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Posts Tagged ‘sports

“Sometimes I have chosen to see films just by their posters”*…


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Pablo Fernández Eyre‘s lovely video of movie one-sheets animated with the film footage that matches the image featured in the poster.

[via Laughing Squid]

* Jean Paul Gaultier


As we take our seats, we might recall that it was on this date in 1898 that an American institution was born.

The University of Minnesota football team (for our non-American readers out there, I’m of course referring to the kind of football where you’ll get a penalty for using your feet) was playing their final game against Northwestern University. The U of M’s team had been having a lackluster year, and there was a general feeling on campus that this was due to lack of enthusiasm during the games. So several students, lead by Johnny Campbell on a megaphone, decided to lead the crowd of spectators in a chant: “Rah, Rah, Rah! Ski-U-Mah! Hoo-Rah! Hoo-Rah! Varsity! Varsity! Minn-e-so-tah!” The crowd went bananas, as they say, and an energized Minnesota team won the game 17-6.

That day Johnny Campbell and his (presumably drunk) friends became the first cheerleader squad.


Johnny Campbell




Written by LW

November 2, 2015 at 1:01 am

“Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand.”*…


On the eve of the World Series, an appreciation of Game 6 of the 1975 championship contest between the Red Sox and the Reds: “Game Changer: How Carlton Fisk’s home run altered baseball and TV.”

* Leo Durocher


As we settle in for the run, we might recall that it was on this date in 2000 that the New York Yankees defeated their cross-town rivals, the Mets (4-2 that evening; 4 games to 1 overall) to take what was known as “the subway Series.”  The Yankees became the first team in more than a quarter-century to win three straight World Series championships.

Mike Piazza and Derek Jeter face off



Written by LW

October 26, 2015 at 1:01 am

“The score never interested me, only the game”*…


The story of the exotic Belgian import that is the most mystical, magical sport on Earth…  and of the Detroit lifer who became its King… and of an art heist:  “Believe in Featherbowling.”

* Mae West


As we take our seats, we might recall that it was on this date in 1947 that Holt, Missouri set the world’s record for the fastest accumulation of rainfall: 12 inches (300 mm) of rainfall in 42 minutes.



Written by LW

June 22, 2015 at 1:01 am

“Just play. Have fun.”*…


The mud-pit belly flop, a highlight of the annual Summer Redneck Games in Dublin, Georgia


The word “weird” is defined by various dictionaries as odd, bizarre, eccentric and unconventional. And where most of these traits could be considered unsettling, in the world of photography, and specifically sports, it could also translate to a gold mine.  The essence of photography is to capture a truly remarkable moment. And many times, different (or weird) can be good. If photographers covered the same events from the same angles, we really wouldn’t achieve anything unique or memorable…

712 people and 600 balls in Manhattan: the world’s largest dodgeball game

Sol Neelman, a self-proclaimed “failed athlete” and Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, has turned his lens away from the conventional targets of sports photography…

A Chinese tourist in the dunes of the Sahara Desert tries his hand at sandboarding

Read an interview (from whence, the body quote above) with Neelman here; peruse his portfolio here.

* Michael Jordan


As we Do It, we might recall that it was on this date in 1893 that “Cowboy Bill” Pickett invented bull-dogging. A 23-year-old cowhand at the time, he rode alongside a stray, dropped from his horse to grab the steer’s horns, and– emulating bulldogs that he’d observed– sharply bit the steer’s upper lip.  Soon after, Pickett and his four brothers formed The Pickett Brothers Bronco Busters and Rough Riders Association.  He did his bulldogging act, traveling about in Texas, Arizona, Wyoming, and Oklahoma.  In 1905, Pickett joined the 101 Ranch Wild West Show that featured the likes of Buffalo Bill, Will Rogers, and Tom Mix; Pickett was soon a popular performer who toured around the world and appeared in early motion pictures (see below)– though he often had to mask his African-American heritage by claiming (only) his Native American roots.  (Even then, while he was in fact part Cherokee, he claimed to be part Comanche.)

As the event became a common rodeo event, lip biting became increasingly less popular until it disappeared from steer wrestling altogether.


