Wednesday, September 24, 2008

US stuns Europe to take Ryder Cup

The US Ryder Cup team competing without the world’s best player, Tiger Woods, and heavy underdogs, got off to a fast start on day one and never looked back en route to a 16 ½ to 11 ½ victory over the European side. Captain Paul Azinger’s choices proved to be wise as his last selection to the club, Chad Campbell, won his match against Padraig Harrington, and other selection Ben Curtis bettered Lee Westwood in his as well, to produce the final margin of victory that was the largest since 1981. Most importantly in was Azinger’s idea to overhaul the qualifying system, which he believed was hindering the Americans from fielding their best team. Lastly, he doubled the captains picks and those four players produced 1/3 of the 16 ½ points. We this the type of change the US needed all along? It was the first victory for the US since 1999 and the largest margin of victory since 1981. Have the players been there but has the good ol’ US bureaucracy gotten in the way? Or was this simply more of a TEAM without a ‘go to’ guy and just had better symmetry?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Champions League First leg Standings

Group A Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 1 3
2 CFR Cluj-Napoca 1 3
3 Roma 1 0
4 Bordeaux 1 0

Group B Team P Pts
1 Inter Milan 1 3
2 Anorthosis Fama 1 1
3 Werder Bremen 1 1
4 Panathinaikos 1 0

Group C Team P Pts
1 Barcelona 1 3
2 Shakhtar Don 1 3
3 Basle 1 0
4 Sporting Lisbon 1 0

Group D Team P Pts
1 Atletico Madrid 1 3
2 Liverpool 1 3
3 Marseille 1 0
4 PSV Eindhoven 1 0

Group E Team P Pts
1 Aalborg BK 1 1
2 Celtic 1 1
3 Manchester U 1 1
4 Villarreal 1 1

Group F Team P Pts
1 Bayern Munich 1 3
2 Fiorentina 1 1
3 Lyon 1 1
4 FC Steaua B. 1 0

Group G Team P Pts
1 FC Porto 1 3
2 Arsenal 1 1
3 Dynamo Kiev 1 1
4 Fenerbahce 1 0

Group H Team P Pts
1 Real Madrid 1 3
2 Juventus 1 3
3 Zenit St. Petersburg 1 0
4 BATE Borisov 1 0

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Red, White, and Whew! In a tough final, US 'Redeems" itself

It was much closer than expected but the USA Men’s Basketball team “Redeemed” itself after the 2004 debacle with a 118-107 victory of the defending World Champion Spain in a game that was a lot closer than the final score indicated. The US had it largest deficit of the tournament in the early in the first quarter when they found themselves down by five points and with Kobe and King James on the bench with 2 fouls, but came back to take an 11 point lead largely due to the performance of Duane Wade, but lead by less than 10 at half, their smallest half-time lead of the tournament. Spain, who was the worst 3-point shooting team of the medal round at 30%, played like Villanova in the 84’ championship game raining 3’s and cut the lead to 2 points inside eight minutes to play. On a team full of superstars it was the NBA’s MVP who stepped up and took over the game. Kobe scored on a runner, a four-point play that fouled out Spain’s leading scorer and playmaker, and proceeded to score or assist on the next 14 US points. The lead oscillated between 6-8 but ended up at eleven. After beating Spain by 37 points in the qualifying round, you knew Spain would come swinging with reckless abandon but you figured the deep US team would wear them down. It didn’t really play out that way but they held on when they had to and close the show, but that wide margin is gone and from here on out each world tournament will be a war.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Team Redeem’s table is ‘Finals’ set

The USA Basketball team came out with fire in their eyes, played tenacious D, buried Argentina early, and then held on the rest of the way to secure their place in the Gold Medal Game. The US built a 21-point lead early in the second quarter and then were aided when Manu Ginobli went down with an injury, not to return. The Redeem Team seemed to relax and Argentina cut the lead down to six but after a Coach K timeout, the lead went back to double digits was never less than 13 the rest of the way. TR will face Spain in the Finals on Sunday, a team that they blew out in pool play. If the US play the type of defense they put on Spain the first time around when they forced 24 TURNOVERS, this one won’t be close. To make matters worse for the defending World Champions might be without the services of their point guard Jose Calderon, who sat out the semi-final game against Lithuania. In addition to blowing teams out on the court the US has spent their ‘off time’ going to matches of other athletes, doing charity work, including visiting the children’s hospital of the earthquake victims, helping to raise $500,000. They have not only performed on the court but been diplomats for the game and the country. There is one last piece of business to take care of and that will done over lunch on Sunday.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Phelps has golden touch, World is witness to a Bolt of lightning

Michael Phelps swam into history during the games of the XXIX Olympiad with a total of eight gold medals eclipsing the mark set by Mark Spitz 36 years ago, and not without his share of close calls. In a time span that does not amount to much more than the blink of an eye, Phelps fulfilled a half-rotation before Milorad Cavic of Serbia could stretch, extend, and float to the wall. Despite a post-match protest and thanks to the slow motion photos provided by Sports Illustrated, as improbable as it looked in live action MP did beat him to the wall. Marc Lifsher said it best, as 100 minus 0.01 equals eight. So how does this rank among the best ever Olympic performances? Put another way, is Phelps the greatest Olympic athlete ever?

