Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category


November 30, 2017

Affirmation_largeHere is another wonderful demoti-vator (courtesy of www-dot-despair-dot-com).This seems to be especially relevant in today’s world of the participation trophy generation.  And, to add credence to this phenomenon, Georgetown University celebrated “Millenial Day” back in September.  The director of marketing at Georgetown, Chris Grosse, stated: “We decided we could come up with something that would be clever and funny, kind of honoring millennials, but also poking fun at some of the stereotypes that I think are incorrect.” The headline for an article written about this event read: “Participation trophies abound as Georgetown celebrates ‘Millennial Day’.” Ha!  Too funny!  I must give credit where credit is due . . .  a very catchy idea.


The Very First . . . !

July 24, 2017

Did you know that July 24th represents the month and day of the year with several significant “firsts?”

  • in 1824, the first opinion poll was conducted (the Harrisburg Pennsylvanian asked voters their preference between presidential candidates Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams).
  • in 1860, the first doctoral degree was awarded by an American University (Yale University — the degree was “authorized” in 1860 but not actually awarded until 1861).
  • in 1866, the Union readmitted the first state following the Civil War (Tennessee).
  • in 1934, the first ptarmigan that was hatched and reared in captivity (Ithaca, New York).
  • In 1946, the first atomic bomb underwater explosion (Pacific Ocean, three miles off Bikini).
  • in 1950, the first rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral (U.S. armed forces and General Electric Company, Bumper 2).
  • in 1956, the first adaptable railroad freight car (the Adapto Car; Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad Company; operating between St. Louis, MO, and Wichita, KS).
  • in 1998, the first Capitol Police Officers killed in the line of duty (Special Agent John Michael Gibson and Police Private First Class Jacob Joseph Chestnut).

Source: Famous First Facts by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell.

College Basketball 2017, Week Eighteen!

March 6, 2017

Well, the Spartans continue to struggle on the road — what a horrible way to finish the regular season — losing to Illinois by only three (3) points, and then losing to Maryland as well by only three (3) points in the closing seconds (a last-second basket by Maryland).  Major bummer of a week for the Green team!  It was no real surprise that Kansas took over the top position in the rankings and the Big Ten only has two (2)  teams currently in the AP top-25 : Purdue (#16) and Wisconsin (#22).  What a dismal showing this year by the Big Ten.  Most of the major conferences wrapped up their regular season this week which means that championship week starts now!  It is officially March, let the Madness begin as we continue in earnest down the road to the Final Four!  By this time next week we will know the participants and the seedings of this year’s NCAA Tournament.  MSU is currently projected as a #10 seed (thank you Joe Lunardi), but we’ll still have to wait and see; a couple of wins in the Big Ten Championship Tournament would go a long way to solidifying a Spartan presence at the dance.  Woohoo!

Next up for the Spartans:  a Thursday game in the Big Ten Tournament where they will face the winner of Wednesday’s matchup between Penn State/Nebraska . . . .    Go Green!

The upsets this week included:
North Carolina (#5) losing to Virginia (#23).
Louisville (#8) losing to unranked Wake Forest.
West Virginia (#10) losing to Baylor (#11).
Florida (#12) losing to unranked Vanderbilt by two (2) points.
Butler  (#13) losing to unranked Seton Hall by six (6) points.
Florida State (#15) losing to Duke (#17) by five (5) points.
Wisconsin (#22) losing to unranked Iowa by two (2) points.
Miami (#25) losing to unranked Virginia Tech by five (5) points.

The close calls this week (won by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) included:
Kansas (#1) defeating unranked Oklahoma State by five (5) points.
Kentucky (#9) defeating unranked Vanderbilt by six (6) points.
Purdue (#16) defeating unranked Northwestern by four (4) points.
Iowa State (#24) defeating unranked Oklahoma State by three (3) points.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
North Carolina (#5) defeating Duke (#17).
Louisville (#8) defeating Notre Dame (#19).
West Virginia (#10) defeating Iowa State (#24).
Florida State (#15) defeating Miami (#25).

Fun Fact Friday!

September 16, 2016

The fun fact for today . . . did you know that 150,000 gallons of water pour over the Niagara Falls per second?

To add some more fun facts to the mix (courtesy of the October 2016 issue of Runner’s World) that will tie in with running as well as the upcoming Niagara Falls International Marathon (October 30, 2016).

