TGIF: Out of the Office Edition

My Friday was technically Wednesday this week – I am somewhere on the Gulf Coast as you read this, so no long post this Friday. However, it’s also the weekend of the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference – which means a bunch of ESPN and other sports world and personalities are out of the office as well. Which panel interests you most?
The discussion about firing coaches (with Stan VanGundy and Brian Burke!) cleverly titled “It’s Not You It’s Me”? The Lance Armstrong discussion (not with the actual Lance)? The surrealism of Mark Cuban and Nate Silver in the same room? Also, how long until ESPN starts streaming this on ESPN3?

Danica Patrick and Lauren Silberman: Why Even Small Firsts Are Still Important

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Danica Patrick has been around, even in NASCAR driver form, for a while now, and if you are like me you’ve gotten used to rolling your eyes at whatever dumb thing the 13 year old boys who run Go Daddy’s marketing department are making her do now and moving on.  So unless you’re a diehard NASCAR fan, you might have missed that this week Danica became the first female driver to ever capture the Daytona 500 pole.

Unless you are a NFL junkie (and I mean a serious, I-am-dvring-the-scouting-combine-footage-on-NFL-Network junkie), you may have also missed that next weekend Lauren Silberman will become the first woman to attend an NFL regional scouting combine as a prospective draftee.

In the context of the wins-oriented sports world, these are not mind-blowing achievements.  No one has won Daytona from the pole in over a decade, and anyone meeting the NFL’s general eligibility requirements (and ponying up the registration fee) can attend a regional level combine (it’s the Draft Combine, which is invitation only, that gets all the media coverage, usually).

But tell the little girls suddenly swarming Daytona that Danica’s pole doesn’t really matter.  Tell the eleven year old in Philadelphia who still is being forbidden to play football solely because of her gender that the best football league in the world accepting a woman’s application to enter their scouting process as if she was any other player is no big deal.  Just think for one minute about SportsCenter Sunday night ending with the traditional celebratory winner and what that looks like if it’s Danica amid the confetti. Think about watching Fox’s Game of the Week on Sunday, and hearing Joe Buck casually announce “Silberman out to attempt the field goal.”  We may be a long way from that actually happening (particularly the latter), but the path to both of those endings just got a little bit smoother.  And that’s something to celebrate.

Saturday Snap Poll: Court Rushing Ettiquette

Today’s Bedlam (Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma) basketball game was yet another classic, an overtime win for 17th ranked OSU vs. their unranked cross-state rivals. Half of Games Mistress’s family was in attendance. Then this happened:

Bedlamcourtrushing.jpg

Up to the minute phone photo courtesy GM’s mom.

Now, the way I understand the unwritten rules of court rushing, non-upset related court rushing is only permitted if :

  • There is a game-winning buzzer beater (OSU clinched this win with 18 seconds remaining)
  • It is the end of a long-standing losing streak to the other team (OU did win the previous meeting this season, but OSU has won this game at home four years in a row)
  • It clinches a championship. (This game did not.)

To be fair, my mom and brother, both OSU fans, expressed some dismay over the court rushing (though my mom justified it because “it was a rivalry game and it was so close.”)  It should also be noted that this is the first season in quite some time that OSU’s men’s basketball team has been this good.  But, what do you think?

TGIF: Presidents’ Day Weekend Edition

Did you know the Washington Nationals have traditionally held Racing President auditions on Presidents’ Day?  This year, however, auditions are postponed a week so fan favorite Teddy Roosevelt and new racer William Howard Taft can race to Mount Rushmore.  They start today — follow all the action on the Nats Twitter feed! (That’s totally what you wanted to do this weekend, right?)

Sports ‘N Crafts: Mardi Gras Beads Makeover

There are a number of reasons to start our new (and hopefully, semi-regular) feature on sports themed crafts with today’s project.  For one, it is nearly Mardi Gras (and our own CuteSports is in New Orleans as you read this!). For another, the beads in this project belong to my oft-mentioned Saints fan boyfriend, and today is his birthday.  (Don’t worry, babe, I got you real presents, not just a blog post.)