While the waves were calming in the water on land things were electric as Usain ”lightning” Bolt won the 100-meter dash in a world-record time of 9.69. However in all actuality he really only ran the 85-meter dash as he coasted the lat 15 meters including one blown kiss and two chest pumps. He was so far ahead that once he crossed the finish line he could have got on his cell and solidified his many upcoming endorsement deals before the second place finisher crossed the same line. What’s scary to think about is how fast he COULD have run it in if he would have stayed focused through the tape? Perhaps we’ll get a glimpse in when he attempts to repeat the feat in the 200. So what to make of the US sprinters this Olympics? We are simply getting our stars & stripes whipped by the laid back, precocious, and confident crew from the Caribbean. Normally our staple events the men’s AND women’s 100 events were dominated by Jamaica, and we will not even talk about what’s happening in the boxing ring. So how did we go from dominator to dominated in four short years?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Redeem Team gets first taste of redemption

Like Michael Phelps the USA Men’s Basketball team has taken every necessary step along the way to achieving their goal of returning the gold medal to its rightful owner. One of those steps was sending a message to the team that ousted them from the 04’ games in Athens. The ‘Redeem Team’ easily beat Greece 92-69 lead by Kobe Bryant’s 50% shooting and 18 points. The NBA’s MVP had been silent in the previous two games and shooting a dismal 37% but broke out of his slump in a big way in an all important statement game. Chris Bosh also came alive, adding 18 points off the bench. Argentina also has begun to put it together with an impressive win over Croatia. It will come down to a three horse race with Pau Gasol and Spain adding to the mix, but this is the way it should be, where if the US plays its game it really doesn’t AND shouldn’t matter what anyone else does. The US is deeper and more skilled than the rest of the competition and has a coach that knows how to harness that talent. Not since the original DT has the US made it through so effortlessly. But before we start signing let’s get deep into the medal round, as we have been here before.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Phelps begins his quest for immortality with a second record

Michael Phelps won the second of a sought after eight gold medals and has a debt of gratitude to Jason Lezak. The anchor on the 400-meter relay caught and passed the world record holder Alain Bernard edging him out at the end. The winning time: a world-record 3:08.24. Winning margin: eight hundredths of a second. It was the closest 400-meter relay in Olympic history and the second-closest Olympic relay of any distance. And Lezak swam the fastest 100-meter relay split in world history, a shocking 46.06 seconds. His split was faster than Bernard's by .67 seconds. When you're the world-record holder and you cannot hold a lead in your specialty, that's not good. When that happens after you've talked smack, that's worse. For the second straight Olympics it's men's Swimming that gets the competitive spirit going, similar to the "air guitar" act of the Australians pursuant to remarks by Gary Hall Jr.
Afterward I asked the French technical team director, Claude Fauquet, about Bernard's prediction. "Well," Fauquet said, "I think he got it wrong." Yea, ya think?

Jason Lezak The anchor swimmer had gone into the pool well behind Frenchman Alain Bernard, and after busting it for 50 meters had not appreciably closed the gap. The only comfort was that Bernard, who began this race as the world-record holder in the 100 freestyle, had not put the race out of reach -- something he all but guaranteed last week by declaring the French would "smash" the Americans in this event.

After setting an Olympic record during the qualifying heat where he said he wanted to “send a message”, Michael Phelps did it one better in during the finals of the 400-meter individual medley by setting a new world record. It was the first of a possible eight golds for Phelps that would surpass the mark of seven set by Mark Spitz in 72’. He will need some help from his teammates as they are not all individual events and the Aussies and South Africans will surely have something to say about it. The first thing he has to do to continue the quest is completely forget what he just accomplished. Roughly 7½ hours after talking to the media Sunday morning, Phelps will be back in the pool for the preliminaries of the 200-meter freestyle. Among those he'll face in that event is Korean Taehwan Park, who surprisingly won the 400 free Sunday morning in the sixth-fastest time ever, and the fastest time by someone not named Ian Thorpe. It’s an impossible task, but if anyone has come along in the past half-century that can ‘do the impossible’ it’s Phelps.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Dream Team looks good as gold, but not without Controversy controversy