  • .32 = the average amount of water, in gallons, that a runner sweats out per hour.
  • 4:19 = the median time it takes to finish a marathon.
  • 1.38 = the approximate amount of sweat, in gallons, that a runner perspires in the course of running a marathon.
  • 721 = the number of finishers at the 2015 Niagara Falls International Marathon.
  • 995 = the number of gallons sweated out at the 2015 Niagara Falls International Marathon.
  • 151 = the number of years the race needs to be held before marathon runners sweat out one second’s worth of  Niagara Falls’ output.

Let the Games Begin!

August 5, 2016

rio2016The Olympic games, that is!  Today marks the beginning and the opening ceremony.  And for the next seventeen days, you should be able to get your fill of a variety of your favorite summer sporting events (forty in all).  Here’s a link to the official schedule.  My favorites include basketball, track and field (now called “athletics”), volleyball (regular and beach), gymnastics, swimming, and diving (but I will certainly watch whatever I’m able to catch).  Go Team USA!

College Basketball 2016, Week Six!

December 15, 2015

127Michigan State had  no trouble with Maryland – Eastern Shore on Wednesday, but found themselves tested the entire game by a pesky Florida defense that just wouldn’t go away.  The Spartans hung on to improve to 11-0 (their 2nd best start in Spartan history).  The Spartans don’t play again until next Saturday and will go on the road to face a Northeastern team that defeated a top-25 Miami team earlier this year.

There are only six (6) team in the top-25 that are still unbeaten (Michigan State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Purdue, Xavier, and SMU).  The Big Ten currently has three (3) teams in the AP top-25 (all three are in the top-10, woohoo!): Michigan State (#1), Maryland (#6), and Purdue (#9); and the Big Twelve also has three (3), but they are all in the top-five: Kansas (2), Oklahoma (3), and Iowa State (#5).  Is it March yet?

Next up for the Spartans: the Huskies of Northeastern University (Saturday).  Go Green!

The upsets this week included:
North Carolina (#3) losing to unranked Texas by two (2) points.
Gonzaga (#20) losing to unranked UCLA by five (5) points.
Vanderbilt (#21) losing to unranked Dayton by five (5) points.
Oregon (#24) losing to unranked Boise State by two (2) points.
Utah (#25) losing to unranked Wichita State.

The close calls this week (won by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) included:
Michigan State (#1) defeating unranked Florida by six (6) points.
Iowa State (#4) defeating unranked Iowa by only one (1) point.
Gonzaga (#20) defeating unranked Montana by only three (3) points.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Virginia (#10) defeating West Virginia (#14).
Xavier (#12) defeating Cincinnati (#23).

College Basketball 2016, Week Five!

December 8, 2015

127The Spartans (#3) faced Louisville (#24) in this year’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchup .  Interesting note: the Big Ten is 5-0-2 in the last seven challenges. The ACC has not won the Commissioner’s Cup since 2008.  The Spartans were up to the challenge and won the victory despite a poor early going against Louisville’s tenacious defense (Michigan State was behind by 13 points at one point in the first quarter).  Later in the week the Spartans hosted Binghamton and cruised to a lopsided victory to improve to 9-0.

With losses by both Kentucky (#1) and Maryland (#2) this week, the Spartans found themselves as the new number one team in the AP top-25 ranking (and they have had wins against three top-25 teams at this early stage in the season). And, even at this early stage in the season, there are only seven (7) undefeated basketball teams remaining (Michigan State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Purdue, Xavier, West Virginia, and SMU). The Big Ten currently has three teams in the AP top-25: Michigan State (#1), Maryland (#6), and Purdue (#11).

Next up for the Spartans: the Maryland – Eastern Shore Hawks (Wednesday) and the Gators of Florida (Saturday).  Go Green!

The upsets this week included:
Kentucky (#1) losing to unranked UCLA.
Maryland (#2) losing to North Carolina (#9).
Gonzaga (#13) losing to Arizona (#19) by five (5) points.
Syracuse (#14) losing to unranked Wisconsin in overtime and losing to unranked Georgetown.
Oregon (#15) losing to unranked UNLV.
Vanderbilt (#16) losing to Baylor (#25) by two (2) points.
Cincinnati (#17) losing to unranked Butler by two (2) points.
Texas A&M (#18) losing to unranked Arizona State.

