BIG FAN and the real blood sports both on and off the field

Article: BIG FAN and the real blood sports both on and off the field

After Washington Redskins wide receiver Josh Morgan committed a penalty that may have cost his team a recent game, he received death threats on Twitter. Who would be crazy enough to do such a thing? Meet Paul Auferio (Patton Oswalt), a 36-year-old schlub who works at a dead-end day job and spends his nights calling in to a sports-radio station to proclaim his undying love for the New York Giants — and his murderous hate for the divisional rival Philadelphia Eagles. He’s the tragic title character in the super-dark comedy BIG FAN (airing tomorrow night at 8P on Sundance Channel).

Crossing the finish line on PUSH GIRLS

Article: Crossing the finish line on PUSH GIRLS

We got to see not one but two of our fabulous strong women pushing for the finish line this week, bringing some serious push girl spirit to competition against able-bodied athletes in the pool and on a 5k marathon. Mia and Tiphany both had their ups and downs, but they accomplished something important: They proved to themselves that they had what it took to finish. And sometimes, proving something to yourself is the hardest thing to do.

Physical fitness has been a thread for Mia and Tiphany throughout this season; remember how we saw them working out in the very first episode? These ladies are seriously ripped; you have to be to push a manual chair, especially in the rough environment of the Los Angeles streets. It’s not surprising to see Tiphany astounding an able-bodied fitness class with her muscular upper body or Mia yanking the weight of herself and her chair up over a curb one-handed.

Women kick ass at Olympics, but there's still more ass to be kicked

Article: Women kick ass at Olympics, but there's still more ass to be kicked

Reuters writer Belinda Goldsmith had a great roundup yesterday of “The Women’s Games”, which is what many are calling the 2012 Summer Olympics (which — for those of you living under a rock — just wrapped up this past weekend in London). Here’s a quick summary of the important stats, but the whole article is worth a read.

Girls on the Run: Empowering push girls, one race at a time

Article: Girls on the Run: Empowering push girls, one race at a time

What makes a push girl? Push girls are strong, independent women with a fierce determination to go for what they want and not let anyone tell them otherwise. Push girls are funny, loyal to their friends, and always ready for the next big adventure. They’re teen activists, Paralympic athletes, politicians and everything in between. And when they hear “can’t,” they say “watch me.” Being a push girl isn’t about your ability status or background: It’s about what you make of yourself.

Five Paralympic athletes pushing their way to London

Article: Five Paralympic athletes pushing their way to London

USA Paralympics is gearing up for the Paralympic games in London with nominations for Team USA, and as they roll out, we’re meeting some star disabled athletes from across the country — and our fair share of push girls, because many of the women athletes on the Paralympic team have some incredible stories to tell. The Summer Paralympics run from August 29 to September 9, and they’re going to be well worth tuning in to if you want to check out some of the best athletes in the world.

The secret sex life of tennis

Article: The secret sex life of tennis

OK, so maybe it’s not the first sport you think of when it comes to sex appeal. But look a little closer and you’d be surprised at how much sex there is in tennis. (Though will someone please tell Rafael Nadal that biting trophies doesn’t make anyone think of sex, and actually just makes us all a little bit uncomfortable?)

Top 10 national sex scandals

Article: Top 10 national sex scandals

Sex scandals are as American as (sticking your wiener in an) apple pie — or should we say your Anthony Weiner? The really unforgettable scandals leave us with a particular phrase or image burned into our brains. We could be a hundred years old and senile and we will still be able to recall Lorena Bobbitt tossing her husband’s penis out the car window; Clarence Thomas asking Anita Hill about a pubic hair on a coke can; and an astronaut driving hundreds of miles in a diaper to confront the lover who spurned her. Here are our nominations for the top ten sex scandals in this nation’s glorious history, organized by the categories in which these events most often seem to occur. God bless (or should we say God save) America!

