I was there: Gold Cup Final

My apologies for taking two plus weeks to get around to posting these pictures – it wouldn’t be too much hyperbole to tell you that it took me that long to recover!

Let’s preface all of this by saying that if you are at all a fan of US Soccer, you should be a member of your local American Outlaws chapter. The Outlaws are a supporters group with chapters in more than 90 cities around the country.

We’re members of the AO group here in Milwaukee and mostly that means we hang out at a local soccer bar together watching games and talking US Soccer. But occasionally it means we get on a bus together and head to Chicago for things like the Gold Cup Final.
Membership is a paltry $20 a year. You get discounts for some soccer websites and travel sites as well as opportunities for advanced purchase of tickets to pretty much all USMNT and USWNT games. We’re so glad to have joined. Our local group has FB and Twitter pages and we love joining the discussion and meeting fellow soccer fans. It’s a great group and I’d advocate everyone joins.

So we bought our Gold Cup Final tickets the day they went on sale. We hedged our bets on the USMNT being there. We know that big international games only come near us (usually Chicago) every could of years. We decided that even if the USMNT didn’t make it, it would be a good time, so we were in no matter what. Using the AO advanced sale, we got our tickets first thing and had 10th row. We were stoked and then just had to sit back and enjoy the ride of the US through the qualifying stages.

We also knew this would be an easy trip for us – we wanted to get WCQ tickets in Columbus or Kansas City, but we also want to go to Europe next year, so we sort of settled on this Gold Cup final instead. In the end, I don’t feel like I settled, though. I’m sure US/Mexico will be bonkers, but I’m glad we did this. It was a good intro into the world of AO and supporters section mania.

So the morning of the game we gathered with other local AO members at our soccer bar and boarded a bus. The price of bus admission included beer, drinks and snacks. Someone did the math – there were 9.5 beers on board for each person. (Let me just say that as much as I love AO, I would have loved AO so much more when I was about 10 years younger!)

The bus trip alone was an experience. The “America playlist” was as varied as you’d imagine and somehow the song that had the most crowd participation was Phil Collins “In the Air Tonight” – there’s nothing like grown men shushing each other in anticipation of “the breakdown” and then playing the drums on the roof of the bus. It was a moment.

Chicago traffic was true to form, despite it being Sunday morning/early afternoon. The Chicago AO chapter as well as any others in town had met at a bar. The plan was to march to Soldier Field past the US Soccer Federation House, where President Sunil Gulati would address us. Thanks to traffic, we missed the bar part and had our bus driver take us straight to the Soccer House. We stood there and listened to the rest of the group march to us, which was awesome. Having got there first means that the Milwaukee chapter is featured prominently in the video of Gulati addressing the crowd (notice the cheesehead and AO Milwaukee scarves).

My pictures seem to have uploaded in all kinds of order and if you’re familiar with WordPress, you know why I’m not going to try to fix that. Sorry. It should be clear which pictures are the march to the stadium and which pictures are of the game and inside the stadium.

Continue reading

ESPN’s 9 for IX films about women by women

There are many negatives to say about the WWL, but one of the things they’ve consistently done well are their 30 for 30 films/documentaries. They’ve run the gamut from well-known topics to hidden gems and they’re always so well done. Even the most well-known of stories have been covered in a way that you didn’t feel like the topic was being re-hashed.

So when ESPN announced the 9 for IX series of films about women by women, I was pretty excited. They are touting it as from the producers of 30 for 30 and executive produced by Robin Roberts and Jane Rosenthal.

The first one debuted this week – called “Venus vs.” it was ostensibly about the fight for women’s singles players to earn an equal payout at Wimbeldon.

And I was thoroughly disappointed.

I do not follow tennis. I exist in this world, so I know who Venus Williams is and am aware of her career accomplishments. And so I was bored by this film. It was mostly a re-hash of each of her accomplishments, centered around Wimbeldon. Every so often, a screen would appear to show me that with those Wimbeldon wins, she earned less than the men’s winner. There was a few minutes about a meeting and a letter to the editor that were influential in changing the All England Club’s standards. But really, it was mostly about 45 minutes of Venus highlights. It felt like there was more talk about her hair beads than equal pay.

