Sarah Harbaugh and Dockers Man the Fight Against Dad Pants

This commercial addresses a very serious concern for all women who have known a man who own a pair of “Dad Pants.” This issue circles back to a post I wrote back in January about 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh and his choice of Khaki pants. Please join Sarah and Dockers to #stopdadpants. It’s an epidemic that needs to end.

my nightmare

                       My nightmare

Why Love the World Cup? A Guide for Soccer Newbies

World-Cup-soccer-2014-players

LtoR: Karim Benzema (France); Neymar (Brazil); Robin Van Persie (Holland); Lionel Messi (Argentina); Wayne Rooney (England); Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal); Fernando Torres (Spain); Lukas Podolski (Germany); Mario Balotelli (Italy)

Every four years a little thing I like to call “FIFA Fever” takes the main stage in sports news for an entire month. This event is better known as the World Cup and this year all the fancy foot work is happening in San Paulo, Brazil.

32 teams have traveled from all over the world, have been broken up into eight groups and will battle it out on the field to determine one World Champion. Here in the U.S. we like to refer to this game as “Soccer” but amongst the rest of the world international football is THE main jam.

Brasil-2014-Brazil-2014-Logo-Oficial-1aziomhIn America soccer tends to be over shadowed by other mainstream sports (NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA, NCAA etc), but the World Cup is a time for non-traditional soccer fans to jump on the bandwagon because these games are cut throat. And if nothing else, it’s a damn good reason to head out to the bar and get your patriotism flowing.

Soccer is one sport where I don’t mind watching lean and generally super handsome men run around a field for hours, but it’s always better to have a tiny idea of what’s happening. So, I thought I’d assist and put together a little rundown of what’s about to go down over the next month.

Bleacher Report put together a colorful chart showing the Groups for this year’s showdown:

GroupPlayGrid630_original

Things are looking bleaker than usual for our USA boys as their group name has been deemed “The Group of Death” due to it’s difficulty. Germany is by far one of the tournament favorites to take the cake, Portugal has Cristiano Ronaldo who is not only smokin’ hot, but also one of the best players in the world, and Ghana has been a threat for the last two world cups and are only getting better. It is possible the U.S. could face a quick exit in this year’s tournament, but we can’t think like that.

Ok, so we have these eight groups, now what?

During the first round or “knockout stage” each team in a group plays it’s opponents once (so three games), then the top two teams from each group will advance to round two – the Sweet 16 of the World Cup. The stakes then become much steeper as each game becomes a single-elimination round. For instance, USA is in group G who is paired to face the top two teams of group H for the second round. The number one team from group G will play the number two seed from group H and the number one team from group H will play the number two seed from group G. From there the bracket becomes traditional and which ever team wins advances and play whomever is also in their bracket (think March Madness style).

bracket

World Cup Basics: 

  • Each team is awarded points – a win equals three points and a tie or “draw” equals one point, a loss is zero points.
  • Teams can tie in the first round, but in the elimination rounds two 15 minute (as necessary) extra times will be added if the game is tied. After the extra time if the game is still tied the teams will face off in a penalty shoot-out (my favorite part of soccer). Each manager gets to select five players from his squad to go mano-a-mano against the opposing goalie.
  • If you get two yellow cards in two separate games you will be suspended for the next game. If you receive a red card you are also suspended a game. These rules apply in the group stage and quarter finals, so watch your soccer manners.
  • The 2014 World Cup Final will be held on July 13 in Rio de Janeiro’s legendary Maracana stadium.
  • Spain are the defending World Champions – also Shakira’s main squeeze, Gerard Pique, is on this team. Brush up on your Spanish ladies.