As you can see, my boyfriend’s lucky Saints beads, which he wears for every game, are a little worse for wear after several seasons of nervous fingering.beadsbefore

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The Best Super Bowl Party (Memories) Ever

There apparently is no such thing as a Super Bowl party image that looks natural and does not feature food.

There apparently is no such thing as a Super Bowl party image that looks natural and does not feature food.

You’ve probably heard before that the Super Bowl is the biggest gambling day of the year.  I started the week thinking all us Ladies would talk about our best/worst Super Bowl bets, but as it turns out, I am the only one who has any. (One. I have one.  And it’s only because I have friends who are professional poker players who LOVE betting games.)

However, the Super Bowl is also one of the biggest party days of the year.  Even churches have Super Bowl parties, so you do not have to have any particular vices to have a good Super Bowl party story (though it helps). Join us, as we discuss some of our favorite memories of Super Bowl past. And some minor betting.

Raven: I’ve been betting on the Super Bowl since I was a small child. My parents’ friends have parties every year and they always do box pools. Of course, I’ve never won, but when my sister was born, she won three straight years. And she was a baby. She has all the luck.

As far as best party, I’m hoping this year turns out to be the best. The Ravens aren’t in the Super Bowl every year, so it’s kinda special when they are. The last time they were in the Super Bowl was probably the worst Super Bowl party I ever attended. I was away at school, living in an all girls dorm and there was only one other girl in my building who cared about the Ravens and/or football. We took over the lounge, bought snacks and food and had our own lonely party. Eventually some other girls joined us when they realized that we weren’t going to let them watch whatever show they wanted to watch in the lounge. It was sad.

Buffalita: Okay, for betting stories, I unfortunately don’t have anything good that I can think of besides betting myself in my head for four years as a little kid that the Bills could and would actually pull off a win. Obviously I lost those bets.

Bee: My Super Bowl parties are quiet affairs – not enough good friends who like NFL football. That or they’re Patriots fans. My most memorable gathering would have been Super Bowl 32 (Favre’s Packers vs. Elway’s Broncos), in my old one-bedroom apartment. One friend/co-worker came over with a slice of processed cheese on his ball cap. Literally and figuratively cheesy. Meanwhile my bestie, deciding she would cheer for the Denver Broncos, made her own GO BRONCOS flag by defacing an old tabletop provincial flag with GO BRONCOS in black Sharpie, which I realize is at the very least bad protocol if not illegal. But she’s awesome so don’t you dare hold anything against her! 16 years later I think she still has it. Otherwise, not much else to report. I forgot the halftime show was that tribute to Motown with Boyz II Men (was it good? I think I’ve mentally blocked all pre-Wardrobe Malfunction halftime shows.)

The Packers lost and Elway got his stupid Championship (oh, let’s be honest – he deserved it!) and the chili was good. Fun times!

Games Mistress: My one and only Super Bowl betting story happened four years ago, featuring the Cardinals vs. the Steelers.  Now I should preface this by saying, I only gamble at my friend’s Super Bowl parties.  He always has one of those score grids with a buy-in of $5 a box, and I would bring $20 with me every year on the assumption that I’d never see that money again.

I remember that Super Bowl as being kind of dull — possibly because other than one half-hearted Pittsburgh native (who wasn’t otherwise really a sports fan), no one at the party had much of an interest in either team.  So I got REALLY into tracking my boxes.  Unfortunately, I had a bunch of strange numbers (I think at least one involved a 5), and my only decent set (Steelers 7, Cardinals 3) seemed increasingly unlikely the way the score was progressing.  In fact, all three of the mini-prizes awarded after each quarter went to the host’s brother, who had bought something like ten boxes and wasn’t even there.  So I resigned myself to it not being my year, right about as the Cardinals started showing signs of life, scoring 16 unanswered points, including an odd, rare safety on a Pittsburgh holding penalty in the end zone.  Making an otherwise pedestrian 27-21 final score 27-23.

It wasn’t a lot of money, but I do still have the IKEA dresser and desk chair the winnings bought me.

What are your favorite Super Bowl party/betting stories?  Any big plans for Sunday?