Tag Archives: sports

The best sports website – SB Nation – gets a new design

SB Nation is the hidden gem you’ve never heard of. The 3-year old site has 316 blogs – one for every sports team – and is run by rabid fans, not paid writers. The one I follow – with about 200 other crazy UCLA fans – is Bruins Nation and it’s incredible. Calling it a blog isn’t right, it’s more of a website with many features. There are editor articles, fan articles, and fan shots – where you can share pictures, links, video, and quotes.

My two favorite elements of Bruins Nation are the analysis pieces from the editors – weekly grades after the game and a unit-by-unit breakdown of upcoming opponents – and the fan shots where I can find all those random, and awesome, links only true fans would find. A combination of dedicated, but volunteer, writers and fan contributions that make SB Nation a special place.

Today, the site is undergoing a major renovation – called SB Nation United or SB Nation 3.0 - with the goal of creating a common look across the site. New logos were created with the same size and format – though, each has its own team-defining illustration and colors. And a new article and front-page layout that finally brings the site into the modern internet era. The old one was very functional, but cluttered and hard-to-use.

Find your team in the SB Nation Directory, and here is the new look for SB Nation and Bruins Nation, and a few of the new logos.

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ESPN launches first hackathon app – SportsCenter Feed Beta

For the past two years ESPN has held internal hackathons. And while they keep saying that these hacker creations “have been incorporated across the ESPN ecosystem, SC Feed is the first to emerge largely unchanged from the concept stage.”

And it looks perfect. Modeled after the Twitter apps on iPhone and iPad – and using the new ESPN API - SportsCenter Feed Beta allows you to view all ESPN stories in an RSS-like feed. Which offers a better viewing experience than the cluttered ESPN homepage. The killer feature allows you to filter for your favorite teams, sports, and players.

I entered my favorite college football team (UCLA Bruins), NFL team (Chargers), and baseball team (Angels).  The result is one clean list of stories that would normally be scattered across ESPN.com. And it is a web app, meaning that it works on any device – as long as you log-in.

I think it’s home run for ESPN.

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How much will it cost your cable company to get the PAC-12 Network?

How much are you worth to your college football team? For PAC-12 fans that may be just under a dollar, from the L.A. Times:

SportsBusiness Journal reported that the Pac-12 is seeking more than 80 cents per subscriber to carry its channels. That’s more than CNN, USA and FX and about the same as Disney Channel, according to SNL Kagan, an industry consulting firm. Another person close to the negotiations — but not authorized to speak publicly — said the asking price is significantly lower.

Does this mean our cable bills are going to go up by a dollar? And it’s probably too much to ask for only the PAC-12 network. Offer it online, charge $0.80/month, I will sign-up! Heck, double or quadruple the charge and I’m still in. Wouldn’t that be great…   Continue reading

The photography of Aaron Goulding – peering inside the waves

If you want to peek inside the barrel or get up-close-and-personal with marine life, then you will love Aaron Goulding’s work. He loves grabbing those inside-the-tube shots and quiet ocean moments. But everyone wants a self-portrait of themselves catching a wave and in the barrel.

Enjoy a few of his photos and visit his company JAG Media Productions and like him on Facebook.

 

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How to watch sports online in 2012, packages from NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, and ESPN

This is an update of the 2011 post. Not much has changed in the leagues, but ESPN has really pushed the Watch ESPN app. With a cable subscription you can watch ESPN on any mobile device from anywhere.

Prices range from $60 – $250 per season for 2012, not a bad deal if you’ve cancelled your cable and need some sports. For 2012, DirectTV is offering their NFL package at $250, instead of $350 (but only available to non-DirectTV customers, details below). The other prices have largely stayed the same, but mid-season deals are being offered more. If you’re late to the game they can be a good option.

MLB

Major League Baseball offers MLB.TV which is $120 for the entire season and includes any out-of-market game and, depending on your broadband, up to six games at once. Audio to any game, anytime and a full on-demand archive of all the games.

They also offer an offseason package for $25 which allows you to watch any game of the season and playoffs in full HD and includes next year’s spring training.

NBA

The National Basketball Association offers up NBA League Pass for $110-190, with more options at higher prices. The general package includes up to 40 out-of-market games per week, an ability to watch three games at once, DVR-like controls to instant replay your own highlights, and a full archive of the season.

NHL

The National Hockey League offers NHL GameCenter for $170 which includes all out-of-market games, DVR functionality for replays and highlights, radio broadcasts, and a new slow motion feature.

NFL

The National Football League is the laggard, but Direct TV does offer the NFL Sunday Ticket for $250. It’s only available if you’re, “not able to subscribe to DIRECT TV service at your current address.” The package includes all out-of-market games on Fox and CBS, a Red Zone channel which shows the final yards of every scoring drive, and instant stats.

There are also options from the NFL itself, including a $40-70 package called NFL Game Rewind that includes all past games on-demand from the 2009-2011 seasons, and for $30 NFL Audio Pass which includes every radio broadcast live and on-demand.

On a side note the NFL Network recently tested out a free broadcast of one of their Thursday night games using their NFL ’12 iPad app.

MLS

Major League Soccer also has a package called Match Day Live for $60. This includes 221 games, live games on an iPad, HD quality, DVR ability, the ability to watch up to three games at once, archived games, and condensed (20 min) games.

