Wisconsin Badgers Hockey! (and other Frozen Four teams, too)

This weekend 16 teams competed in the college men’s hockey regional tournaments and we now have a Frozen Four field set.

Wisconsin, Miami (OH), RIT and Boston College will be playing for the National Championship on April 8 and 10 at Ford Field in Detroit.

Follow the jump for more info on the teams

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Ladies… Bracket Bawl, Um, Brawl, Update

Did you pick West Virginia? Did you know Darryl Bryant broke his foot and is out for the rest of the tourney? Do you still like that pick?

Wow.  So, um, when I said it was the most wide-open tourney in years that was … possibly the only thing I’ve said about the tournament that’s actually been right so far.    The Ladies … Bracket Brawl, like so many other tourney pools this year, is a collection of shredded brackets.  The good news is, with everyone doing so poorly, everyone still has a chance to catch up.  Well, I don’t, but the rest of you do.  Let’s look at the standings after the first two rounds:

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Whoa, Cinderella is Hot!

So in all my basketball watching (and non-watching in protest of my Terps losing), I have noticed quite a few hotties that, until the Tourney, have been flying under the radar – specifically the boys of Northern Iowa.

Now, I try not to ogle too much seeing as this year’s seniors were born in or around 1988.  Yikes!  Babies they are.  But, hey, I’m a female, and I’ll look if I want.  You know the quote by Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused? “That’s what I love about these high school girls, man,” Matt’s character, Wooderson, waxes poetic. “I get older, they stay the same age.”  If only (most) women embraced that logic, except substitute “high school girls” for “men’s college basketball players”.

Unleash your inner cougar, or just plain ogle if you’re a youngin’, after the jump.

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Are you a “Lady” or not?

I had a Twitter conversation with a few people last night over the use of “Lady” before a team mascot name to denote women’s sports versus men’s sports at the high school and college levels.

One person made the argument that by having the “Lady” qualifier, women’s sports are being separated and there’s an implication that they aren’t on the same level as men’s.

The other person felt that getting upset over the use of “Lady” was taking political correctness too far. They said they’d never even thought about the topic until someone else brought it up and felt that there was no underlying problem with differentiating between the two.

A quick internet search didn’t pull up any history in terms of the first use of “Lady,” but I hypothesized last night that the origin may have come from newspapers needing a way to distinguish between the teams when covering the sports.

It also likely had its origin in the early part of the 20th century, when being called a “Lady” would have been flattering and possibly used as a way to feminize sports and the athletes who played them.

One of the things I most hate about the use of the “Lady” qualifier is when it creates incongruous names. Here in Milwaukee there’s a Catholic high school who’s nickname is the Popes, meaning the girls teams are known as the Lady Popes.

There are a few cases where the “Lady” moniker has gone beyond use in recaps and has become an accepted part of the team’s name. The Tennessee women’s basketball team is known as the Lady Vols.

As someone who’s had to write recaps of four games at one school in one night, I appreciate the ability to have the “Lady” qualifier at my disposal to be able to help differentiate the articles and make sure the reader knew which sport was being discussed

I also admit to being annoyed when I go to my favorite college’s website and read a headline and am not sure which team is being discussed, so in that way I would appreciate the use of “Lady.”

But those are both opinions tempered by my background in journalism. I can see the need to have a way to distinguish between the men’s and women’s sides for clarity and that tends to outweigh my feminist instinct on the matter.

I find myself not particularly bothered by the use of “Lady,” but I feel like I should be more annoyed. Normally any sort of distinction that separates women from men would get my hackles up, so I’m not sure why I’m so unmoved by this issue.

What do you all think? Acceptable usage or inappropriate separation tactic? Does the very mention of a “Lady” team make your blood boil and you start yelling “Oh hell no!” or are you as ambivalent as I am?

In Honor of Valentine’s Day… The Best Sports Bromances

H/T to Your Nation's Capital over at Japer's Rink for the image. She put all the pretty hearts around my two favorite Russians: Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin!

Sometimes there is one person that can make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  It could be a spouse or significant other.  Sometimes it’s a crush or a close friend…and sometimes it’s a teammate.  So in honor of Valentine’s Day and teammate love, I bring you some of the best sports bromances!