Soccer Basics:

  • 11 men on the field at one time for a team – 10 outfield players and one goal keeper per team. Click here for a breakdown of each position.
  • Regulation is 90 minutes, two halves of 45 minutes, but don’t forget about stoppage time. “Time outs” do not exist, the clock keeps running in soccer, so in case there’s an injury on the field during regulation, the teams can make up for the lost time during “stoppage time.”
  • You can use anything but your arms.
  • Offside is the result of passing without 2 players between you and the goal.
  • Yellow card is basically a slap on wrist.
  • If you get a second “foul” you get a Red card and the player must leave game.
  • If the ball is out of bounds you throw it back in.
  • If you get a foul the other team gets a free kick. If you get a foul in the box the team gets a penalty shot.
  • 3 substitutions the whole game
  • It’s not “Over time” it’s “Extra time” – soccer dudes are very specific about this terminology
  • Flopping is not a monetary fine in soccer, it’s a way of life.

The main event starts on Thursday with Croatia facing the hometown team of Brazil. USA’s first game is Monday against Ghana. Click here to find more information on matches and their dates and times. With different countries come different time zones. Brazil falls into the UTC time zone – which is two hours ahead of central time.

Let the USA chanting begin, let’s get some points gents. #USAUSA

 

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

Brandon Marshall Signs his 3-Year Extension in Style

Bmarsh donation

Brandon Marshall is anything but mediocre whether you’re chatting up his freakishly athletic moves on the football field, referencing one of his active social media accounts or loving on his bow-tie swagger. He is his own man.

On Monday, the star wide-out signed a $30-million extension with the Chicago Bears (one that I am quite pleased with) in some serious style.

Marshall on the ViewWhy sign your extension in your PJs at home? BMarsh decided to make it a public adventure by signing his extension next to his wifey and Jenny McCarthy on The View. The deal puts him under contract through 2017 and gives him $40 million over the next four years with $23 million guaranteed – not too shabby Mr. Marshall.

THEN to top things off Marshall pledged $1 million to the “Mental Health Community” immediately after accepting his extension. He had been on the daytime talk show discussing mental health before he made the surprise announcement about his extension. His personal experience with a mental health disorder has made him a sincere and extremely vocal advocate for the cause.

This extension is definitely worth the Bears’ dollars. Since signing with Chicago the ProBowler has caught 218 passes for 2,803 yards, 23 touchdowns and is the number one offensive target. Marshall has always been unbelievably talented, but his emotional stature made him a bit of a maturity risk. After his two years with the Bears, Marshall has now honed in those emotions and made himself a mentor for younger wide receivers such as Alshon Jeffery. He’s also been spending his time in Florida this off-season hosting some serious grind sessions for himself and teammates to improve strength, speed and stamina according to ESPN Chicago.

BMarsh has gotten his probowls – now it’s time for a Superbowl. #Beardown

A New Baby Bear for the Cutler Clan

Jay and KCavCongratulations are due for the Cutler clan as they welcomed their second baby bear Jaxon this Wednesday – just in time for the NFL draft!

Kristin Cavallari made the announcement on behalf of her and Chicago Bears’ quarterback hubby Jay Cutler over Instagram.

The 27-year-old ex-reality star is not only a mother of two little guys, but also a shoe and jewelry designer and host of the Fabulist on E! What I want to know is how she looked so fabulous throughout both of her pregnancies?

KCav Baby 2

The couple’s first nugget, Camden, will turn two in August. It’s a boys club at the Cutler casa!

LET THEM EAT CAKE! Happy 100th Birthday Wrigley Field

Wrigley-Field-2014-banners-front-gate

The ever famous Wrigley Field is celebrating its 100th birthday this fine Wednesday. The very first baseball game was played at the friendly confines exactly this day 100 years ago AND it basically looked exactly the same (hehe).

Over the last century the Cubs haven’t had too much to celebrate, but the field has become an iconic Chicago staple making plenty of movie cameos and providing a venue for some of the most historic Chicago concerts.

What better way to celebrate a centennial than with a 400 lbs cake? If you’ve been around 100 years you don’t have to count the calories any longer, you’re excused. The massive cake was baked by Buddy Valastro of the TLC show Cake Boss. It took a small army and six days to make this bad boy. We’ll call it the Friendly Cakefines.

cakeboss

The cake is currently on display outside the friendly confines for fans and Wrigleyville patrons to admire. According to Danny Ecker of ChicagoBussiness.com guests will get to try the cake during a party at the Field Museum.

cake cake

I have two concerns. Will the cake taste delicious or will the fondant overpower the flavor? And WHO is blowing out the candles?

