Ryan Lochte: Reality Star

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As most of our readers know, Ryan Lochte has been a sort of a Ladies… mascot over the years. When his star power blew up last summer, it felt like one of our own had finally done good for himself. Obviously, we were pretty excited when it was announced that Ryan would appear in his own reality show on E! (natch). Lochte live in our living room every week? Where do we sign up?

While Ryan is lovely to look at, he’s not that great to listen to. He says really dumb things that make for great television/Internet meme material. So follow me after the jump for the best of What Would Ryan Lochte Do?

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Supporting women’s athletics, not just paying lip service (Go Badger Women’s Hockey!)

I’m absolutely loving this column Val Ackerman is doing over at ESPNW where she is speaking to prominent male sports executives about the future of women’s sports. It’s at once fascinating, heartening and upsetting. Her most recent is with recent Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke. Burke is probably best known around these parts for his no bigotry stance – he’s one of the few high-level executives out there consistently saying all the right things about why skin color, sexual orientation and really anything other than your athletic ability shouldn’t matter on the playing field.

Ackerman talks to Burke about the rapid growth of women’s hockey. I’m a huge women’s hockey fan and supporter and this was the first I’d heard that Burke was, as well, so I’m always happy to hear that high level men’s execs are also behind the women. I started wanting to break down some of the things Burke says, but ultimately, this quote of his is really what it comes down to for me:

Don’t just say you support Title IX, don’t just say you support women’s athletics; buy a ticket, bring your family. Buy a sponsorship on a team, put some money behind this thing, help it grow. If you really believe in women’s sports, there’s an opportunity to show it in a very direct way. Fans vote with their feet. Show up at a game.

– Brian Burke

I can’t stress enough how important this is and I’m going to go ahead and call each and every one of your out. When was the last time you went to a women’s college or professional game? Do you donate to your local college’s scholarship programs? Buy season tickets? Go to a game? Even at the high school level? Do you support fund raisers or pay admission?

If you do, do you drag your friends along? Do you extol the virtues of your favorite game or team? Do you introduce your friends and family to a sport or team they’re not familiar with and get them as excited about it as you are? Do you take your sister or niece or grandkid to as many different sports as you can and foster their love in a way that we didn’t get when we were little?

Because I didn’t used to do that and this year I made a concerted effort to change that. I’ve always been a hugely vocal supporter of Wisconsin women’s hockey, but I’d never put my money where my mouth was before now.

Follow the jump for more on Badger women’s hockey, Team USA and $5 world class talent
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Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 19: Carlos Bocanegra

So I’ve given you a bit of Boca in the past, so I won’t even lie that this post didn’t just start out as an excuse to post these spectacular pics from this year’s ESPN Body Issue…

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boca head

boca kick

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But the I realized there’s so much more to share with you!

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Hit and Run: London is for the Ladies

We knew, going in, that the London Olympics would be the first to feature female athletes from every participating country.  We knew that there were more women than men on both the US Olympic team and at the Olympics overall.  But Thursday, with gold medal matches in both women’s football and water polo, and the first ever gold medals awarded in women’s boxing, seemed even more special for women’s sports (particularly if you happen to be a fan of the US).  The 1918 Hartlepool Expansion Ladies Football Team* up there would no doubt approve.

* Photo via The Public Domain Project, who have a great post of old team photos.

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Ryan Lochte has Michael Phelps’ number when really, he should have ours.

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Lochte and Phelps in Shanghai in 2011. They look so happy and non-competitive here. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

As if the London Games weren’t already worth watching, we can now happily set our PVRs for fantastic swimming showdowns between bjillion-time medallist Michael Phelps and our new official mascot since Pat Burrell’s retirement, Ryan Lochte. Hot-chte edged Phelps in the 400-meter individual medley Monday night at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska (what up, Miss Minda!), finishing with a time of 4:07.06. Phelps strolled in at 4:07.89. Tell me this battle isn’t going to be fun to watch! Is there a Canadian in this yet? I can honestly say I don’t care. But only this time.

ESPN’s video gallery which accompanies this story includes the feature Ryan vs. Ryan. I’m not sure what was more impressive: his workout regime or his slow-mo dive into the pool.

31 days until the 2012 Summer Games, you guys!

One Step Closer to the Olympics (U.S. Edition)

Trey Hardee, Shotput (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

With just over a month to go before the Olympics, countries around the world have begun selecting their teams. This week happens to be both the US Track and Field and the US Diving Trials (probably on NBC, albeit severely edited, this weekend), which are two of my favorite pre-Olympic events: Track and Field because I was raised by a track geek, and diving because it’s just really cool to watch, and you always know when someone REALLY screws up.

Pictures of striving Olympic hopefuls, and a lecture to the wire service caption writers, after the jump.

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Ladies Links: T-Minus 2 Months Edition

There are less than 2 months until the London Olympics people: today’s links start with another great slideshow of Team USA (distance runner Barnard Legat is just a sample).  Hat tip to The Hairpin, whose staff are clearly our Olympic soulmates.