After winning their first three games by an average of 41 points, including a 21 point victory over the defending European Champion Russia, this year’s version of the “Dream Team” looks poised to take home the gold and regain respectability to the US. However it’s still three weeks before the medal ceremony and a lot can happen between now and then. Mental and physical fatigue that usually sets in at the end of a 36-day trip is still a factor that could come into play three weeks down the road. But for now, this version of Team USA appears to be morphing from a strong favorite to a prohibitive favorite as we count down the days until the Americans get to Beijing, where they'll open Olympic play Aug. 10 against Yao Ming and the Chinese national team. It has been smooth sailing thus far with the only bit of controversy coming from the fact that J Kidd did not see any action in the second half against Russia. Now the question is weather he is simply been beaten out by Chirs Paul and Deron Williams or was JK being rested? Well, if it was your club, and after CP3 destroyed Kidd in the NBA playoffs, who would you have start? To be honest this team is so good, I could start at point and we would still win by double digits.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Margarito stalks, then punishes Cotto on way to title

Antonio Margarito was turned down when his promoters tried to book a fight with p4p champion Floyd Mayweather and after he knocked out the reigned champion Miguel Cotto Saturday night it appears for good reason. The “Tijuana Tornado” stalked the champion for 11 rounds before his corner threw in the towel bringing an end to one of the best title fights in recent memory. Cotto actually won 4 of first 5 rounds and clearly was out boxing Margarito throughout the fight but never hurt the challenger. If fight was scored only on shots that make the head go back and “ooohh” crowd shock value then Cotto would have had a unanimous decision, but those punches, although clean and seemingly hard, didn’t faze the tornado, who kept coming and was taking the fight to the champ, not the other way around. By round nine, Cotto’s face was a bloody mess and he was on his horse running away, as if he were counting the minutes until the fight was over. Boxing was a sport in dire straights and the end of last year but it has had three great fights (2 of them epic) to help stave off the charge of Mixed Martial Arts, at least for now. This one was worth the PPV cost and will be looked at for quite some time but I was a little disappointed in the anointed P4P champion as he seemed to be running away from the fight after the sixth round. He scored with flashy, well timed counter punches throughout the fight but in retrospect they had little effect and he was the one who’s face was a bloody mess. Boxing owes a debt of gratitude to Antonio Margarito for stopping Cotto before this one had a chance to go to the scorecards, because if it did it would have been a draw or Cotto decision and that would have put the sport right back where it started.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cavendish first Brit to cliam 3 stages of the TdF

Isle of Man sprinter Mark Cavendish made cycling history on Thursday when he became the first ever Briton to claim three stage wins in a single edition of the Tour de France.Cavendish dominated a bunch sprint at the end of the race's 167.5km 12th stage, finishing ahead of Frenchman Sébastien Chavanel and Belgian Gert Steegmans.
Are the Brits finally ready to compete on the world stage other than Olympic Sprint?


1 Mark Cavendish (GBr|Team Columbia) 3:40:52
2 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra|Française des Jeux)
3 Gert Steegmans (Bel|Quick Step)
4 Erik Zabel (Ger|Team Milram)
5 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa|Rabobank)
6 Francesco Chicchi (Ita|Liquigas)
7 Thor Hushovd (Nor|Crédit Agricole)
8 Leonardo Duque (Col|Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone)
9 Julian Dean (NZl|Team Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30)
10 Heinrich Haussler (Ger|Gerolsteiner)
11 Robbie McEwen (Aus|Silence - Lotto)
12 Jimmy Casper (Fra|Agritubel)
13 Robert Hunter (RSA|Barloworld)
14 Martin Elmiger (Swi|AG2R La Mondiale)
15 Alessandro Ballan (Ita|Lampre)
16 Kim Kirchen (Lux|Team Columbia)
17 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr|Team Columbia)
18 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa|Bouygues Telecom)
19 Robert Förster (Ger|Gerolsteiner)
20 Cadel Evans (Aus|Silence - Lotto)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Pacquiao steps into Mayweather’s spot as PPP Champion Calzaghe to fight Jones and take it back

In a truly dominating performance Manny Pacquiao destroyed reigning champion David Diaz with a ninth round knockout to claim his fourth title, the lightweight championship. Diaz simply had no answer for the speed and power of Pacquiao who transformed Diaz’s face into a bloody, swollen mess after a collision of heads in the second round opened up an enormous cut over left eye. Diaz did gain the respect of all in attendance and the boxing community at large with a gutsy performance. He continued to keep coming at Manny despite the fact that his vision had to be impaired and he eventually paid for it with a devastating left hook at 2:23 of the ninth round which ended the fight. So is PacMan the best pound-per-pound fighter in the world? Many think so, but some people in the UK beg to differ as they have been screaming the praises of Joe Calzaghe for quite some time, but PacMan has continued to defy the odds, including stepping up in weight class, and until he loses he gets our vote.