Again, I don’t follow tennis at all and I learned little to nothing new. And I just felt so sad that this was the intro to this film series. It left me bewildered and beyond concerned about the rest of the series.

Where I was once super-excited about the 1999 Women’s World Cup winning soccer team one, set to air August 20, I can only imagine I could probably write it word for word. And I’m afraid what kind of rhetoric about bras and abs it will include.

Maybe I’m jumping the gun and the films will redeem themselves – but you’d think they’d put one of the strongest ones at the front, to come out of the gate galloping. And if that’s the case, despite the fact that I set my DVR to record all 9 films, I’m imaging my finger will be reaching for the delete button early on.

The films were made in part to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Title IX, but man do they really fail to live up to that legacy. It seems like maybe the idea and the goal was one thing, but the execution and final product was something else altogether. I can’t help but wonder if in the interim, ESPN and it’s executives pulled back on the reins. Because I felt no excitement or empowerment from “Venus vs.”

Did anyone else watch? What was your take?

Fun Minor League stats from Opening Day (SQUEE)

Yesterday was Opening Day in Minor League Baseball, which is like Christmas Part III (after MLB Opening Day, and actual Christmas).

Image

Will Smith, strike-outer and high-fiver of many.

A big story was Jurickson Profar finally making an appearance at AAA, after skipping straight up to the Majors from AA last year. He went 2-3, which is nice, but hardly the most interesting-looking line of the night.

That honor belongs to Continue reading

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

danica

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.

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

Continue reading

TGIF: Crafty Games

On the heels of the popular Stitch ‘N Pitch promotions encouraging knitters to bring their projects to their local ballpark, we now have Pucks n’ Purls, a promotion by the AHL’s Toronto Marlies (so those of us who are staying away from the NHL can enjoy, too!)

So this morning’s musing…. what would you call a similar promotion in football? Soccer?  Basketball?  Have at it in the comments!

Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 22: Daniel Conn

Daniel Conn (5)

 

Yeah yeah, so I might be a little stuck on Australian rugby players. But can you blame me? After being introduced to Kayne Lawton, I ended up on a two hour long tangent that led me to several other um, delightful looking young fellows, and given that it’s almost Christmas, I can’t not share this. Meet Daniel Conn – model and second row forward for the Sydney Roosters. NSFW warning, though I’m hoping you’re all on holiday break by now…

Continue reading

Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 17: Eric Hosmer

Time for my homer pick! Apparently Eric Hosmer has only been mentioned on this site one time in history, and it was when he was too young for the Ladies… to officially think he was attractive. Life sucked then. But this is now, so let’s DO THIS.

More Hos

From his very brief stint in my town, in front of my camera.

Continue reading

Damn you, Bud Selig! (or why I’m mostly bitter but still a little excited abut the second Wild Card)

While I can’t deny that the advent of the second wild card has by far lengthened my interest in the baseball season, I can’t help but wonder if all this hullaballoo is worth it.

Sure, my Brewers are streaking and they might end up backing into the playoffs despite having given up on the season and trading away Zack Greinke two months ago. But once they get there, there’s a high likelihood of them being one-and-done. And even if they get through that first test, they’re not likely to go any further than that.

So then I have to wonder, is it all worth it?

Follow the jump for more Selig rants

Continue reading

On momentos and memorabilia

The uproar two weeks ago about whether or not an adult has to give away a baseball that enters the stands to a child had me thinking about collecting memorabilia.

We have a (wo)man room -  man room sounds better, but honestly, most of the stuff in there is mine…

We don’t have anything that we spent a lot of money on – I think we paid for maybe one signature in the bunch – but we do like to display some of the various things we’ve picked up at games. Aside from stadium giveaways, we have a few banners with logos on them, since I’m a major uni-nerd and we’ve framed programs and ticket stubs from some of the cooler games we’ve attended.

So this got me wondering about whether sports fans inherently become collectors of “stuff” or memorabilia merely by being fans who attend many games. Seems like every sports fan I know has at least one thing that they’re proud to own and show off.