Follow me after the jump to see if your favorite duo made the cut!

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Hit and Run: Football, Football, and more Football!!

The NFL regular season is over. With Alabama winning the BCS National Championship game, college football won’t be back until next fall. For those of you who play fantasy football, a winner has already been decided. (Congrats to THE Blonde Bomber for winning the ladies… fantasy football!) But don’t be too sad. There is still plenty going on in the football world. There’s coaching changes in college football. New coaches in the NFL. And mostly importantly there’s the NFL playoffs!! The Cowboys remembered how to win in January (which didn’t make me very happy). The Patriots got slaughtered by the Ravens (which did make me happy). This weekend is a new set of games that will hopefully be more entertaining than the Wild Card games. (Admit it, aside from the Cards/Packers game, all those games were pretty boring.)

Congrats to Bama for beating the Longhorns 37-21 in the BCS title game.

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15 Yards for Fugliness: A Photographic Survey of Nike’s New Football Uniforms

Over the last few weekends, Nike has been previewing their latest attempt to “improve” athletic apparel on several premiere NCAA Division I (yeah, that’s what I still call it) football programs.  Now, perhaps these uniforms, designed to be ultra light and form fitting, are functionally a worthy advance, but from a sartorial viewpoint, well, my inner Tim Gunn was making this face. A lot.

A brief survey of some of Nike’s designs after the jump.

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Sports Fan Conundrum: Am I Really That Biased?

How can you hate when he loves the game so much?

A lot of controversy has surrounded a couple of my favorite athletes recently.  First, it was the Tiger Woods’ accident and, most recently, his “transgressions”.  Then it was the 2-game suspension handed to Alex Ovechkin for a knee-on-knee hit on Carolina’s Tim Gleason.  Many folks have had harsh words for both of these guys, but I’ve been trying to avoid the frenzy surrounding both incidents.

The whole thing has made me wonder whether I am blinded by sports-related bias.

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Know Your 2010 BCS Underdogs

TCU's Jerry Hughes would like a word with you.

It’s kind of weird to be an alum of a “football school” in a year when said school is …not that good at football, or at least not as good as we usually are.  For the first time in a while, no amount of computer poll weirdness, upsets, or bizarre tiebreakers are going to get my Sooners in a BCS bowl.  And we’re not the only ones in this boat (Hi, USC!).

As of this week (and for most of the season, really), the top contenders for the BCS Championship game are Texas (hate, for obvious reasons), Florida (hate, for last year), and Alabama (hate, for Nick Saban).  So I thought I’d look at the “underdogs” still in BCS contention — underdogs here not necessarily meaning a non BCS conference school, but a team that isn’t (or hasn’t been in the BCS era) a football power.  And of course, there are pictures.

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Confessions of a Frustrated Fan

Two Baltimore Heroes: Eddie & Cal

Two Baltimore Heroes: Eddie & Cal

When it comes to being a sports fan, I have ridden the roller coaster of emotions. I have been privileged to experience the ultimate highs and humbled to have experienced the extreme lows.  Recently, I’ve been forced to take inventory of my sports emotions, so to speak.

As most of you already know, I was born and raised in Baltimore in the early 80s.  My first sports love was the Baltimore Orioles.  When I was a little over 1-year-old, my O’s won the World Series.  That was the last time my beloved franchise was blessed with a title.  Of course, I don’t remember the sweet taste of victory, but I did experience it.  My mom-mom packed up my little self, hopped on a bus and took me downtown for the victory parade.  I have a photo of me in my little stroller, waving my World Series pennant with the parade passing in the background.  What I wouldn’t give to recreate that moment.  Let’s just hope I don’t have to wait until that stroller turns into a wheelchair!

Let’s not forget that until I was a sophomore in college, I had never seen a baseball game that didn’t have Cal Ripken, Jr. playing in it.  I wouldn’t say that the Orioles spoiled me, though.  We were good during my formative sports fan years, but all good things must come to an end.  Personally, I don’t think we’ll ever win until someone finally exacts revenge on that Jeffrey Maier kid. Hate him. While I have come to expect disappointment from the Orioles, I’m having a harder time coming to terms with my other teams.