Joe Calzaghe will get an opportunity to make his case for the best Pound-Per-Pound fighter in the world on September 22, when he is scheduled to fight Roy Jones Jr. for JC’s 175-Pound Title. This would be a much larger challenge for JC a few years back, with Jones’ hand speed and ring generalship proving to be too much for puncher. However in 2008 Jones has lost a step (or two) and been counted out since then. JC also has a knack for beating over the hill American former champions, ie; Bernard Hopkins, and taking out another former icon may just be exactly what he needs to take is rightful place among the best in the business. In any case it will be a fight worth paying for and provide more ammunition for the sport in it’s war against obscurity and being surpassed by the phenomenon that is Mixed Martial Arts. It’s too early to make a pick but early research tells me that if JC is slower than we expect he will have a hard time finding Jones which could be a recipe for a long night of lunging and catching counter punches from a one-time former Heaveyweight and undisputed pound-per-pound champion of the world. Burt then again that title is what this fight is all about.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

4 hour 48 minute marathon being called the best ever

The longest Wimbledon Final in history is already being called by many as ‘the greatest ever’ complete with all of the high drama, rain delays, and tension that anyone could ask. The match ended in a five set, tie-break, final with Rafael Nadal ending Roger Federer’s 41-match winning streak at the All-England Club, one shy of the record held by tennis legend Bjorn Borg. The final scoreboard read 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8), 9-7 with a potential break coming when rain delayed the beginning of the fifth set. After losing to straight sets including letting two ‘Championship Points’ slip through his fingers, the break gave the youngster an opportunity to gather himself, regain his composure, and stave off the champs momentum. The fifth set was one for the ages that will not be forgotten anytime soon. Hats off to the kid for rallying when he had to, showing some sack, and playing like a true veteran during the PK, Overtime, extra inning equivalent that is a final set tiebreaker. Is the king officially dead? Has the torch been passed? After five straight victories, Roger didn’t look like he was ready to let his crown go, but now that Rafa’ knows the path is there anything the former #1 can do about it.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Big Sis' finally takes lil' sis to school

Venus Williams beat her sister Serna 7-5, 6-4 in the Wimbledon Final for her fifth Wimbledon title and seventh Grand Slam championship. This was Venus' first victory over her younger sibling in a Grand Slam final since the 2001 U.S. Open, and it evened their career record at 8-8. Venus came from 3-1 down in the first set to turn around the match, breaking Serena four times while dropping serve twice in a final that proved to be one of the most exciting displays of athletism in recent years. A swirling wind added an points to the level of difficulty making some of the power shots even more impressive. Venus broke to finish the match in 1 hour, 51 minutes, with Serena hitting a backhand wide on the second match point. The sisters embraced at the net, and Venus kept her celebrations in check as she twirled and waved to the Centre Court crowd. So big sis’ finally gave lil’ sis a spanking. It was good for them AND tennis to see them going at each other, dispelling rumors that their matches were setups from their father, or imaginary “pulled hamstrings” that keep them from competing against each other. This was more than a matchup between siblings; it was a contest between two of the hardest-hitting, most athletic players in the world at the top of their game. Can they keep this level up or have we seen the pinnacle of the “Williams’ Sisters Era”?

Monday, June 30, 2008

Big Monday at Wimbledon


No. 1 Roger Federer vs. No. 20 Lleyton Hewitt
Hewitt is one of the top competitors out there and a guy who knows how to play on grass, winning the title six years ago. He's been bothered by a bad hip, however, and has lost the last 11 times against the five-time defending champion. Even worse for the Aussie, Federer appears to have put the French Open debacle behind him, not losing a set in three matches.

All 32 players left in the field will be in action on Monday but these are some of the matches to watch:

No. 2 Rafael Nadal vs. No. 17 Mikhail Youzhny
When they last met in January's Chennai Open final, Youzhny battered the world No. 2 6-0, 6-1 in under an hour. Keep in mind, though, that Nadal played a three-and-a-half hour epic against mentor Carlos Moya the day before.

Nadal had won their previous three battles, including one in five sets in the fourth round at Wimbledon last year, rallying from a two-set hole. He is, by his own admission, an improved player and on a roll after winning his first career grass-court tournament at the Artois Championships.