PUSH GIRLS: Mia pushes through her last little hurdle

Article: PUSH GIRLS: Mia pushes through her last little hurdle

This week on PUSH GIRLS, we got a very intimate look at the different ways in which people react to disability. There was a stark contrast not just between Chelsie, who’s still adjusting to her paralysis, but between Mia, Auti, Tiphany, and Angela, and it was fascinating to see the women getting “Fired Up,” in an episode that got very emotional. It’s hard to predict your reaction to a major life change, but I liked the takeaway that Mia left us with: You can start again at any age.

Presidents and the first pitch

Article: Presidents and the first pitch

We’re about a month into the 2012 Major League Baseball season, which has been as disappointing so far as my beloved Red Sox (yes, the rumors are true…this die-hard Knicks fan and NYC fanboy bleeds the same red that Curt Schilling gave during our historic World Series run). My boys are sitting not-so-pretty in last place in their division. That annoyance aside, the start of another baseball season means yet another year of witnessing various VIPs, celebrities, and honored guests demonstrating their inability to properly throw a baseball 60 feet (Exhibit A). Presidents are also a part of this sports ritual. It started in 1910 when a paunchy William Howard Taft tossed out a ceremonial first pitch from the stands on the Washington Senators’ Opening Day (ceremonial first pitches were not originally tossed from the mound). The headline in the Washington Post the next day was, “TAFT TOSSES BALL. Crowd Cheers President’s Fine Delivery of the Sphere.” This might be the classiest headline ever written for a sports game.

Ezra Shaw's unique perspective on divers

Article: Ezra Shaw's unique perspective on divers

This photo series, published in The Wall Street Journal and snapped by Getty Images photographer Ezra Shaw at the 14th FINA World Championships, would be smack in the middle of a Venn diagram charting fans of sports, photography, and “LOLs.” Shaw pointed his lens at the these graceful divers and presented viewers with a slightly different perspective on the sport with a hilarious (unintentional at least from the athletes’ perspective) result. Of course we admire their talents and poise as they slip into the water, like (bad analogy alert) a knife through butter, but I dare you to look at these photographs of them underwater and not laugh.

The "trick shot" video trend

Article: The "trick shot" video trend

In 2011 so far there’s been a trend of “trick shot” videos recorded by various college and professional athletes from all sports and uploaded to YouTube where The Internet collectively goes “ooh,” “ahh,” and “holy sh*t!” at their leet skills. My favorite so far is the one above by Brodie Smith that demonstrates he can…

Shaolin soccer

Article: Shaolin soccer

A neat photo gallery of Shaolin students in a monastery in Henan Province, China playing and practicing soccer just like the way I imagine them.

Vimeo of the Week: Need You Now

Article: Vimeo of the Week: Need You Now

Cut Copy – Need You Now from Cut Copy on Vimeo. Australian band Cut Copy‘s video for the song “Need You Now” is good gay fun. It’s hilarious in its use of cliched sport imagery that’s existed in commercials and sports television for years. While the band plays straight, the athletes (swimmers, runners, fencers, and…

The Onion finally comes to TV

Article: The Onion finally comes to TV

This Day In History: The Invention Of The Handjob Be afraid, Jon Stewart, be very afraid. Last week, the Onion News Network premiered on IFC and artfully accomplished what The Daily Show tries to: mercilessly skewering the 24-7 cable news industry (the subtitle is, after all, “News Without Mercy”). It’s exactly what a fake news…

Interactive: Gloves of the World Series

Article: Interactive: Gloves of the World Series

The New York Times has an interesting interactive photo website of various fielders gloves from past World Series. Hover over any portion of a mitt to see a close up of that section. Above is Babe Ruth’s mitt from 1926. [ Editorializing alert] Go Giants!

Women who hit very hard

Article: Women who hit very hard

With the tennis 2010 US Open underway, the New York Times has a gorgeously shot video series, “The Beauty of the Power Game,” directed by Dewey Nicks and featuring top female players smacking the bejesus out of the ball in extreme slow-motion.

The organic golf course: green or greenwash?

