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

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

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

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

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

Why I love being a curling mom

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Curling cuteness from my favourite Olympics

My seven-year-old daughter played in her very first out-of-town tournament this past weekend. It was a big moment for me: a small part of me felt like I finally “arrived” as one of the millions of North American parents who every year pile their kids and their big stinky bags of hockey gear into a minivan and hit the highway to cheer them on in a chilly rink and remind them not to press all the buttons in the hotel elevator.

Except that I drive a Civic, her gear fits into a small backpack, and she’s a curler.

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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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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…

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Hanukkah Hunks Night 6: Merrill Moses

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Water polo? Merrill who? Don’t worry, you can always leave it to your girl buffalita to find hot, shirtless Jewish athletes no matter what sport they play. Mr. Moses is the goalkeeper for the US Olympic water polo team who won silver at the 2008 Beijing games. Call it cheating if you must, but it’s too easy to find an unnecessary amount of half/mostly naked photos if an athlete plays a water sport. Just sayin’.

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Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 7: Kayne Lawton

Top-50-2012-Kayne-Lawton

Leave it to me to disappear for a while again, only to resurface when it’s time to dedicate the entire holiday season to ogling men. For today’s delicious treat, a BIG thank you to CuteSports for bringing this one to my attention this summer. I’m pretty sure I single-handedly increased traffic on Google image searches for this gent’s name because of how many times I went on and on to every girl and gay man that hey, maybe Australian Rugby should be aired over here! I will warn you though – it is Friday, and some of these are not for the faint of heart. Oh how I’ve missed posting…

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Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 5: Tom Daley

Ok, so he’s just barely 18 and has a tendency towards tans/bronzer/fake and baking that is questionable – but those are about the only bad things I can tell you about British diver Tom Daley.

Look, I realize this makes me a bit of a creeper and not every pic of Tom does it for me, but you really can’t argue with this:

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The above pic is from the cover of a British magazine and is also in The Official Tom Daley 2013 Calendar (currently sold out on Amazon).

Plus, he’s got a British accent. And you know how I feel about an accent!

Follow the jump to be mesmorized by a gif and join me in my boy-crush

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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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Olympic Bingo: Third Time’s the Charm

This lovely picture of London Bridge’s Olympic rings was taken by my sister-in-law. Thanks, sis!

It’s hard to believe, but the Olympics are finally only days away, not weeks away, and so it must be time for Olympic Bingo! (Actually, if our search stats are to be believed, a bunch of you think it’s past time for Olympic Bingo.  Hopefully two days is enough prep time for your Opening Ceremonies parties.)

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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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Sports and Media Pop Quiz!

OK, lovely readers.  I, an American resident with broadband internet but no cable television, was following four major sporting events last night.  Which one of the following was I NOT able to follow through live internet streaming?

A. 

St. Louis Cardinals versus Houston Astros: In which the Cards got a much needed win, despite 3 errors, thanks to a brilliant fielding play by Daniel Descalso.

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Three Day Weekend Sports Extravaganza!

With apologies to the Canadian residents among us, we are standing at the brink of not just a three day weekend, but a three day weekend of potentially epic sporting events. This includes at least one (and possibly two) Rangers-Devils playoff games, which means there is a Henrik Lundqvist picture in this post! Come look at the games you can stay up late to watch and not have to worry about being groggy at work the next day.

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Hit and Run: Oh, it’s hockey playoff time, is it? I hardly noticed.

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If you guessed 87 as the number of minutes the Pens spent in the sin bin Sunday, you'd be terribly close. (Photo: Getty Images)

You can blame the Leafs’ freefall from playoff contention on this, but I’ve been suffering from hockey fatigue. And so, you’ve been without an NHL Playoff Preview, and for that I apologize.

It seems I haven’t missed too much actual hockey, if the Pittsburgh-Philly series is any indication. The Flyers took a commanding 3-0 lead in the quarterfinal series with an 8-4 win Sunday over the Pens, a game highlighted with more Pier 6 brawls in a single afternoon than I’ve witnessed in recent memory. Someone want to remind Crosby that he should be using his stick to score goals, not whack Bryzgalov’s glove? Ugh. Thankfully, there’s a nice cooling off period for these guys – they don’t meet again until Wednesday.

Because good things come in threes, there’s three Game 3′s happening tonight: the Rangers are in Ottawa, Boston visits Washington and San Jose hosts St. Louis. Each series is tied 1-1.

Now let’s talk baseball…after the jump. Continue reading

Five For Friday: Don’t Let The Door Hit Your Arse Edition

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Why am I so happy when my NHL team is in 12th place? That picture should give you a hint. Five for Friday after the jump, y’all… Continue reading

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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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:

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

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

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How I Learned To Get Off My Arse and Love Running

Bee's Sneakers

The running shoes that guided me through my first 5K and many others. Enjoy retirement, smelly Zoom Vomero+ 4s! (Photo: Bee)

17 months ago, my sister bought me the sneakers pictured above as an early birthday gift. This all stemmed from a conversation we had about how I always wanted to run the CBCF Run for the Cure and tried to learn to run but never quite got past a couple of tries. She thought it might have been the shoes, so she treated me to those pricey Zoom Vomeros.