No. 6 Serena Williams vs. Bethanie Mattek
Mattek got a little help in the third round when last year's finalist, Marion Bartoli, suffered a shoulder injury. The 23-year-old from Phoenix probably would have had a shot anyways, having entered Wimbledon with a 20-4 record in her last 24 matches, lower-level tourneys included. Let's be honest, though: Bartoli is one thing, Williams quite another. Williams survived a shaky first set versus Amelie Mauresmo in the third round and usually warms up in the second week, especially if Justine Henin isn't around.

No. 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Agnieszka Radwanska
Kuznetsova suffered her usual early-round wobble, losing the first set against France's Mathilde Johansson in her opener. She's pulled it together in the last two, helping her forget about a woeful showing against Dinara Safina in the French Open semis. Radwanska, the clever Pole, is 14-1 in her last 15 matches and knows how to keep the ball in play, with a little gusto to boot. Ignore that she's 1-4 against Kuznetsova.

No. 7 Venus Williams vs. Alisa Kleybanova
Naomi Cavaday, Anne Keothavong and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

Venus Williams set the Wimbledon women's record with a 127 mph serve in her third-round win on Saturday. Could defending champion Venus Williams have asked for an easier first three rounds? Kleybanova, 18, isn't a household name either, although the Russian -- one of many stalking the circuit -- has climbed more than 100 spots to 47th in the rankings since January and ousted Ai Sugiyama, no stranger to grass, in the third round. Like Serena, however, Venus Williams usually heats up when it counts, the grass inspiring her further.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Euro 2008 Reaches it’s Final Four

Many of the usual suspects will be absent from this year’s Euro 2008 final most of the pre-tournament favorites are home for the summer, including the side that looked the best in the group stage, Holland, winning all three matches and having the best goal differential of any team in the tournament. Ironically NONE of the sides that were group winners are left standing. The Dutch played their worst game of the four when it mattered most as Russia game out more aggressive and had them on their heels early, only a late goal from “Van the Man” extended the match to extra time where they once again could not keep the Russians out of their net. Also not present are the defending world champions Italy, who quite frankly, never looked like a team that would get out of the group stage and didn’t find their rhythm at all during the tournament. Another pre-tournament fav not present will be the French, as Henry is beginning to show his age Benzema has not lived up to the hype. The team with the most fire power up front and the consensus pick was Portugal, similar to 04’, but couldn’t manage to get Golden Boot winner Ronaldo enough space to score when it counted. With the dust settled and we look at who is left, under the radar Germany has slipped again. They find themselves with a semi-final match that is MORE than winnable, going up against a depleted Turkish side that will be missing a total of NINE normal starters due to injury or yellow card restrictions. The last big name left in the dance, they have found away to survive and advance and are in position to take down their fourth title. On the other side pits Russia and Spain, who seem to be finally living up to their potential. For many years the Spanish have fielded potentially the best squad but have not been able to put it all together and now they find themselves in a position that they have not seen since 1984. Their opponent is a quality Russian side that disposed of the top side in the tourney thus far, the Dutch. Perhaps they are just plain good, as they survived a group stage that easily could have been considered the ‘group of death’ with Sweden, Spain, and defending champions Greece. Last but not least we have not even brought up the sleeper of this years’ tournament, the Turks, who have defied all odds and found themselves short handed, injured, and facing an old nemesis, Deutschland. It they could pull off the monumental upset, and that is not hyperbole, it would truly go down in the archives as the biggest ever. However after the Greek run in 2004 I think the universe has already overdrawn their karma account. Either way there will be at least one unfamiliar face in the finals next week and probably the sentimental favorite.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Euro 2008 kicks off as favorites win openers

The Euro 2008 got under way today, with the Brits still pondering why they are not participating. In Group A action the co-host Switzerland were handed a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Czech Republic at St Jakob-Park. Second-half substitute Vaclav Sverkos scored the only goal of the game in the 70th minute of an anti-climatic opener. Unbelievably it was the Czech’s ONLY shot on goal for the entire game! The first half was a tight affair, but it was Switzerland who created the best opportunity midway through the opening period as record scorer and captain Alexander Frei was denied by Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech from close range. However, that was to be Frei's last contribution as the striker limped off in tears on the stroke of half-time with a serious knee injury which could well have ended the Borussia Dortmund star's tournament. In addition to the injury what may be the talk of the day was the non call on the obvious hand ball in the second half. Under the replay it was totally blatant, and even at live speed it was about the same. How could such a big call be missed in a game with so much riding on it. The Swiss will have three days to ponder that very fact before they take the pitch again on Wed.