Written by LW

May 4, 2015 at 1:01 am

Batter Up!…

Walt Whitman once said: “Baseball is our game — the American game: I connect it with our national character.” Still, as Foreign Policy observes

As baseball has skyrocketed to popularity in other countries, particularly Japan and Latin American nations, the days of the United States claiming it exclusively are long over. The sport’s premier international tournament, the World Baseball Classic, featured 12 teams from across the globe this year, with the Dominican Republic coasting undefeated all the way to a championship. The tournament set ratings records in Japan, where it was the most-watched sporting event of the year and even out-performed the 2012 Olympics. In Taiwan, the WBC was the highest-rated cable program in the country’s history.

So, as one settles in for Game Three of this year’s Fall Classic– The Battle of the Beards— one might pause to consider Baseball’s place in the world

A pick-up game in Havana, 2006

[More photos– from South Africa to Iraq to China– at FP]

Baseball has an estimated 500 million fans around the world… which ranks it seventh overall.  To put that in context, the number one sport, football (or “soccer” as Americans are wont to call it), has 3.5 billion fans; the number two pastime, Cricket, 2.5 billion.

Plus– in this anniversary month of the first box score, a new site called Statlas, updates scoring, turning box scores into infographics.


As we step up to the plate, we might recall that it was on this date in 1863, at The Freemasons’ Tavern on Great Queen Street in London, that the Football Association (or simply, the FA) was established; after centuries of football rules that varied from pitch to pitch, the FA established a single set of rules that has governed the game in England ever since.  And given that it is the oldest such association in the world, its rules and procedures have shaped the game all over the world.


Written by LW

October 26, 2013 at 1:01 am

Let the games begin…


 click here for larger interactive version

If every state in the union had to choose an official sport, what would they pick? Football, football, lacrosse, football, skiing, football, football … and Alaska gets the one with sled dogs. But what if you had to assign one sport to each state, and could use each of those sports just once? How would you disperse our favorite pastimes among the 50 states and Washington, D.C.?

Now that’s a more interesting parlor game. Only 12 states have bothered to name any kind of “official sport,” which leaves a lot of room to impose one’s sporting will on the American people…

And that’s exactly what Josh Levin, executive editor at Slate, has done.  Read the rules he followed and explore the results in detail at “The United Sports of America- If each state could have only one sport, what would it be?


As we oil our wheels, we might recall that it was on this date in 1845 that the first known baseball box score appeared in the New York Morning News, a month after the first set of rules were written by Alexander Cartwright and some his fellow Knickerbockers.



Written by LW

October 22, 2013 at 1:01 am

The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat…

The Olympic Games:  nine days and counting.  As we refresh ourselves on the rules of ribbon dancing and brush up on badminton, we might spare a moment to recall some of the events that have been dropped– “discontinued”– by the Olympics…

Horse Long Jump

While the long jump event has tested the athletic prowess of track and field stars from around the world, back in the Paris Games of 1900, horses were given the chance to show off how far they could leap. As part of the equestrian events, horse long jump only had one Olympics to make its mark and it failed to do so spectacularly. No one could accuse equestrian horses of not being athletic, yet the winning leap, from Belgium’s Constant van Langendonck atop the horse Extra Dry, measured only 6.10 meters. Not too shabby, until you consider the world record for long jump, by a human, is 8.95 meters.

Distance Plunging

Though part of the aquatics program at St. Louis in 1904, the distance plunge event seems to have more in common with a children’s game than an Olympic sport (which might explain why it’s never returned to the Games). The event required athletes to dive into the pool and coast underwater without moving their limbs. After 60 seconds had passed – or competitors had floated to the surface, whichever came first – referees measured the distance the athletes had drifted. The gold medal winner was U.S. athlete William Dickey, although, it should be noted, only Americans competed in the event.

Seven other expired events at Time‘s “9 Really Strange Sports That Are No Longer in the Olympics.

And on the heel of the London authorities unplugging The Boss and Sir Paul mid-song, a look at local reactions to the London Olympic authorities’ authoritarian antics.


As we practice in preparation for the inclusion of beer-pong in 2016, we might recall that it was on this date in 1927 that “The Georgia Peach,” Ty Cobb, recorded his 4,000th career hit.  Cobb finished out his Major League Baseball career the next year with a grand total of 4,191 hits– which stood as a record until 1985, when it was surpassed by Pete “What are the Odds” Rose.  Cobb was in the inaugural class of five elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Ty Cobb (left) and Joe Jackson

source: Library of Congress

Written by LW

July 18, 2012 at 1:01 am


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