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Filled with big blond guys who eat ivy and row boats

Watching the Ohio State/ USC game I was struck by two things…

1.  My beloved Buckeyes are not closers and will continue to break my heart in hyped up ball games.

2.  USC recruits Abercrombie models and turns them into NFL like football players.

While I despise USC, (thank you Washington for beating them last week) I, as do the other ladies around here, have a healthy appreciation for fine looking men.

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Payoff of paying attention to Florida State

So this crazy football game happened. If you missed it, basically Miami and Florida State went back and forth and Miami came back in the final moments and took the lead. Da U won 38-34.

I hate both teams. Despise them. Like really, the only way for me to win this game as a fan was if both teams lost. But hey, watching FSU isn’t the worst thing in the world with the guy they have under center. Christian Ponder is totally cute, right? It’s not just me? Help me decide.

Hike! Hellooooo Chris Ponder!

Hike! Hellooooo Chris Ponder!

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Theme Thursday: Holy Crap, It’s College Football Edition

This weeks theme is a toy only and should not be used as a livesaving device.

This week's theme is a toy only and should not be used as a livesaving device.

Partly because I’ve been consumed with fantasy football drafts and partly because the university at which I work a)has no football team and b)hasn’t started classes yet, the start of the college football season this week caught me a little off guard.  This round of Theme Thursday pays tribute to the scholar-athletes of the gridiron no matter how seriously they might take the first part of that title*.  No one won last round, so I’ll be taking the credit (or blame) for this trio.

*Note to NCAA: I am not implying anything about the players pictured in this post. It’s called a joke.

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Excuse me Mr. McCoy, but you seem to have a little something on your face…

coltstache

I am no expert when it comes to college football. This post has nothing to do with the athletic abilities of the Longhorns or their QB. This is all about the sweet stache Colt McCoy is sporting in the above picture. I think we all know what Colt did during the summer: tried his best to resemble a 70s porn star. All I can say is, Mission Accomplished! Supposedly the mustache was grown as some sort of team bonding. And sadly, by next week it will more than likely be gone.

OK, that stache is all sorts of awesome, and by awesome I mean creepy. Looking at that pic for too long scares me a bit. Here’s a pic of Colt when his face isn’t quite so hairy:

Sure he may look better without it but I think the stache adds character.

Sure he may look better without it but I think the stache adds character.

So tell us, which Colt do you prefer?

Ladies… Linkups: Vick-Free Edition

No Foodie Friday this week. Sorry. But since you’re here why don’t you think about having chicken tonight? Check out this recipe from one of my fave writers (and the reason I got into blogging) Catherine Newman. [Dalai Mama Dishes]

Fenway Park – it’s not just for NHL hockey! College hockey teams – mens’ and womens’ - will hit the ice outdoors in January. [ESPN] 

Given Cutesports’ recent piece on plunking, I thought this was mighty interesting. Heh. [3:10 to Joba]

I refuse to apologize for my adoration of Derek Jeter, just as I refuse to apologize for enjoying the Doobie Brothers’ “Minute By Minute” album. The title track is classic, and Michael McDonald is certainly no Michael Bolton (and that’s a good thing!) Here’s yet another reason why the Captain makes me smile. [The LoHud Yankees Blog]

Jeter aug09 in Seattle

The future Mr. Bee (Reuters)

 

The Weekend Of Great Disappointment

Poor kid.

I suppose if you’re a Red Wings, Magic, Lakers, or Serena Williams fan, then it really wasn’t a disappointment of a weekend at all. But over all, this weekend seemed to be filled with disappointment from all over the world of sports – from a 25 inning game 1 showdown to missing the mark in the NBA finals.

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The Trouble Is We’re Neglecting Football For Education!

Several years ago when my ballet career was over I decided to leave New York City and focus on one thing, College Football!  I applied to every college with a major football program on the east side of the Mississippi and, being the superstitious lady that I am, decided to go to whomever I heard from first.  It was a glorious day ordained from heaven when I became a Buckeye, but more importantly I became a part of a larger family, the NCAA College Football family.  Every Saturday we commune in bars, parking lots, homes, you name it, and from sun up till sundown, we cheer and scream, drink and eat, and live and die with every play, because, we are … college football fans!