In the second match in group A Portugal opened their Euro 2008 account with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Turkey in Geneva. Cristiano Ronaldo - who hit the post with a sensational free-kick early on - inspired his side to victory as they scored two second half goals to kill of a Turkish threat which never materialized. After having a first-half effort disallowed, Pepe made no mistake on the hour as he gave Portugal the lead with a stunning individual effort. Nuno Gomes hit post and crossbar before the second goal arrived in stoppage time when substitute Raul Meireles finished off a fine counter-attack. Portugal now sit on top of Group A after Czech Republic's 1-0 win over Switzerland earlier on Saturday. With Deco, Ronaldo, and all of that speed in front, can Portugal hoist the cup for the second time in the last three tries?

Lewis Hamilton took advantage of a mistake by Kimi Raikkonen as the race got under way to take the number two spot, then when Felipe Massa needed to pit he took over the lead and never relinquished it. Leading by as much as 40 seconds during the race, which was marred by two stoppages, unpredictable rain, and cautions, Lewis proved his mettle again by taking home his first Monaco Grad Prix victory and a 3 point lead atop the F1 leaderboard. The afore mention Massa may be the sleeper pick this year but Hamilton may ride is wave of momentum all the way across the Atlantic and into Canada for another win next month.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hamilton wins at Monaco, Dixon at Indy, and rain delays the French Open

Lewis Hamilton jumped into second place after Kimi Raikkonan got off to a slow start and then took the lead when Felipe Massa had to take his pit stop to make the necessary tire change. From there he never looked back. In a race marred with bad weather, two stoppages, and multiple wrecks, it was far from easy but Hamilton proved why he is one of the best in the sport. After holding as much as a 40 second lead most of the way he won his first Monaco Grand Prix and moved to the head of the F-1 standings. The Brazilian Massa has had much hype and still my take things over by the end of the year, but Hamilton will probably ride his wave of momentum all the way across the Atlantic and win in Canada as well.

Scott Dixon made the most of his pole position by taking the flag at the Indy 500 after taking the lead in with 28 laps to go. Once Dixon took the lead his only challenge was avoiding the slower traffic as he went by until Vitor Meira made is move with 4 laps to go and was just .4 seconds behind, but Dixon held him off taking the flag with Marco Andretti taking third. Of course the drama of the race focused around Danica Patrick who was forced out of the race after an accident with Australian Ryan Bricoe. Coming out of the pit on her way back to the track she was clipped by Briscoe and suffered too much damage to continue. Patrick showed some vigor as she was stopped by security personel on the way to the pit box of Briscoe. What actually was what impressed me the most that she actually doesn’t look like she is just happy to be there but competes like someone who has won before. If someone clipped Buddy Rice do you think he would go pay him a visit? She has actually WON an event so she can’t be called the Anna K of auto racing, and now it’s time we welcome her to the club.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Man U left standing in the end. Zenit joins fellow Russian side CSKA as champs

When all of the dust had settled, and the last clock stuck approximately 4pm on the final day of play, it was Manchester United that stood atop the EPL two points clear of the nearest challenge from Chelsea. With the goal differential being decidedly in Man U’s favor the Blues knew they needed a win at Stanford Bridge and hope that United get tripped up, but the exact opposite result happened as a desperate Chelsea club watched the clock as much as their opponent and as it became academic surrendered the tying goal just before extra time. Meanwhile Man U was putting the finishing touches on a clinching victory and an EPL title. Now the two will square off with more chips in the center of the table on Wednesday, as the scene shifts to Moscow and the Champions League Final. Will does taking home what used be known as the European Club Championship mean more than an EPL title? Is it just compensation for failing down the stretch? Does a Man U sweep display the dominance the club has shown all year?

Meanwhile at the home of Manchester City, FC Zenit was hoisting the UEFA Cup trophy with an impressive 2-0 victory over Rangers, becoming the first Russian side since CSKA Moskow to win the cup. A very partisan Rangers crowd left disappointed as the 72nd minute goal from Dennishov proved to be the difference. The final culminated the seasons for both clubs as neither was expected to get there, but which one will parlay the tournament into perpetual deep tournament appearances?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

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Chelsea continued it’s mastery of the opposition when playing at Stamford Bridge with a 3-2 extra time victory over Liverpool. It a game filled with drama, particularly because of the “away goal” rule, this semi-final was not decided well into the 110th minute. After finishing 1-1 at the end of regulation, Drogba scored his second goal of the game, Chelsea’s third, and it turned out to be needed when Babble scored from 30+ yards out late in the second extra frame.