So what are the coolest pieces that we Ladies… own?

Follow the jump to find out
Continue reading

It’s Opening Day!

Ok, so here in Milwaukee isn’t til tomorrow and MLB wants me to believe that the season opened in Japan a week ago, but I’m telling you its not the same til I’ve got a brat in one hand, a mimosa in another and I’m talking about the Brewers rotation with friends.

But as I write this, I’m watching Verlander and Lester duke it out in Detroit and I’m getting ready to head up to Appleton for Opening Day of the Brewers Single-A affiliate, The Wisconsin TimberRattlers.

Tonight will be the first of three games I’m attending in the next four days because OMGBASEBALLZ!

Continue reading

NCAA Tourney, Day 1: The Non-Upset Upset

Today’s zen meditation: when the only upset 3/4 of the way through the first day of play is the one upset everyone was predicting, is it really an upset? (Not to mention that at least one 12 seed has won a game in 23 of the last 24 tournaments, so statistics were even on VCU’s side.)

I delayed and delayed and delayed putting up the post in hopes that March Madness would break out, but despite some close games (and one burgeoning conspiracy theory involving Syracuse), the surprise of this tournament has been the lack of surprise.

Continue reading

Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 22

I waited to post this next ACoH because I didn’t want to adversely affect his last game (shouldn’t have worried) or his Heisman chances (turned out to be a non-factor), or his school’s BCS championship game chances (ditto) and I think we’re far enough away from the Fiesta Bowl that any jinxing will wear off by then.  Thus, I present for your enjoyment Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon.

Continue reading

Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 18

I took a straw poll on Twitter looking for new and exotic hotties to bring to our readers for their viewing pleasure. I’ve been stuck in the soccer rut and the football suggestions we haven’t covered in recent years make me sad.

Thankfully, a friend pointed me in the direction of NASCAR where I found the cutest little button in Kasey Kahne. Who knew such an adorable dude was hiding under all that flame-retardant gear?

I mean, he’s got all the CuteSports prerequisites: eye-crinkles, gorgeous eyes, rosy cheeks and looking yummy in scruff. A girl cannot go wrong.

The worst thing I can say is there is a serious dearth of nekky pictures of NASCAR drivers. You know you’re hurting to see some skin when you save a picture of a guy getting miked up, showing a couple of inches of abs. How are the many lady NASCAR fans not in demand of pictures of these guys shirtless?

Enough with the chatter, bring on the hottie:

Image

No really. Those eyes. Should never been hidden inside a helmet.

Follow the jump to see more where Kasey looks into your soul….

Continue reading

What if Jeter isn’t the only one with gift baskets?

Thank heavens for the New York Post. Without them, how would he know that Derek Jeter sends his single-serving ladyfriends away with gift baskets?

*not actually a true story

He used to give out t-shirts. True story.

But hey, trends spread like wildfire in baseball. By now, stars all around the game are in the post-booty gift basket game. Step into my office; I’ll show you the baskets I’ve been able to unearth so far.
Continue reading

Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 15

I seem to have crazy football jinx powers lately (did you see last week’s Saints game?), everything baseball related just reminds me of You-Know-Who and the Team He Is No Longer On (I figure after Chrismas I’ll be over it. Maybe.), and I have done most of my favorite basketball players in previous years.  A hockey ACoH it is, then!

Today: Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard

Source: JackDetroit

Continue reading

Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 14

Apparently I’ll be your resident soccer-hottie provider during the Advent Calendar of Hotness. But that’s ok by me, since the pool of potential yummitude is pretty big. They wear a lot less clothes then football players, have gorgeous thighs, tooshes and abs and since soccer is bigger in europe, the paparazzi photos abound. 

So today’s hottie is frenchman Thierry Henry. A player for the 1998 World Cup-winning French National Team, Henry played in Italy, for Premier League side Arsenal and in Spain with Barcelona. But happily for us American Ladies… he’s recently brought his smile (and talent) to Red Bull New York of the MLS.

Henry might not knock your socks off like Marco Boriello did, but there’s something about the facial parentheses he gets when he smiles that just makes him so darn adorable.

