Friday Miscellanea

Anthony Recker, for no particular reason.

Anthony Recker, for no particular reason.

I’m doing the sportswriter-mailing-it-in impression today and writing a post of snippets about unrelated sports things.  It has been an exhausting week.

  • Must read: this graphic essay on The Toast about why sports are awesome. Will be particularly enjoyable for our sizeable hockey fan contingent.
  • Also must read: our own Nicole’s article about the WWII Girls Baseball Living History League, which she recently joined. I am really, really bad at playing baseball, but if there was a New York branch of this I’d endure the humiliation of being unable to catch or hit (I can throw semi-okay) to participate.
  • Somewhat related to baseball history: Baseball Nation’s been photoshopping photos of new-ish stadiums to look like retro postcards. They did Busch III today, but I think my favorite so far is Citizens Bank Park.
  • NYC (along with I think, LA and Dallas?) Time Warner customers are currently enduring a standoff between TW and CBS. CBS is trying to push their luck with ads pointing out that TW customers will be unable to watch the PGA Championship this weekend or their preseason football coverage. Unfortunately for them, it’s hard to threaten “no NFL” coverage when LA has no team and the NYC team in question is the Jets.
  • Also, I refuse to watch pro football before Labor Day, as it is prime baseball season. The Cards haven’t had an off day in almost three weeks and I have at least checked in on every single game (which of course means they started losing a bunch). My boyfriend is streaming the Saints game right now and I’m pointedly not looking at the TV. Related: this might be why I’m usually not prepared for the fantasy football draft.
  • Peanuts and The Simpsons: both good at baseball math. I appreciate this, as I love both of these cultural whatevers, and the improbability of the football scenes in Friday Night Lights still distracts me from the overall awesomeness of the show.
  • Some of you know that I’ve been basically teaching my boyfriend to love baseball during the course of our relationship (for four years as of this weekend – Happy Anniversary, babe!). This week, while watching the Dodgers-Cards series, the instant Jerry Hairston came up to bat, he immediately identified him as “that guy I hate.” While with the Brewers, Jerry’s habit of stepping out of the box after every pitch drew particular ire from my boyfriend (and he saw it a lot, as this occurred during one of the seasons where the Brewers and Cards slugged it out for the division title and then played a playoff series). However, I believe this is the first recorded instance of my boyfriend recognizing a player who was not formerly with St. Louis or New York after he changed teams, without some prompting on my part. Poor Jerry.

Happy Friday!

Manning Brothers Get Us Ready For Football In The Most Hilarious Way Possible

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Not that we’re shilling for Direct TV, but you have to give the company props for pulling together this hilarious promotion for NFL Sunday Ticket that has already gathered almost two million hits as of this posting.

We’ve witnessed Peyton’s comedic chops on various occasions, but I have to admit I didn’t know Eli had this in him. Case in point, this line: “It’s like the milk is like football, and your blouse is the PHONE.”

I…I can’t even.

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.

Jetting Away: Bart Scott

It’s with a somewhat heavy heart that I take a moment to reflect on the release of linebacker Bart Scott of the New York Jets. His last few seasons were marred by injury and discontent, but we’ll always remember him for this epic interview following the Jets’ pounding of the Pats in the 2010 divisional playoffs:

And so another step has been taken as the Jets try to distant themselves from that dumpster fire of a 2012 season. But take heart, Bart Scott fans: there’s a chance he may land with Buffalita’s Bills.

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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Winning it All: The Baltimore Ravens are World Champs

joe-flacco-super-bowlIt’s been awhile since one of my favorite teams won it all, and I’ve missed the feeling. I’ve been on a high since the Ravens beat Denver last month thanks to Jacoby Jones’ “Mile High Miracle,” and I’m not about to come down. The momentum from that game carried the Ravens into Foxborough, 9 point underdogs for the second week in a row. The Patriots did not stand a chance.

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Super Bowl Ad Roundup!

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So in case you didn’t hear, the Baltimore Ravens took the Super Bowl XLVII title, besting the San Francisco 49ers 34-31. Ray Lewis was emotional, Beyonce diva-ed it up, and there was a delightfully surprising break in play when the Super Dome lost power and everyone who cares about seeing the ads AND the game could take a nice breather and have a bathroom run. Since I didn’t have any emotional investment in the game either way (minus my being at a very close friend’s all Niners house), I’ll leave bragging rights to our own Raven.  I, however, have been very invested and particular about my Super Bowl advertisements over the years, especially after working at a job that entailed pitching songs to be considered for use in these hilarities.  This fine Monday morning, I bring you a round up of what I thought deserved notice in a slew of what was otherwise overwhelmingly dull.