The close calls this week (won by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) included:
Michigan State (#3) defeating Louisville (#24) by four (4) points.
Kansas (#4) defeating unranked Harvard by six (6) points.
Virginia (#10) defeating unranked Ohio State by six (6) points.
Miami (#21) defeating unranked Nebraska by five (5) points.
SMU (#22) defeating unranked TCU by five (5) points.
Providence (#23) defeating unranked Rhode Island by only two (2) points.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Michigan State (#3) defeating Louisville (#24) by four (4) points.
Oklahoma (#7) defeating Villanova (#9).

College Basketball 2016, Week Four!

December 1, 2015

127Following their signature win against the Jayhawks of Kansas last week, the Spartans climbed to #3 in the polls.  This week the Spartans started with a win over the Eagles of Eastern Michigan on Monday before they headed off to the West Coast for the DirectTV Wooden Legacy Tournament where they won against Boston College on Thursday, Boise State on Friday, and advanced to the final on Sunday to face Providence.  The Spartans were a bit sluggish, but managed to pull out the win against a tough Providence team to improve to 7-0.  The Big Ten currently has four (4) teams in the AP top-25: Maryland (#2), Michigan State (#3), Indiana (#13), and Purdue (#16).  There were a slew of upsets this week including four ranked teams that lost twice (Indiana [#13], Notre Dame [#17], Connecticut [#18], and LSU [#22]) and one ranked team that lost three times: Wichita State [#20].  Additionally, there was one unranked team that defeated two ranked teams: Syracuse

Next up for the Spartans this week: the Louisville Cardinals (the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Wednesday) and Binghamton Bearcats (Saturday).  Go Green!

The upsets this week included:
Gonzaga (#10) losing to Texas A&M (#25) by one (1) point.
Arizona (#11) losing to unranked Providence by four (4) points.
Indiana (#13) losing to unranked Wake Forest by four (4) points and losing to unranked UNLV by three (3) points.
California (#14) losing to unranked Richmond by four (4 points).
Miami (#15) losing to unranked Northeastern by one (1) point.
Notre Dame (#17) losing to unranked Monmouth by two (2) points and losing to unranked Alabama by one (1) point.
Connecticut (#18) losing to unranked Syracuse by three (3) points.
Wichita State (#20) losing to unranked USC by three (3) points and losing to unranked Alabama by four (4) points and losing to unranked Iowa .
LSU (#22) losing to unranked Marquette by only one (1) point and losing to unranked NC State in overtime.
Texas A&M (#25) losing to unranked Syracuse.

The close calls this week (won by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) included:
Gonzaga (#10) defeating Connecticut (#18) by only three (3) points.
Oregon (#15) defeating unranked Fresno State by five (5) points.
Notre Dame (#17) defeating unranked Iowa by six (6) points.
Cincinnati (#24) defeating unranked Nebraska by four (4) points and defeated unranked George Washington by five (5) points.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Gonzaga (#10) defeating Connecticut (#18) by only three (3) points.

I’ll Take the Stairs!

May 11, 2015

Yes, I always take the stairs (whenever possible) — it’s healthier and sometimes quicker than waiting on some elevators. But I have not yet caught the bug to actually stair-climb (i.e., race) my way up some tall buildings.   Stair-climbing has become a competitive sport and there are several races around the world for you to choose from . . . of course, here in the states, the race up the Empire State Building in New York City seems to be the one that most people are aware of.  For more information on tower running, check out — this site provides a wealth of information on this sport.  Piotr Lobodzinski is the current world cup leader in the male division while Suzanne Walsham is the leader of the women’s division.  Runner’s World magazine even did an article on Suzy this month . . . here are some of the interesting facts/statistics about this 41-year-old Australian athlete (currently living in Singapore):

  • considered the world’s leading female stair-climber
  • has won 42 stair-climbing races
  • won the Vertical World Circuit and the Towerrunning World Cup (for the last three years)
  • has won nine (9) consecutive Swissôtel Vertical Marathons (Singapore)
  • won the race up the Empire State Building this year (her record sixth win in this race) — she reached the top (86th floor) in 12:30
    • 1,576 steps to reach the top of the Empire State Building
    • averaged 8.72 seconds per floor
    • knew she was going to win by the 40th floor (she couldn’t hear anyone behind her)
    • mantra: 2-4-6-8-turn

Walsham was quoted saying “I see run-ups as a race between me and the building.  The bonus is there’s always an amazing view at the end.”  (Runner’s World, May 2015)