Image

Follow the jump for more of that killer smile as well as some shirtless action.

Continue reading

(Out of Order) Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 10

I completely failed to post yesterday, so pardon my out of order post. But never say we withheld a hottie from you. So a day late and a dollar short, here’s Day 10′s hottie Iker Casillas.

He’s the captain of both Real Madrid and the Spanish National Team and he’s a goalie. He’s the most capped goalkeeper in UEFA history, the most capped player in Spanish National Team history and the most capped goalkeeper in Real Madrid history – and he’s just 30 years old. 

Before we talk about how damn cute Iker is, I have to mention what a damn amazing goalie he is.

Here’s a bit of his “greatest hits:”

All those saves are sexy as hell, but he’s got the mug to back it up.

Follow the jump for more Spanish soccer studery

Continue reading

Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 6

 

I thought I’d change it up a bit and give you today’s hottie as a bit of an after-work, pre-dinner apertif.

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t try to ever-expand your knowledge of world soccer hotties, so today’s ACoH entrant is AS Roma’s Marco Boriello.

LScruff, a suit, a mischievous grin and those adorable eye crinkles? Be still my Going-To-Italy-in-May heart!

Image

Jump with me to see what else is in store…

Continue reading

Bon Voyage?!

We know that we normally take our vacation in February, but really, with the Super Bowl, that never really ends up happening anyway. And with semesters coming to a close and the holidays ramping up, your Ladies… are all a bit frazzled and over-worked. And it’s showed in our lack of posting…

So we’ve decided to take the rest of November for vacation. We hope this doesn’t inconvenience too many of you.

We will be back in December to provide you with your yearly fill of Hannukkah Hotties and the Advent Calendar of Hotness.

And we promise to re-commit ourselves to providing you with tasty man-noms, stories of amazing women athletes and the other awesomeness that has been somewhat lacking around these parts lately.

So happy (very) Early (American) Thanksgiving! Remember to wear comfortable shoes and throw some ‘bows while shopping on Black Friday. When we come back, hopefully we’ll have finally snapped out of our baseball stupor and we’ll be talking the ramped up college basketball season, college football bowls, the Hot Stove and whether my Packers are still undefeated :)

Smooches,
The Ladies…

Super Rain Delay Video Extravaganza (FUNNY!!!!)

(Will that work for a You Tube title, or do I need more exclamation points?)

As I type this Wednesday evening, the ALCS is just getting under way after a two hour delayed start; it remains to be seen how an impending storm will effect the NLCS.  Meanwhile, an unexpected 24 hour “suspension” of my evening plans has forced me to scramble for a post idea a day early.  Remembering an old baseball video we had growing up that featured (I think) Robin Yount and Paul Molitor goofing around during a rain delay, I hit YouTube hoping to find a clip.  Either no one shares my appreciation for Robin Yount, belly padded with towels, pretending to hit a Molitor “air pitch” for a home run on top of a rain soaked tarp (complete with face first slide into home), or MLB’s license police have been really earning their pay, for I came up with nothing.  Fortunately, though, I found other rain delay antics to enjoy.  But first, we have to get that tarp on the field!

Continue reading

You Watch Sports Like A Girl!

As a female sports fan, you often get challenged about your fandom. Sometimes, people try to make you “prove it” by asking you trivia questions. Or, like the NFL, MLB or NHL, they assume that you’re only in it for the rhinestones and pink jerseys. People assume whatever you’re saying can’t be right, that your stats are wrong or that you just in it for the cute boys, fun mascots or jersey colors.

Follow the jump for more…

Continue reading

Your NFL Fantasy Starts Here!

Well, it's ... not Bieber hair. (Reuters/Adam Hunger)

First there was the lockout.  Then there was preseason.  Finally, finally the NFL season actually starts playing games that count, with tonight’s Saints – Packers matchup.  Which also means, after weeks of draft preparation and stat scrutinizing, your fantasy team can finally start proving its worth (or disappointing you, if you are like a buddy of mine who says he only likes his fantasy team before the season starts).  We have a record 14 teams in Ladies… League this year, so there is much excitement and anticipation.  My team, Creepier Doll Collective (it was too good a name! it had to have a sequel!) wound up with Dreamboat himself, Tom Brady, at starting quarterback, but oddly I am much more excited to have my backup quarterback…
Continue reading

Ladies Links: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

How long will it be before we see Buster in catcher's gear again?