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Ladies… Guide to Super Bowl Prop Bets

superdome super bowl 2013

As Games Mistress mentioned yesterday, people love to bet on the Super Bowl. It’s always fun to play in a box pool or bet on the winner or even the coin toss (as I’m typing this, the Papa John’s commercial about winning the coin toss and getting free pizza is on). I already know who I’m rooting for, so a “who’s going to win” bet is out of the cards for me. For years, my friends, family and I made fun bets with nothing actually being wagered, but this year I thought it’d be fun to introduce some prop bets to our party. Here’s a list of fun prop bets for your party, especially if you don’t have any rooting interests.

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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?

Hump Day Hottie: Torrey Smith

TorreySmithSmile

I know what you’re all thinking, “Enough with the Ravens, Raven!” But it’s not every day your favorite NFL team is in the Super Bowl. I feel kinda skeevy selecting Torrey Smith as a Hump Day Hottie, considering I’ve been a fan of his since he was 17. Torrey is a former Terp and you know I love my Terps. Also, I want to share the best smile in the NFL with the rest of the world. Enjoy!

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But Seriously…Did Anyone Watch The Pro Bowl?

probowl2013Not to be such a negative Nancy on my first post back in quite some time, but really when you’re surrounded by the media treating this game like the joke that it is, I can’t really help it.  Just from my initial evaluation from my own Facebook news feed (which I assure you is filled with plenty of sports fans), there were more people watching the SAG awards last night and  mocking the Pro Bowl than actually watching it.  Are we surprised?  Has it always been such a joke?  I decided to investigate…

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My Team is Going to the Super Bowl: Holy Crap!

SICoversHarbowl

As most of you can tell by my screen name, I’m a huge Ravens fan. I remember the day that Baltimore finally got an NFL team, and I was a devoted fan ever since. In our short existence (est. 1996) we’ve already been blessed with a trip to the Super Bowl that ended in a huge win. But I was a freshman in college who watched the game with one other lonely Ravens fan in a student lounge. I didn’t get to celebrate. I didn’t get to go to a parade, but, hopefully, this time it will be different.

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Name That Booty: Super Bowl Preview Edition

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Not a booty, I know. This just makes me giggle (Photo: J.A. Roberts)

Your Super Bowl contenders are set: it’s the 49ers and Ravens – aka HARBAUGH BOWL, or HAR-BOWL, or BOWL OF BROTHERS (seriously, I just made that one up) – next Sunday in New Orleans. You’re likely aware of the main storylines behind the upcoming game, but here at Ladies… we cover the angle no news organization dares to examine. Continue reading

A Bunch of Strong Men in Silly Hats

In the last few months of the NFL season, I have developed an obsession with the striped pom-pom hats which have popped up on the sidelines. There is just something incredibly amusing about a player trying to maintain his game intensity on the sidelines while wearing something that looks like a present from their grandmother. Since the Super Bowl is in both a warm climate and the dome, this Sunday will likely be the last hurrah for their fuzzy majesty.  Let’s bask in the goofiness with a slideshow!

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Sometimes being a pushy broad pays off

The other Ladies… and I had a Google+ hangout the other night and I realized I’d never told this story for you folks. Forgive me for being lazy, but I wrote it up for Uni-Watch a few years ago, so I’m going to just post that test. I was using the Uni angle there, so I included quite a few pictures of the gear I received.

This content was originally posted on uni-watch.com in 2008. Link here.

I went to college in New Orleans, which was the site of Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002. A few months prior to the game, I learned that they were hiring security personnel to work during the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, with a chance to work at events on gameday and possibly even at the game itself. I don’t exactly project the kind of imposing presence that security people usually have (I’m 5’4″ on a good day), but it sounded cool, so I applied and ended up getting hired.

Follow the jump for the rest of the story
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Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 12: David Wilson

david wilson 2011

Unless you’re a Giants fan (or happen to be an unfortunate Saints fan that saw last Sunday’s matchup), you might be wondering who on earth David Wilson is.  Well, I’ll happily tell you – he’s a rookie running back for the Giants out of Virginia Tech who hasn’t really seen much action or field time in his first year.  However, this past Sunday he not only broke the team record for all purpose yards in a single game (327) including 4 kickoff returns for 227 of those yards and one being a 97 yard return for a touchdown, but he also ran for 100 yards for 2 touchdowns, making him the NFC player of the week.  Keep an eye on this one – not only is he hot on the field and extremely enthusiastic about backflips, he’s quite adorable (and rather ripped, I might add) off the field too.

