Cheerleading Designated a Sport by AMA

HawaiiPacificCheerleading is far more than pom poms, pep rallies and spankies. As an ex-high school cheerleader, I’ve found myself in many heated arguments defending how truly rigorous and difficult competitive cheerleading is. Finally, the American Medical Association is on our side.

On Monday, delegates at the AMA yearly meeting in Chicago took a vote and designated cheerleading a sport at the high school and collegiate level. USA Today quoted Samantha Rosman, a Boston-area pediatrician, who explained, “Cheerleading is a leading cause of catastrophic injury in female athletes at the high school and college level.”  I mean, you try learning how to double down (when the girl flying around spins two times on their way down) and come out unscathed. Damn near impossible; we’re talking elbows flying,  black eyes, lost teeth and broken noses to name a few.

This is a great stride for the cheerleading community as it will require more training for coaches and more safety measures taken for the cheer-athletes.

I understand, haters are always gonna hate, but for those of you skeptics watch these routines and tell me this looks easy and that cheerleading doesn’t deserve to be designated a sport.

 

Torrance Shipman would be proud #boom #bringiton

Positive Perspective: Arkansas Cheerleader with One Leg

1116572

Patience Beard is an inspiring collegiate woman. She’s living every high school cheerleader’s ultimate dream cheering in front of the rowdy crowds of the SEC.

This little lady is currently a sophomore at the University of Arkansas on a cheerleading scholarship. What makes her different from the other Hogs cheerleaders is that she is a D1 cheerleader with one leg – an extremely fashionable zebra striped leg, but a prosthetic nonetheless.

Collegiate cheerleading is cut-throat. Tiny girls competing against tinier girls to get tossed around and lift the spirits of thousands of fans during football season. Not mention you’re required to tumble like a maniac – no back tuck means no cheerleading for you.

pa9-1351651282_500x0

What’s most amazing about Patience’s story is the way she redefines “what is normal?”.

Check out this video on HooplaHa.

As a freshman, Beard was nominated for the Discover Orange Bowl-Football Writers Association of America Courage Award, check out the whole story HERE.

#getitgirl

Louisville’s Rick Pitino Is a Man of His Word and Gets Inked Up

NCAA_Final_Four_Michi_Park2_t618

If Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino makes a deal with his players – he keeps his end of the bargain. In this case, the promise was to get a tattoo if the Cardinals won the 2013 NCAA Championship. Welp, lucky for Pitino the birds were crowned the Champs at the beginning of April.

pitino-tattoo-louisvilleHe may be a 60-year-old grandpa of four, but that didn’t stop Pitino from getting his “Championship Tattoo”. It appears to say “2013 NCAA Champions” with a snazzy-looking Louisville “L” logo as well. They made sure to get the Championship trophy in the shot as well.

The deal was struck in the middle of the season when Pitino told his team if they won the tournament he’d get himself some ink. It may have started as a joke or motivational talk, but as the Cardinals banded together and upped the ante as the tournament unfolded, Pitino’s mid-season promise became a reality.

Will there be a tat-encore? The birds star guard Russ Smith decided to stay in the NCAA for another year so Louisville will still be a dominate force again in 2014. Will Pitino’s motivational tattoo become a tradition?

Jabari Parker Makes His Collegiate Choice

JP20

Simeon basketball star Jabari Parker has accomplished quite a bit at the age of 18. He’s ranked no. 2 in the country, he’s already had his own spread in Sports Illustratedbeen named the Gatorade National Player of the Year and is one of the most anticipated high school players since Lebron James. Last night Parker finally made his collegiate decision and our Chicago native has decided to play basketball for Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils next year.

6634_10151197712561429_1404530589_nThey were all lined up like ducks in a row, a Stanford hat, a Michigan State hat, a Florida hat,   a Duke hat, and BYU hat. Media was literally almost drooling to see which brim Parker put on his head. In the end, Duke represented the “best fit” for the young player’s talents, personality, and academic goals.

To Jabari the quality of the education he will receive is just as important as the quality of competition he’ll see on the basketball court.