Article: The organic golf course: green or greenwash?

US presidents golfing on vacation is hardly news, but President Obama’s choice of a course for his ten days of family time in Martha’s Vineyard this month did make the New York Times… because the Vineyard Golf Club “is thought to be the only completely organic golf course in the United States…”

Twitter's analysis of tweets during the World Cup

Article: Twitter's analysis of tweets during the World Cup

By Internet time the World Cup seems like it happened eons ago, but Twitter’s official blog recently posted their analysis of tweets during the World Cup. Their analysis and relevance team compiled results into a cool infographic “charting fans’ use of hashflags (like #esp or #usa) during the tournament with a background of TPS [tweets…

Comic sans comically rears its head during LeBron spectacle.

Article: Comic sans comically rears its head during LeBron spectacle.

The spectacle surrounding LeBron James’ nationally televised decision to leave Cleveland for South Beach had something for everyone, including graphic designers and aesthetes. After LeBron’s LeBum’s announcement, Dan Gilbert, the jilted majority owner of James’ former team the Cavaliers, wrote an open letter tirade on the Cavs website which had the Internet and Twitterites abuzz (currently a top trending topic) not only for the content, which called his former star “narcissistic,” “heartless and callous” but for the particular infamous and comical typeface Gilbert used. Journalist Jennifer 8. Lee (yes, her middle name is awesomely a number) tweeted this older WSJ article about Vincent Connare, the creator of Comic Sans, the much used and equally hated typeface popular not only in “grade-school fliers and holiday newsletters, Disney ads and Beanie Baby tags, business emails, street signs, Bibles, porn sites, gravestones and hospital posters about bowel cancer,” but also with owners of professional basketball teams.
In 1994, Mr. Connare was working on a team at Microsoft creating software that consumers eventually would use on home PCs. His designer’s sensibilities were shocked, he says, when, one afternoon, he opened a test version of a program called Microsoft Bob for children and new computer users. The welcome screen showed a cartoon dog named Rover speaking in a text bubble. The message appeared in the ever-so-sedate Times New Roman font.

Fabric soccer balls

Article: Fabric soccer balls

Klas Ernflo made these regulation-size soccer balls from wool fabrics. I was able to view some of them last year at Partners and Spade, Andy Spade’s art gallery-slash-store, and they were the classiest bespoke soccer balls that I’ve ever seen.

Adhesive soccer tape

Article: Adhesive soccer tape

MartĂ­ GuixĂ© designed this adhesive tape that can be crumpled up into a soccer ball. A hat tip to Full Frontal Fashion blogger Ashley Simko for posting this on her personal blog last year. I thought it relevant to share with you in light of the World Cup AND the fact that it’s moving-to-new-apartment season…

The evolution of the World Cup soccer ball

Article: The evolution of the World Cup soccer ball

The evolution of the soccer ball.

Michael Jordan's Hitler Mustache

Article: Michael Jordan's Hitler Mustache

Here’s one for the “WTF” column.  Michael Jordan, basketball legend cum underwear pitchman has embarked on what could perhaps wind up being the most bizarre comeback of his career…the return of the Hitler mustache.  In his latest  turkey of an ad for Hanes,  Jordan perplexingly sports a  Hitler mustache.   Don’t believe it? Take a…

History of uniform typos

Article: History of uniform typos

Here’s something for the sports fans: Apparently misspellings on professional and college sports uniforms over the years aren’t uncommon (more photo examples), occurring as recently as in April where the jersey of San Francisco Giant’s Eugenio Velez misspelled the city’s name (see photo above). had a fascinating column on this issue with some interesting…

Own the Field of Dreams

Article: Own the Field of Dreams

The farmhouse from one of my all time favorite sports movies FIELD OF DREAMS is up for sale. RETRO SPOILER ALERT: That scene in the end where Kevin Costner’s dad asks him if he wants to play catch always brings me right to the edge of tearville. The owners Don and Becky Lansing are selling…