Manchester United ensured that it will be an all English final in the Champions League final as crafty vet Paul Scholes scored from close to 35 yards away in the 14th minute to give Man U a lead they would not relinquish despite some nervous moments. They advance to Moskow 1-0 for the game and 1-0 on aggregate. United's makeshift backline of Owen Hargreaves at right-back, Rio Ferdinand and Wes Brown in the middle and Evra on the left, were immense as time and again they disrupted promising Barcelona attacks. For the first time in the 52-year history of the competition two European teams will meet in the final. The last time Man U went this far, in 1999, they scored twice in the final minutes to defeat Bayern Munich 2-1, ironically in Barcelona. Is this Man U’s year again?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

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Liverpool escaped to the semi-finals with a 4-2 win over Arsenal. Make no mistake about it despite the score, with less than 10 minutes to go they were out of the tournament all together with a 2-2 draw as Arsenal drew level. Then a the controversial penalty and the back-door score late in the game sealed the deal. The Blues on the other hand solidly took care of business vs. Fenebahce 2-0, as the staples of Ballack and Lampard came through with goals.
Man U took it’s time but scored in the 70th minute on a great header by Tevez to advance 1-0 over Roma. It was more formality than anything else as United were two-nil up from the first leg and Sir Alex Ferguson rested several players for the game. His policy may have back-fired as in the 28th minute when Alessandro Mancini went down under a Wes Brown challenge for a dubious penalty. But Daniele De Rossi skied the resulting spot-kick over to the relief of Old Trafford. From there is was all over but the singing.
A 43rd-minute strike by Yaya Toure gave Barcelona an unconvincing 1-0 win over Schalke and sealed their passage into the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League. Barca were firm favourites at the Nou Camp having won the first leg 1-0 in Germany, but the visitors gave them a real scare as they went close to levelling the tie on numerous occasions during the opening half-hour. Toure pounced just before the break to give Barca an undeserved lead and that proved to be enough for the Spanish giants as Schalke offered little resistance in the second half.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

recent stories

French President Nicolas Sarkozy suggested Tuesday that a boycott of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics was a possibility -- the first world leader to raise the prospect of punishing China over its ongoing crackdown in Tibet. If the French want to make a statement then they should boycott the Olympics in general not just show up late.

Sir Alex Ferguson and Carlos Queiroz have been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association. The charges arise from media comments made by Manchester United's management team in the aftermath of the FA Cup defeat to Portsmouth last month. Ferguson complained about the performance of match referee Martin Atkinson and was also critical of PGMO general manager Keith Hackett. Queiroz was also unhappy with Atkinson's display in the 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford, where United were not awarded an early penalty for a challenge on Cristiano Ronaldo by Sylvain Distin. Both Ferguson and Queiroz have until 17th April to respond to the charge.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

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Tim Jitloff withstood a charge by junior competitor Tommy Ford to win the national giant slalom title Tuesday at the U.S. Alpine Championships. Jitloff led after the first run down the sun-splashed Narrow Gauge trail at Sugarloaf, and then held off Ford in the second run. Jitloff also finished third in the slalom and second in the combined at the championships.

England manager Fabio Capello has confirmed that David Beckham will win his 100th international cap against France on Wednesday. The former captain missed Capello's first match as coach against Switzerland last month due to concerns over the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder's sharpness. But he has been recalled for the friendly with France in Paris and is set to become the fifth player to reach a century of appearances for England.

Former world champions Zab Judah and Shane Mosley will face off on May 31 in Las Vegas with the hope of facing either of the unbeaten welterweight champions Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Champions League Has one final entry into final 8

Arsenal succeeded in becoming the first team to beat Milan on their home turf with a 2-0 victory (2-0 on agg.) Fabergas converted from 26 yards away and when it was all over but the shouting Adebyor got a great feed from Walcott to seal the deal. So the question now, “is it finally time for AC to make some changes as age catches up with them? After a series of Bundesliga losses, Schalke clinched a 4-1 win on penalties against Porto thanks to a star performance from its young goalie Manuel Neuer. He hopes the win will boost the team's flagging morale. The win was sealed with three successful shots in the penalty shoot-out from Schalke after a 1-1 aggregate deadlock and a round of extra time.

The most successful team in Champions league history Real Madrid was shown the exit by Roma in a stunner 2-1 as a ruthless AS Roma got the win over 10-man Real Madrid at the Bernabeu to clinch their place in the Champions League quarter-finals 4-2 on aggregate. Real took the initiative for most of the game, but suffered a major setback when Portugal centre-back Pepe was sent off for picking up a second booking 19 minutes from time. Schalke beat 10-man Porto 4-1 on penalties to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time after drawing 1-1 on aggregate on Wednesday. An 86th minute Lisandro Lopez strike cancelled out Kevin Kuranyi's first-leg goal while the Germans had young goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to thank for knocking out the former champions. Chelsea cruised into the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a comprehensive 3-0 (4-0 agg) victory over Olympiacos at Stamford Bridge.Who is poised to make it to the semi finals? Talk about it here or in the World Sports chatroom or blog.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Champions League Begins Knockout Phase