During his Thursday afternoon press conference Parker said, “It’s been a blessing just to get an opportunity to be able to go to school for free. It’s a good thing for me as well as my family to be able to save them a couple of dollars in their pocket.” I don’t think he’s looked at the bigger picture yet…if he performs up to expectations he’ll be able to pay for 100 kids tuition with his NBA salary. What a modest young guy.

images (3)One thing that sets Parker apart from the rest of the new recruits is his devote Mormon faith. At the end of his freshman year in college Jabari will have to decide whether he will declare for the NBA draft or—like thousands of other Mormon men who turn 19—embark on a two-year mission to spread the faith in the U.S. or a foreign country. This missionary service is considered an obligatory “priesthood duty” in the Mormon faith.

That’s a pretty tough decision for someone with such strong religious beliefs. We’ll all see what Jabari chooses when the time comes even though we all know deep down inside he follows in the footsteps of Derrick Rose and choose to play for his hometown Chicago Bulls :-).

Blue Demons to the UC?

It looks as though I stand corrected. DePaul University has switched gears and is now considering moving their men’s basketball home games to the United Center instead of the All State Arena in Rosemont, reported the Chicago Tribune on Monday. Back in March the reports were saying DePaul president Reverend Dennis Holtschneider wanted to build an arena in Chicago specifically dedicated to the Blue Demons, but now it looks like DePaulians will be sharing a house with the Bulls and Blackhawks.

It’s definitely time for a change. The bus ride from Lincoln Park down to Rosemont in weekday rush hour traffic is pee-your-pants kind of tragic. DePaul has played at the arena in Rosemont for the past 30 years – it’s since gone through some name changes Rosemont Horizon and currently the AllState Arena. 

Here are a few things to consider:

  1. The United Center is closest to UIC’s campus – definitely not DePaul in Lincoln Park.
  2. There isn’t a direct CTA bus/L route from LP to the UC. I’m sure students will get bussed, but driving through city traffic can be just as rough as traffic on the expressway. The United Center is most accessible from the Loop on the lovely express Madison bus.
  3. DePaul fans barely filled up the All State – we’re going to look pathetic at the massive UC unless we significantly build up our fan base – maybe get a team with a winning record.
  4. Playing at the United Center has a prestigious aura since players like Derrick Rose and Michael Jordan have played/are playing on the very same court. It may very well be an excellent recruiting tool!

So all in all, we will see. More to come soon!

NCAA Slams Penn State with Sanctions

Penn State’s athletic program got served. I think it’s safe to say the Nittany Lions football program may never recover from the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal – emotionally or financially. Two weeks ago coach Joe Paterno and other top university officials were found guilty of concealing child sex abuse allegations against a retired assistant coach for years to avoid bad publicity. Well the “bad publicity” is much more severe now. The NCAA’s President Mark Emmert spoke at a scheduled press conference early this morning to deliver Penn State’s punishment.

Big Ten Network reported the NCAA’s sanctions as follows:

* Four-year bowl ban
* Reduction of 10 initial scholarships + 20 total scholarships each year for four years.
* $60 million fine
* All wins vacated from 1998-2011 (112 wins to be exact)
* All current PSU players can transfer immediately
* The athletic department will also serve a five-year probation period.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said that no punishment could change or mitigate the damage done by Sandusky to children, but “the culture, actions and inactions that allowed them to be victimized will not be tolerated in collegiate athletics,” reported the Washington Post. 

If you didn’t see Sunday, the school removed the statue of Paterno from the campus outside the football stadium as well. In less than a year, Paterno’s entire legacy has been washed and a man held with utmost respect in the NCAA for so many decades will forever be tarnished.

The punishment is steep, but well deserved. There is no excuse possible for covering up a colleague’s horrible crimes. The moral of the story is: if you find your friend committing a heinous crime, turn them in because their stupidity isn’t worth disgracing an entire organization or your own reputation. Bad people need to be held responsible for their wrong doings.

Big Ten Mascots Break-it-down

Some of the Big Ten mascots put together their own rendition of Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe. The Buckeye’s Brutus and that Wisconsin Badger were really getting down. It looks like Purdue Pete, Michigan’s Wolverine and the Northwestern Wildcat missed the show-stoppin video shoot. Oh the busy life of a team mascot…