I blithely commented on last week’s post that I might have to do another edition of DL’d Hotties, the way this season was going.  Little did I know that it might have to be this week.  Our beloved ROY cutie Buster Posey looks to be out for who knows how long after sustaining a fractured leg and torn ligaments in a collision at the plate last night.  Already discussions have begun about whether it’s time to change the rules about blocking the plate/running into the catcher.

So that’s the bad.  And the ugly.  Which means the only links left are good, so check them out!

Continue reading

The Packers are Going to the Superbowl!!!

I’m still in that euphoric phase where I’m a little dumbfounded that this is actually happening, so forgive my ramblings!

Heading in to this season, it was clear that the Packers had the pieces to put together a championship season, but 11 players on the IR later, it seemed less likely that the team could put together a playoff run. You’ll remember, the Packers lost to the Lions this season. It did not seem promising.

But the Packers (and Packer fans) are lucky. We have Aaron Rodgers.

And this is not even meant to heap on the lovefest for A-Rodg. But seriously, how many teams can you name that went from one franchise quarterback to another? There were no lean years. There was no let down. Thanks to Ted Thompson, the Packers went from Favre to Rodgers seemlessly (at least on the field) and never had to worry about down time.

I have my issues with Packers GM Ted Thompson, but he can never get enough credit for throwing away the plan and drafting Rodgers when he was still on the board at the 24th spot in the 2005 draft.

Plenty of NFLers weighed in on Twitter while the game was happening, but what do you all think about the situation with Jay Cutler? I don’t think anyone can decide whether or not he was truly hurt, but what about the fact that he spent the rest of the game on the sideline by himself? Isn’t it standard for the starter to throw on a headset and help out the backups?

My favorite “storyline” out of the game was the interception and touchdown by nose tackle BJ Raji. Prior to Sunday’s game Raji had taken to calling himself “The Freezer,” saying Chicago had “The Fridge” and he was “The Freezer.” In scoring the TD after the INT, Raji became the heaviest player player to score a playoff touchdown. The previous holder of that “honor”? William Perry.

The play that Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers called that put Raji in that situation is one that he hadn’t called ALL YEAR.

Raji did a little wiggle after the touchdown and also “put on the championship belt,” something Aaron Rodgers has been doing after scoring touchdowns all season.

Check out the whole play and celebration

I would have rather played the Jets than the Steelers, to be honest. Roethlisberger has been as hot as Rodgers has this post season.

Of course, Rodgers’ biggest play of yesterday’s game was a touchdown-saving tackle of Brian Urlacher, so you never know what you’re going to get.

But it doesn’t matter. We have two weeks to revel in the fact that our sixth-seeded team went on the road and beat three good teams to make it to the SUPERBOWL!

The Ladies… Craft Like A Champion Challenge

We are fast approaching one of the notorious Dead Zones of the sports calendar: the two week period leading up to the Super Bowl.  The NHL and NBA are not yet at mid-season, college basketball is still a week or two away from beginning its crescendo to the tourney, and Spring Training is almost a month away.  For a vast majority of us, it’s even too cold to go outside. What’s a sports loving gal to do with all that time on her hands?

How about making a hat for a needy newborn as part of the Ladies… Craft Like A Champion Challenge?

Continue reading

Hit and Run: Waiting for Those Other Shoes

 

NOT these shoes. Or these socks, for that matter.

The wait for the BCS Championship game (seriously, January 10? and a playoff would take too much time?) may be over, but the waiting for a lot of other sports news is just getting started.  I delayed this post as long as possible hoping a couple of these things might actually go ahead and happen, but apparently the sports world does not exist to satisfy my needs as a blogger. Still, here’s a brief run down of pending news just in case you don’t want to refresh ESPN every five minutes.

Continue reading