in becoming one of our “mainstream” sports is by looking at the navigation bars on any of the major sports internet sites. Soccer is hidden in the “other sports” category and not displayed prominently at the top of the page like NFL, MLB, NHL, Nascar, Golf and Tennis. It will be interesting to see if Beckham can help change this.


Watercooler discussion: Will Beckham change the way we view soccer in this country? Will soccer every overcome baseball or football as America’s sport


Danica Patrick finished 5th in the Honda Indy 200 this weekend. This was her best finish so far in an Indy car race, although she might have finished even better if it were not for Tony Kanaan knocking her into the grass for a few seconds in the first lap. Kanaan excused himself by claiming that Danica was sliding.  For his third straight time (and on his 27th birthday), Scott Dixon won the race.  

Watercooler discussion: Should Danica be getting this much attention just because she’s a woman? 

SF Giant Barry Bonds could break Hank Aaron’s prestigious home run record this week while he’s in his hometown of San Francisco.  Apparently baseball commissioner Bud Selig doesn’t plan on traveling to SF to see history being made. In case you haven’t been following, Bonds is not well liked because of the allegations against him for taking steroids.

Watercooler discussion: Is Bud Selig making the right decision in not attending the game?

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Watercooler Chat: Vick Indicted


Michael Vick, star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, has been indicted on dog fighting charges. He hasn’t been convicted yet, but he’s in real trouble. In case you didn’t know, dog fighting is illegal and really sick. I’ve never seen it (or ever will) but it’s incredibly inhumane and incredibly brutal. In addition, Vick is charged with killing a number of dogs that were unable to fight. And, he apparently killed them in a really disgusting manner; hanging, strangling, drowning and smashing on the floor. Whether or not Vick actually gets convicted of this illegal crime, his reputation is shot. I can’t imagine he will ever get another sponsorship deal. Who in their right mind would want someone like that endorsing their products? I’m sure we’ll be hearing more on this story as details come out, but as of now, I’m thoroughly disgusted and can’t imagine a person in their right mind who would torture dogs for sport.

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Watercooler Chat: Beckham, Bonds and surprisingly no boos for the Phillies


Is anyone else as tired as I am of hearing the hype over David Beckham’s arrival in the US? The press conferences, magazine covers, newspaper reports of Beckham and Victoria’s big arrival in Los Angeles where he’ll play for the LA Galaxy, is just a bit overdone for a sport that will never pass football, baseball, basketball or golf as an American favorite. The Galaxy ponied up $250 million over 5 years to lure Beckham away from England. I think this will go down as one of the absolute worst sports franchise moves in history. I just can’t imagine how the Galaxy plans on recouping that kind of money in a sport that is just not “mainstream” here in the US. And, at some point (hopefully some point soon), the paparazzi will get tired of taking pictures of the robot-like Posh Spice. On that note, just once I’d love to see a picture of her actually smiling instead of her signature pout.


Our Barry Bonds watch is still going strong. The San Francisco Giant Barry Bonds is still 5 home runs away from breaking Hank Aarons home run record. The question on everyone’s mind right now is not so much “if” he’ll hit more than 755 career home runs, but “when” and which pitcher (team) will go down in history in making it happen.

If you can’t beat em join em. The Philadelphia Phillies have the dubious distinction of losing their 10,000th game, the first time in history that a sports franchise has reached that landmark. The clincher was hearing the fans “cheer” while the Phillies reached this milestone.

Rumor Mill

This weekend a broadcaster fueled the LA Lakers’ Kobe Bryant trade rumor when he apparently slipped (unintentionally as he thought the mic was off) and said he had been told that Kobe would go to the Grizzlies.


Giuliani reads The Female Fan Guide to Motorsports

I opened up the New York Times this morning and had the greatest surprise. As I’m sipping my coffee and flipping through the paper, I noticed an article about former NY Mayor and Presidential Candidate, Rudolph Giuliani on his way to a Nascar race at Daytona Beach. To my COMPLETE surprise, the article mentioned my book, The Female Fan Guide to Motorsports which Giuliani said he read in preparation for the race. For the complete article, click here:

On to the news of the weekend……


After a tense 3 hour, 45 minute 5 set match, was there really any doubt that Roger Federer would pull out the win over Rafael Nadal? This is Federer’s 5th straight Wimbledon title, which ties the record set back in 1980 by Bjorn Borg. At only 25 years old, Federer is considered by many to be the best men’s player EVER. Even John McEnroe said on ESPN recently that he’s never seen a player like him.

Talking about best players EVER, Venus Williams won the women’s final (big surprise) for her 4th all time Wimbledon title. She beat Marion Bartoli 6-4, 61. Venus just makes this all seem so easy.

Indy Car Flare up

Scott Dixon won the Indy Car (open wheel) race at Watkins Glen Grand Prix, but that’s not what everyone was talking about this weekend. After the race, Tony Kanaan came over to “talk” to Sam Hornish Jr because he was upset that he bumped his car. Hornish Sr pushed Kanaan and then the fracas began as Kanaan’s team knocked the father over. According to Kanaan, he was only approaching Hornish Jr to talk about the race and never intended to get into a fight.

Tour de France

The biggest bike race has begun. I can’t really watch this on TV, but I do like to hear about who’s in the lead and every time I get on a bike, I completely appreciate and am marveled by the endurance of this grueling race. The Tour de France lasts 20 stages (plus the prologue which is a 4.9 mile race through downtown London) for a total of 2, 206 miles. Don’t worry if you missed the fact that the race is already underway. We won’t even crown a winner until the race ends on July 29th.

Floyd Landis, last year’s champ, is still trying to defend his 2006 title against claims that he used illegal drugs to win.

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