I made a trip last weekend to my alma mater, The Ohio State University, and was immediately struck by how badly I longed for that most glorious time of year, football season!  The first time I ever set foot in the Horseshoe on gameday was one I will never forget;  a sea of scarlet and grey, palpable excitement, beer flowing like wine, making new friends every stumble along the way, The Best Damn Band In The Land playing “Hang on Sloopy,” and thousands of people there for one purpose: to cheer our team to victory.  There is nothing in the world like it, and there is nothing like college football season!  So here they are ladies and gents, my top ten reasons I am so desperately wishing it was football season, in no particular order…

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I Was There: Cal State Fullerton Hits Lots Of Home Runs

(Editor’s note: This was supposed to go up on the weekend. This is not your Monday morning post. Reschedule — or don’t — accordingly.)

And no, that title’s not an innuendo, because they beat my Bruins, dammit, and I don’t want to hear a word about how epically hard they pounded the ball in the first few innings. Observe:

Score by Innings                      R  H  E
---------------------------------------------
Cal State Fullerton. 021 020 000 1 -  6  9  0
UCLA................ 000 000 500 0 -  5 10  0
---------------------------------------------

So there you have it. Their first 5 runs were scored by the longball (which, by the way, some chicks certainly do NOT dig), and their last one scored on a sac fly. Here’s how that last run went down.

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Congratulations, Tar Heels and Huskies ! Next year, let’s make it interesting.

Through the hoop.  Thats ...different, Geno.

Through the hoop. That's ...different, Geno.

And so, with Tuesday night’s rout of Louisville, the NCAA basketball season comes to a close with the inevitable UConn women’s victory.  Congratulations to the Huskies, both for winning the tournament and making this year’s women’s tournament the most boring postseason event ever, at least in terms of its ultimate conclusion.

But really, it’s not like the men’s tournament was much better.  the North Carolina men’s championship was certainly not the foregone conclusion the UConn women’s was — and did not come with an undefeated regular season, either — but once their respective tournaments began, both Tarheels and Huskies ripped through their brackets in a fairly similar manner.  Look:

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Hump Day Hottie: Sidney Ponson

The Royals gave me a very happy St. Patrick’s Day by signing Sir Sidney Ponson (yes, Sir! He was knighted in his native Aruba). They were impressed with his showing for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, and might now be putting him in the KC Opening Day rotation.Yes, please.

Grrr, baby!

Grrr, baby!

LOTS more after the jump.

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Were Baaaacckkkk!

Today is the second day in March. February, the most dreaded of all months (sportswise) has officially ended. And while Spring is on the horizon, the weather in the Northeast (and even in the South) refuses to cooperate and has mean-spiritedly dumped inches of snow all over the place.  However, we here at the Ladies… have piled on our parkas and snowboots and will trudge through the slush to give you what you have all been missing: US!

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College Basketball: Hotties in The Shadows

While I was home over Christmas, I finally got to see my Sooner men play a few games (of course I got to see the loss, but whatever) and I kind of fell in love with Willie Warren, our freshman guard.  Willie was a big recruit in his own right, but Blake Griffin mania has a tendency to make his teammates disappear into the background.  So I thought I’d spend this post giving a little love to some of the guys that have to share their court with a budding NBA lottery pick.

Just to make things easier, I used the latest projected NBA draft rankings at NBAdraft.net, which are as follows:

  1. Blake Griffin, OU
  2. Hasheem Thabeet, UConn
  3. James Harden, Arizona State
  4. Jordan Hill, Arizona

The teammates playing in the metaphorical shadows, after the jump.

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Hit and Run: Basketball breaks my heart, so I find solace in football…

I know how you feel, Roy. I know how you feel...