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Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 10: Calvin Johnson

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Oh, shirtless pic! Why couldn’t you be bigger?

It seems this year’s Calendar is full of NFC North hotness. In celebration of reaching the 1,500-yard milestone for the second season in a row, we bring Calvin “Megatron” Johnson of the Detroit Lions.

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Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 8: Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson is an old favorite here at Ladies, but can you believe he’s never been in the ACoH? In honor of his stunning return from last year’s knee injury (on Christmas Eve, no less), and because I am a total Sooner homer, please enjoy some pics.

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Ladies Links: It Must Be Witchcraft Edition

Exact quote from the Tigers radio announcers at the bottom of the 4th (after CC was removed):

“Well, we’re back in Detroit and this is uh, this is uh, [laughs] this is something.”

Also, in case you forgot (I did), this is Max Scherzer:

And yes there is nothing actually wrong with people with heterochromia, but it does somehow seem like a symptom of how cursed this ALCS has been for the Yankees that they spent half their elimination looking completely helpless at the hands of a guy who might have been considered a witch a few centuries back. (Sorry, Bee!)

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Five for Friday: Superstar Owners

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Smoldering Justin is everybody’s favourite Justin

Remember when Justin Timberlake was a musician? Neither do I. But according to this report, he’ll soon be adding “Memphis Grizzlies co-owner” to his list of roles which currently include actor, SNL quasi-regular, and Jessica Biel arm candy. That’s great. So instead of recording a followup already to 2006′s Futuresex/Love Sounds we’ll have to settle for seeing his mug at Grizzlies games.

(Hey, it’s a good pop album.)

Timberlake isn’t the first celebrity investor to pour truckloads of cash into a sports franchise, however ill-advised it can be. Here’s five more that come to mind:
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Ladies… Links: Farewell, Andy Edition

Last Friday night, I sat on a plane to the West Coast and watched what turned out to be Andy Roddick’s penultimate career victory.  Had the weather cleared a bit faster Wednesday, I could have seen the end of his final match on the return flight, but the remains of Isaac lingered in New York just long enough to make sure the match restarted and ended in the time it took us to get home from the airport.  So my last true memory of Andy Roddick as a tennis player (because he is surely as destined for a commentating career as McEnroe) will be of him firing on all cylinders, reducing (with the partisan crowd’s help) his 19 year old opponent to near paralysis with his shot selection and wicked serve.  It’s a nice companion to my other key memory of Roddick, the legendary Wimbledon final he lost to Federer.

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So You’ve Got an Olympics Hangover

Maybe this was your first Olympics with access to NBC’s online feeds (or perhaps you are a lucky Canadian who can access live events all the time).  Maybe you coincidentally happened to have 14 days off work (counting weekends) during the 17 days of the Summer Olympics.  Maybe you are now exhibiting symptoms such as disorientation with your sudden abundance of free time, queasiness when watching sports where anthems are played before the game begins, and a compulsion to introduce Olympic athletes into only tangentially related topics (such as, say, Usain Bolt in a conversation about stealing bases on a Cardinals broadcast).  You may be suffering from an Olympics Hangover.  And, like those other types of hangovers, there are various methods for dealing with it.

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Happy Birthday, Miss Minda!

In what needs to become a Ladies… tradition, I’m going to go ahead an honor Miss Minda with some of her favorite hotties.

And also to congratulate her as her photography continues to take her to bigger and better places. If you don’t already read her blog or follow her on Twitter, you should. MiLB.com is using some of her pictures. She took the player card pics for the AAA Omaha Storm Chasers. Her pics of the field crashers at the College World Series made the blog rounds. She’ll be press-passing it up at the ASG and HR Derby with ESPN writer Amanda Rykoff.

In that vein, let’s be a little selfish first and start with the pic she posted early this am to celebrate her birthday – as she calls it: Butttttsssss!

Buttttttssss

But beyond that, let’s let Alex Gordon’s forearms tell her to have a great day

Ryan Succop, both shirtless and appearing to issue an invitation…

Lastly, we’ll go for the awwww with injured Brandon Flowers visits children in the hospital

Sorry this is an end of the day wish, dear Minda, but we Ladies.. hope you had a spectacular birthday!