ESPN

The worldwide leader in sports is playing a tough game when it comes to online content. They have one of the most popular websites in the world but keep their TV content off the web. If you visit ESPN.com the content is created for the web with no SportsCenter, limited highlights, and no games.

For that you will need the Watch ESPN app (iPhone, Android). It’s free to download but requires a cable subscription to use. There is no option for paying separately if you don’t have cable, and that feature may be a long time in coming. ESPN is betting heavily on this Watch ESPN program. They are pushing it across everything they do, all the channels, and it does offer a lot of games, but it does lock you into the cable world.

 

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Celebrating 40 years of Title IX with 40 amazing female athletes

Celebrating 40 years of Title IX

It simply reads:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

When it became law on June 23, 1972, Title IX changed the landscape of collegiate athletics.

Its impact over the last 40 years has been profound from coast-to-coast.

 

Such a great piece of legislation!

The perfect time to celebrate this landmark act after the woman of America so dominated the London 2012 Olympic Games.

My alma mater, UCLA, is writing about the 40 greatest women athletes since Title IX, and the list is quite impressive.

Among the athletes are Florence Griffith-Joyner (Flo-Jo), who according to Wikipedia is “considered the “fastest woman of all time” based on the fact that she still holds the world record for both the 100 metres and 200 metres, both set in 1988 and never seriously challenged.”

Jackie Joyner-Kersee (JJK), from Wikipedia, “ranked among the all-time greatest athletes in the women’s heptathlon as well as in the women’s long jump. Sports Illustrated for Women magazine voted Joyner-Kersee the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th century.”

And, 40 more!

 

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To build the artificial river for the Olympics, designers used large lego-like blocks

Did you have a chance to see the white water sports at the Olympics, like kayaking and canoeing?

If so, you probably noticed that the entire venue was artificial. The Lee Valley White Water Centre in the north of London was created out of a vast expanse of flat land. The designers, including a firm from Colorado, S20, had to build it all from scratch, including the high-powered water pumps and the speedy, treacherous river.

It made for a fantastic set of competitions and, it turns out, a lasting site for Londoners. The venue is going to stay open for both recreational activities and as a training site for future Olympians.

And, the Smithsonian blog wrote about an intriguing innovation used in the building of the rapids. They used what looks like Lego blocks to create the river bottom:

Since the earliest whitewater slalom competitions in the 1930s, most artificial courses have been constructed primarily of concrete, with static forms inserted to mimic boulders, logs…S20′s design turns the static features into adjustable plastic modules—a bit like underwater Legos—which can be positioned with a high degree of precision, and moved at no cost, essentially creating a new stretch of river each time.

 

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Maps of where Olympic athletes are born and where they move to

The map above shows the birthplace of the 500 athletes the United States sent to the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The break down:

  • 9 percent (43 athletes) – are from Los Angeles
  • 3.6 percent (17) – are from the Bay Area
  • 3 percent (14) – are from greater New York
  • 2.3 percent (11) from Dallas.
  • 8 percent were born abroad

This map shows where these athletes are currently living:

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A century of Olympic posters

‘The Start of the Sprinters’ Dash’. Yusaku Kamekura (art director); Osamu Hayasaki (photographer)

 

 

Images from the book “A Century of Olympic Posters” by Margaret Timmers:

As snapshots through time, Olympic posters provide a fascinating record of our world, a lens through which we can explore links between sports and art, politics and place, commerce and culture. A Century of Olympic Posters offers an intensely visual representation of the modern Games, and shows the evolution of the Olympic Games poster as well, from the first official poster for Stockholm in 1912 right up to the present.

 

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Orange County has become a dominant location for Olympic athletes to live/train

There seems to be a competition between San Diego (who is sending 80 athletes) and Orange County, for the king of the Olympics:

 

If Orange County was a nation it would have ranked among the top 10 in gold medals at each of the past two Summer Olympics. At the 2004 Games in Athens, Orange County athletes won as many golds (nine) as Great Britain, or one more than Brazil and Spain combined. Four years later, O.C. athletes brought home 19 medals, as many as Ethiopia, the Czech Republic and Argentina combined.

Athletes with O.C. ties also produced two of the most iconic moments of the 2008 Beijing Games. Irvine’s Jason Lezak kept Michael Phelps’ bid for a record eight gold medals alive in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay with what has been called as the greatest anchor ever. Phelps later edged Serbia’s Milorad Cavic, a Tustin High grad, by a mere hundredth of a second to win the 100-meter butterfly to equal Mark Spitz’s then-Olympic record of seven golds.

In London, Orange County athletes could put up even bigger numbers.

A record 79 O.C. athletes will compete in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, more than double the 31 who participated in the Athens Games just eight years ago. And unlike some other Olympic hotbeds like Kenya’s Rift Valley or Australia’s Gold Coast, Orange County’s Olympic success is not limited to just one sport. In London, O.C. athletes could win gold medals in as many as nine sports.

 

Source: OC Register - For Olympics, Orange County has become a powerhouse

 

 

If you add in the athletes from Los Angeles then 1 out of 3, or even half, of all Olympic athletes hail from Southern California.  Continue reading