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You Go, Girl: Janet Evans

Evans in 1988

In 1988, I started my public career as a sports geek by standing up in front of my entire elementary school and correctly volunteering that the summer Olympics would be held in Seoul, South Korea.  For this feat, I won an official US Swim Team swim cap.

Barely old enough to be one of my babysitters, Janet Evans went to Seoul and won three gold medals.

Now I’m all grown up (I’m actually older than my parents were in ’88) and looking forward to a summer of geeking out about the London Olympics all over the Internet.  Janet Evans hasn’t changed much either: at 40, she’s qualified for this summer’s US Olympic Trials after an unprecedented 14 year hiatus from swimming.

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Hump Day (Retired) Hottie: Mike Modano

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On a day when everyone voiced their displeasure over Facebook’s new changes, NHL unrestricted free agent Mike Modano used the platform to announce his retirement after 21 seasons. Obviously, sports reporters had little trouble finding his update in the new-style news feed.

Drafted by Minnesota in the 1988 NHL Draft, Modano spent most of his season with the (North) Stars in Minnesota and Dallas, where he won his only Stanley Cup in 1999. The seven-time All Star finished his career last year with the Detroit Red Wings, but was limited to just 15 points over 40 games on account of injuries. He was just one game shy of having played 1,500 NHL games.

Modano leaves behind an amazing legacy as the all-time top scoring U.S.-born player in goals and assists (561 and 813 respectively) and as a silver medalist for Team USA in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. I always admired him for his quiet leadership and the fact that he chose to play for as long as he did in a non-traditional hockey market like Dallas.

Join me after the jump for a little tribute to Mike, complete with a musical salute from a band that also decided to “retire” today.

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Hit and Run: I Really Gotta Run Edition

What with the liveblogging early this week, and an unexpected trip out of town this weekend, I’ve barely had time to catch my breath.  Here’s a couple of quick, fun pictures before I get up and resume packing.

Boris Struebel/Getty Images

The US Women are in the World Cup final, and Abby Wambach has another beautiful header goal. The Final is Sunday right when I’ll be heading back from my trip, but I’ll be with them in spirit.

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Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 20

(Photo: Getty Images)

Here’s a nice change from football and hockey players: US swimmer and three-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte, who won gold in the Mens’ 200 metre backstroke final at the FINA Short Course Swimming World Championship in Dubai this past weekend. It wasn’t the only individual race he won, and he just may have set a few records and raised the hype bar a little for London in 2012. But for now, let’s focus on the present. Let’s see that medal, Ryan…

(Photo: AP)

Now if that smile doesn’t take the edge off your holiday stress, nothing will.

It’s about time!

Angela James

It’s been a big week for firsts involving women, and you can be forgiven if the first one that comes to mind involves Australia’s new prime minister. This hockey fan, however, was thrilled to learn that the Hockey Hall of Fame has selected two outstanding female players: Cammi Granato and Angela James.

We at Ladies… say “It’s about damn time!” Continue reading

This post brought to you by the letter ‘E.’

As in, Group E. Oh, yes. It’s time for another installment of ‘Seriously, there’s a reason folks the world over love the World Cup, and it ain’t all about the footwork.’

But before we start with the glorious, glorious eye candy, we just have to ask, since this is going live before the (unholy early) 7 AM EST Korea Republic v. Greece match: Does anyone feel like, you know, winning a World Cup match? Just saying. Ties are like kissing your sister. Or, well, brother, in our case.

Anyway, the hotness.

The Netherlands own Robin Van Persie.

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World Cup Hotties: Group C

This being a North American-centric blog, there’s going to be a lot of focus on this group.  But let’s start with the two lesser-known rosters first.

No, wait: first go sign up for the Ladies… World Cup Pick’Em Challenge over here. (The password is “ladies”.) Now, let’s talk soccer hotties.

Slovenia has a nice collection of hotties, particularly if you’re into rangy white Europeans:

Boran Jokic

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More fun than Farmville: Ladies… on Facebook and World Cup Bracket!

World Cup 2010,Team USA

Just look at those smiling faces! Beautiful Carlos Bocanegra and some beautiful young soccer fans. (AP Photo)

There is more of us to love: we now have our own Facebook page. Just hit that “Like” button for additional access to our daily drooling, swooning, snark and overall awesomeosity. And because we dig our readers, you’re welcome to show us some love on our Wall or chime in on the Discussion Boards. It’s a bit bare at the moment, but you will find Games Mistress’s note on The Ladies…World Cup Pick ‘Em Challenge (the password, as always, is “ladies”) Trust us – we’ll fill it up with fun stuff quickly.

If FB is not your thing, remember you can still follow us on Twitter.

Holy Patriotism, Batman!

The Olympics can bring out the best and worst of one’s allegiances to their country.  I’ve never found myself hating on countries like Germany and South Korea in the past, but make them the USA’s latest competition, and I loathe them.  I’ve also encountered another sort of conundrum.  Being a huge hockey fan, I have allegiances to certain players because they play for my favorite team.  None of the players that I love play for Team USA.  Uh-oh!