I took them for a trial 1K run in a subdivision near my place during an unusually warm April afternoon…and thought I was going to die. I wasn’t sure what possessed me to agree to this commitment: I was never considered athletic or even remotely coordinated. I was the classic Last Kid Picked On The Team and never played sports in high school or college. I even have a distinct memory of one of the snobby girls in 9th Grade making fun of how I ran around the bases in softball during phys ed. So knowing all of this, how did I ever expect to run a 5K?

17 months later, with a number of 5Ks under my belt, I am aiming for my first 10K. 2010 Bee’s head just exploded after reading that.

With the Terry Fox Run coming up this Sunday across Canada (shameless plug to sponsor me can be found here), I thought I’d share with you, dear readers, some advice on how I got over that hump and turned those best intentions into action and water blisters. These tips may not be for everyone, but they worked for me. And if they work for even one of you, then my purpose for this post will have been fulfilled. Just don’t blame me for your occasional spending sprees on cute workout gear. Continue reading

Ladies… Linkups: With Added Opening Weekend Smugness (just a little)

Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins battling the Huskies' Kelly Faris (Photo Credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

How can a weekend recovering from the flu be your best weekend ever? When you spend it on the couch with your hubby diamond surfing through the MLB Extra Innings free preview. Yankees game only on at 5? Let’s see how the Pirates are doing in Chicago! Painful to watch? Let’s see how Melky Cabrera looks in baby blues! Wait, can we go back to Texas again? Because that was awesome.

Honestly, I’d get nothing done if I had the baseball package for my dish.

Anyway, it’s another busy Monday. Here are some quick links to get you through the day:

Tonight: UConn. Butler. No, none of us picked these guys in the Championship. But kudos to unofficial winner CuteSports! [NCAA]

Tomorrow night, Notre Dame faces Texas A&M for the women’s basketball title. Skylar Diggins had 28 points last night as her Fightin’ Irish downed the Connecticut Huskies 72-63, ending their run for a third straight championship. [ESPN]

When is a story about pants awesome? When they are these pants! Yes, the Norwegians are BACK! By the way, Canada is 3-and-0 at the Men’s World Curling Championship in Regina. [Globe and Mail]

You guys, Aramis Ramirez needs a hug. [Onion Sports Network]

Guess who’s first in the AL East as of this afternoon? The Orioles! Guess who’s last? Here’s a hint. I’m told THEY’RE THE BEST TEAM ON PAPER!! [It's early.]

Move away from the panic button and have an excellent week!

Laura Vikmanis: One Hot Mama!

It’s not often that we here at Ladies… will recognize the efforts of a pro cheerleader.  But after seeing all of the recent buzz around Laura Vikmanis and learning that she is the cousin of a friend in the OH circle, it was pretty hard not to admire her moxie and help share her story with the sports world.  Who is Laura Vikmanis?  More after the jump.

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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.

Hit and Run: Crazy Endings Edition

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I mean, what else would you expect on Hallowe'en? (AP Photo)

There just something about Hallowe’en that brings out the crazy. Dressing like a zombie. Dressing like Gaga. Drinking booze that is clearly coloured by artificial susbtances and possibly has floating eyeballs. Eating far too many mini Coffee Crisps. These jackets. Whatever bizarre behaviour you engage in is perfectly acceptable on October 31st, or at least the Friday or Saturday closest to it.

The sports world was also full of crazy on the weekend. For instance… Continue reading

Hit and Run: 100% Vuvuzela Free

I know, we haven’t gotten to group H yet, but I’m a little pressed for time and there’s been lots going on in the sports world this week. (Also, I tend to get really distracted while doing the research for World Cup preview posts.  I can’t imagine why.)  So consider these reaction shots of yesterday’s shocking Swiss upset of Spain a preview of what’s coming soon:

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It’s MILLER TIME!!

USA! USA!

Apologies to our own Lady Bee in advance, but we’re not just talkin’ country pride here. We’re talkin’ hometown pride. That’s right – the Buffalo Sabres’ own RYAN MILLER is a force to be reckoned with, and that means you, Canada! 45 shots on goal is impressive and all, but Ry’s stopping 42 of them and helping Team USA on to a 5-3 win over Canada this past Sunday is even more impressive in my book. More after the jump on the, well, crap that my hometown hero had to go through leading up to that kick ass night.

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Gimme Back Dat Filet O’ Fish

The preceding title has nothing to do with this post… but if that damn jingle must be stuck in my head all day, it must now be stuck in yours as well!

Back to the lecture at hand… There’s been a lot of focus and fuss made of curling at these Winter Olympics.  All around the world there intramural leagues forming and regular Joes believing they have a shot of winning gold and hearing their nation’s anthem. Or maybe their just in it for the crazy pants, who knows!

I contend that if curling is a sport worthy of the pomp and circumstance of the time honored tradition of Olympic competition… then sign spinning should be next!

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Send in the clowns.

So if you’re following me on Twitter, you’ve discovered that I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with figure skating. (Okay, okay, that’s like saying John Mayer has an obsession with saying spectacularly stupid things in public.)

Given that I hate most girly aspects of sports (pink anything and everything, Ladies Nights, and the existence of Alyssa Milano’s Touch line, to start) like burning, some of the other Ladies…were mildly confused when I started shrieking about toe loops and salchows. I mean, it’s figure skating, right? I should like manly things, like the biathlon and moguls. I should frown on feathers and sequins and Dick Button.

But here’s the thing. I love figure skating. I loooooooove figure skating.

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