Late goals from Steven Gerrard and Dirk Kuyt helped Liverpool see off 10-man Internazionale at Anfield, while Chelsea drew with Olympiakos in Greece. Chelsea will be happy enough with a 0-0 scoreline from the first leg of their last-16 meeting with Olympiakos in Piraeus. Roma came from behind to claim a 2-1 win over Real Madrid and give themselves a slender advantage to take to Spain for the second leg. Real dominated possession for long periods and took a deserved lead through an opportunist strike from Raul in the eighth minute. Schalke and Porto's UEFA Champions League tie remains on a knife-edge after the German side beat the Portuguese champions by a narrow 1-0 margin. Germany's only representatives left in the competition went in front in the fourth minute of the first-leg of the last 16 stage thanks to Kevin Kuranyi's goal.

Following day matches include:

Arsenal vs. Milan Fenerbahce vs. Sevilla
Celtic vs. Barcelona Lyon vs. Man Utd

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tiger leads at Dubai after 1st roun, Djokovic and Sharapova down under, FA cup 4th round

The Dubai Desert Classic First Round Scores
Woods -7
Dyson -5
Edberg -5
Hend -5
Jimenez -5
Kaymer -5
Levet -5
McDowell -5
Tiger Woods got 2008 off to an epic start despite rain warnings and noose covers by dominating the field at Torrey Pines by 8 strokes, his fourth straight Buick Invitational.
Djokovic becomes the first Serbian male to win a Grand Slam singles tournament with a four-set victory over unseeded Tsonga, 4-6,6-4,6-3,7-6(2). Djokovic lost only 1 set in seven matches leading up to the finals. Despite the win “Nole” will still be seeded either 3 or at best 2 in the next two Grand Slam events. Does he need to show some staying power or is he the next ‘perpetual number 1’?

On the Women's side Maria Sharapova defeated Ana Ivanovic 7-5,6-3 Already a champion at Wimbledon in 2004 and the US Open in 2006, Sharapova now has three of the four majors in her trophy cabinet heading to the French Open after adding the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup to her collection with the win.
On the pitch, lots of action in the FA Cup over the weekend, here’s a recap of the weekend scores:
Mansfield 0, Middlesbrough 2/ Arsenal 3 Newcastle 0/ Barnet 0 Bristol Rovers 1
Coventry 2 Millwall 1/ Derby 1 Preston 4/ Liverpool 5 Havant and Waterlooville 2
Oldham 0 Huddersfield 1/ Peterborough 0, West Brom 3/ Portsmouth 2 Plymouth 1 Southampton 2 Bury 0/ Watford 1 Wolverhampton 0/ Wigan 1 Chelsea 2
Manchester United 3 Tottenham 1/Hereford 1 Cardiff 2/Sheffield United 2 Man City 1

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Nadal and Jankovic upset at Australian Open

At the Australian Open Tsonga upsets Nadal(2) 6-2,6-3,6-2 to move on to the semi-finals. On the Women's side (5)Sharapova def (3)Jankovic 6-3,6-1 and (2)Ivanovic def. (9)Hantuchova 0-6,6-3,6-4
Early Scores from the Buick Invitational
Cink -3
Appleby -3
Sabbatini -3
Matteson -3
Allred -3
Woods -2
Imada -2
Mediate -2

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fa cup moves to 4th round EPL weekend schedule

Game of the Day**********************************
What: FA Cup Third Round Replay
Who: Newcastle Utd (11th EPL, 26/66 pts) v Stoke (4th Championship, 44/81 pts)
When: Wednesday 16 January, Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Where: St James' Park, Newcastle
Winners away to Arsenal in Fourth Round. Result Newcastle 4 - 1

Other Results:
Man City 1-0 West Ham
Havant and W 4-2 Swansea City
Hereford United 1-0 Tranmere Rovers
4th round up coming where things REALLY get interesting.
Barclays Premier League this weekend:
15:00 Birmingham vs Chelsea
15:00 Blackburn vs Middlesbrough
15:00 Fulham vs Arsenal
15:00 Portsmouth vs Derby
15:00 Reading vs Man Utd
15:00 Tottenham vs Sunderland
17:15 Newcastle vs Bolton

Friday, January 4, 2008

Canada beats the USA 4-1 advance to finals

Three-time defending champion Canada beat the United States 4-1 on Friday and will face Sweden in the final of the world junior hockey championships.
Five-time Grand Slam champion Martina Hingis was banned from tennis for two years and, perhaps of more significance, her reputation was tarnished Friday, when it was announced she was found guilty of testing positive for cocaine at the All England Club.
A three-person, independent tribunal flatly rejected Hingis' defense, calling it "a simple and straightforward case." She can appeal the ruling, but her manager said she won't.