This has been a rough week for me as a sports fan. I have found myself in the odd position of having to defend my team, not only to others but to myself. I bitched all pre-season about how much I hated all the rankings. Too many expectations only means you crash harder when you inevitably slip from that lofty perch. I knew my team wouldn’t go undefeated; we didn’t last year and we are essentially the same team. But there is still nothing harder than watching the boys you love lose, and then LOSE AGAIN!!! (And then to watch that first team who beat you go on and lose to HARVARD. Harvard. I didn’t even know the Ivy’s had basketball!) There is also nothing worse than to kinda hate some of the members of your team. What was that Wayne Ellington? You thought you could go pro? How ’bout you jack up not one, not two, but THREE airballs?? That’s what they do in the pros, right? Or perhaps Ty Lawson. So called best point guard in all the land. Maybe you should have more points that turnovers in the first half. Sometimes that helps. Or maybe you should have atleast some ability to guard your man.  Is keeping him from scoring 30+ points unreasonable? Is that too much to ask? Thank the sweet baby Jesus for Danny Green. And Tyler Hansbrough’s first half effort. Ugh. I haven’t even watched Sportscenter this week because I can’t bear to hear all the shit they are saying. It makes me kind of sick.

I’m sure there are people revelling in my despair.

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Congrats, Florida. Let the Moping Commence.

Last Sunday, I was in the Tulsa airport preparing to fly back East, when I noticed the airport bookstore (which is locally owned), already had a sign out next to their OU merchandise reading “Congratulations Sooners! 2009 National Championship.”  And that’s pretty much when I knew OU was doomed.  (OK, I’m exaggerating.  Kind of.)

Anyway, congratulations Florida, and also to OU for a thrilling season (with two notable exceptions, obviously).  Now I will proceed to mope for the next 24 hours or so.  I originally thought perhaps I’d get some solace from posting some hot athlete pictures, but the problem with that plan is that hot athletes remind me of sports which reminds me of the game.  So I hope you all don’t mind if I invite my Imaginary TV Boyfriend, Lee Pace, to mope (hotly) along with me.

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Our Year End Hump Day Hottie Spectacular!

Chances are you’ll be reading this in 2009. That’s okay. It’s a holiday and you were preparing yourself for the New Year’s Eve celebrations. But if you are reading this in 2008 then let’s go through a review of what happened this year. Specifically what happened every Wednesday of this year. Yes, we’re going to be taking a look back at the Hump Day Hotties that have graced our blog in the ’08. Why? Because how could you not want to take a trip down memory lane and remember Ryan Lochte?

So let’s go back through the year that was and enjoy our hotties one more time before we sing “Auld Lang Syne.” And if you’re reading this in 2009, remember when Lochte was so smoking in 2008 he made the Ladies… HDH? Yeah, that was awesome.

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The Ladies… Gift Lists

Chances are if you’re reading this blog then you are a sports-minded lady. Do you know what to ask for from your family and/or friends? Maybe you have a certain special female  in your life that love sports more than you? Do you know where to start in purchasing her the perfect gift this holiday season?

I thought not. So take a gander at the Ladies… gift lists and get inspired. It’s not all tickets. Someone wants this.

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Reasons to Live on the Couch This Weekend (Like You Need One)

I am a terrible procrastinator, especially when the holidays come around.  I have unopened boxes of Christmas cards that have been sitting around my apartment for two years because I put off doing them until it’s late enough in December that I “save” them for “next year.”

So of course, since we’re only going into the second official holiday shopping weekend, I am not planning on doing any shopping (or card addressing).  I am planning on watching college football.  Lots and lots of college football.

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Annual ACC-Big Ten Bloodbath

Why do we still play this?

Why do we still play this?

It’s the week after Thanksgiving.  Which  means it’s time to start thinking about Christmas presents, the radio stations have all started playing Christmas music and it’s time again for the annual castrating of the Big Ten men’s basketball teams by the juggarnaut that is the ACC.

Last night, #1 UNC beat #13 Michigan State by 35. THIRTY FIVE!  A game between two top-15 ranked teams should not be that much of a beatdown.  AND they were AT Michigan State.

Wake Forest took it to Indiana to the tune of 25.  Maryland also beat Michigan.

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I Was There: Bedlam Edition

Even the family dog roots for the other team.

Even the family dog roots for the other team.

This past Saturday, I was lucky enough to get a ticket to the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State football game.  This was actually my first chance to see a Bedlam game in person, and while I may have left a happy (and relieved) Sooner, the majority of my Cowboy faithful family were less pleased. Potential BCS and Big XII South titles be damned — this was about a year’s worth of family bragging rights.

Pictures of my trip into enemy territory, after the jump.

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