So after the jump experience my patriotic conundrum.  Continue reading

Hump Day Hottie: Team USA

Since I’m snowed in today, I have snow on the brain.  And, as most of you know, I usually have hockey on the brain.  So why not show you a glimpse of some Team USA Hockey hotties?  So follow me after the jump for some hotties to watch for in the next coming weeks!

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I was there: US Olympic Hockey

Last week, the University of Wisconsin men’s and women’s hockey teams hosted Team USA teams.

On Tuesday, January 5, the women played the US Olympic Team as part of Team USA’s Qwest Tour, a round of warm-up games heading into the Olympics.

The following Saturday, the men hosted the U-18 team.

I was lucky enough to be at both games.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, the US Men’s National Team.

I love the smell of nationalism in the morning.

I love the smell of nationalism in the morning.

I want to paint you a little picture, readers. You see, for the last eight years or so, I’ve spent Saturday mornings waking up, rolling downstairs, and flipping on Fox Soccer to watch the day’s matches while my husband made snide comments about soccer being lame and boring.

Tonight? My husband not only voluntarily turned on the Gold Cup SemiFinals, but I’m a little concerned he may actually lose his voice screaming in support of the US Men’s National Team in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Finals on Sunday. My victory is nearly complete. As soon as he picks a Premiere League team to root for (please, Jesus, not Chelsea), I can start openly celebrating his utter conversion.

That’s beside the point, dear readers. The point is that after many, many years and many, many attempts, soccer may just be on the verge of arriving in the US. Oh, sure, it’s because the men’s team is playing incredibly well right now, but I’ll take it.

I think it’s high time the Ladies… met the US Men’s National Team. Join me, after the jump, won’t you?

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Happy Fourth of July from the Ladies…

It’s that time of years, folks, when we celebrate the birth of America by stuffing our faces full of barbecue and ogling explosions in the sky.

We here at Ladies…have our own hot date with some marching bands and sparklers. (Not at the same time, kids. Practice safe parading.) As such, we’re taking a bit of a break to celebrate America, apple pie, moms and baseball.

And good looking men doing delightful things involving sports.

Happy Birthday, America. Here, have Mike Rowe singing the National Anthem at a Bowie BaySox game.

America the Beautiful: Hockey Players Edition

USA! USA! USA!

USA! USA! USA!

I was watching the Minnesota Wild/Columbus Blue Jackets game on Saturday night, and the announcer commented that defenseman Eric Reitz was the only United States born player for the Wild (incidentally, the Blue Jackets only have two U.S. players on their roster). So I stopped to think, and realized just how few U.S. born players there are in the NHL. I hadn’t really considered it, but when pressed I couldn’t come up with many U.S. born players for any team off the top of my head. So I started checking, and found this article from about a year ago.

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The Official Unofficial Opening Ceremonies Bingo Game

One of my first sports related memories is of watching the Olympic torch running through the streets of Los Angeles just prior to the 1984 Opening Ceremonies. (Fun Fact: The final torch bearer that year was Rafer Johnson; my brothers and I would later fight over who got to be him whenever we played my dad’s old Sports Illustrated Decathalon game. Well him and Jim Thorpe, who was like the Tecmo Bowl Bo Jackson of that game.)

Anyway, since then I have managed to catch at least part, if not all, of the Opening Ceremonies of every Summer Games and most of the Winter Ones. However, thanks to the long tape delay and internet coverage of several of the last few games, the Opening Ceremonies lack some of the suspense they once had. Hell, by the time most of you read this we’ll all know who lit the torch for the Beijing Games, what the torch looked like, and if anyone passed out from the smog during the Parade of Nations. So, how do those of us who can’t/won’t be available at 8 am to watch the live internet feed liven up 3 + hours of Bob Costas’s running commentary? Opening Ceremonies Bingo!
Red Bingo Card
Green Bingo Card
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Who To Watch: USA

Chitown Chick and I are going to interrupt your regularly scheduled Hump Day Hottie post for more Olympic goodness. CC and I were talking last week and we thought doing a watch list of all the athletes the general public haven’t heard about would be fun. We’re going to start off with the USofA (CC will be bringing you the world). Everyone knows about the US Men’s basketball team, Michael Phelps, and Ladies… favorite Ryan Lochte. And that’s fine and good. But do you know of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss? They’re rowers who finished second at the Olympic trials earlier this year and won gold at the Pan American Games in 2007.

So let’s look at a few more athletes the United States is sending who you should be getting up early and watching before heading out to work. Or your daily three hour “writing” time at Starbucks. Not that I would know anything about that type of stuff. Yeah.

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Hump Day Hottie: USA! USA! USA!

It is your duty, as a patriotic American, to celebrate the glorious Fourth by checking out hottie American athletes in all their USA-licious best. Fortunately for you, TheStarterWife and I have done all the leg work- and you only have to sit back, scroll and enjoy. Land of plenty, indeed. HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!

(Updated for Joey Chestnut goodness!)


Huston Street

Tons more lovely red-white-and-blue goodies after the jump…

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