 

First Round Playoff Preview: Chicago Bulls vs. Washington Wizards | SportsDivas, Inc.

chicago-bulls-vs-washington-wizards_zps36d6b91fWell, hello there Chicago Bulls, the playoffs look so good on you.

After another whirlwind of a season, the ever resilient fourth seeded Bulls are preparing to take on the fifth seeded Washington Wizards in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

You may be thinking this all feels vaguely familiar; a Rose-less Bulls team attempting to claim the East and finally make it to the NBA finals. What’s different this time around? Should we even get our hopes up? The answer is, YES.

For the first time in forever Chicago is heading into the post season completely healthy – say WHAT? Yep, the Bulls have had the same starting rotation for the last 40 games of the regular season. Considering the past few injury prone seasons, this is remarkable and a healthy roster has allowed continuity for our favorite guys. We’re not sure if it’s just luck or different team strategies, but we’re happy with the outcome.

This first round match-up with the Wizards is about as ideal as a first round series can get. Chicago avoided another first round showdown with the Brooklyn Nets and if successful, are hypothetically lined up to take on a struggling Indiana Pacers ballclub in round two. The Bulls have the advantage on paper, but never underestimate a team come playoffs when the intensity sky rockets. Here are all the essential details to cheer on our men in red through the first round.

PLayoff preview

What You Need to Know:

Two Totally Different Mindsets: The Bulls are a team who’s roots are embedded in defense. They smother their opponents and refuse open shooting opportunities. Despite their stifling defense, they can struggle to produce points. On the opposite end of the court the Wizards are young, aggressive on offense and showy. If Chicago can control the tempo the series is theirs. If our guys get sloppy and struggle to get the ball to the hoop, Washington will thrive in transition and snag the advantage.

Post Season Primed: The Bulls are experienced in the post season. They’ve made it to the playoffs the last five seasons and advanced to further rounds in 2013 and 2011. Their opponent hasn’t won a playoff series since they beat the Bulls in the first round in 2005 and their guys are baby ballers.

Regular Season Recap: The Wizards were 2-1 against the Bulls this season. However, both of their wins were back in January when the Bulls’ roster was in shambles, they’d just lost Derrick Rose and Luol Deng was traded to Cleveland. Later in the season the Bulls gave the Wizards a a beatdown in Washington, so don’t let the record fool you.

Key Players to Watch on the Wizards:

beal_wallPoint Guard, John Wall is a 23 year-old stud. The PG made his first All-Star appearance this season and averaged 19.4 points and 8.8 assists per game. His offensive tenacity poses a threat to the Bulls who will be challenged with guarding the quick and talented Wall.

Shooting Guard, Bradley Beal is in his second NBA season and shined as one of the Wizards top dogs. The up and coming star averaged 17 points a game and is ready to demonstrate his talents on a bigger stage.

Key Players to Watch on the Bulls:

Noah and ButlerCenter, Joakim Noah IS Chicago Bulls basketball this year. He humbly begs to differ, but this two-time All-Star’s play generally determines if his team sinks or swims. He’s had the best season of his career collecting an insane amount of triple doubles all while averaging 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.4 assist and 1.5 blocks per game.  JoNo has had an unbelievable season and there’s no doubt his talent and intensity won’t shine in this playoff series.

Shooting Guard, Jimmy Butler needs to shine in this series. Butler will be tasked with defending Beal all while producing offensively. He got off to a slow start this season, but we know the Butler has it in him. He averaged 13.1 points per game during the year, but more importantly played the most minutes per game. His defense is clutch to the Bulls success in this series. If he can trap and frustrate the Wizards’ rising star guards Chicago gains the upper hand.

First Round Schedule:

Game 1: Sunday, April 20 at Chicago, 6 p.m., TNT and CSN

Game 2: Tuesday, April 22 at Chicago, 8:30 p.m., TNT and CSN

Game 3: Friday, April 25 at Washington, 7 p.m., ESPN and CSN

Game 4: Sunday, April 27 at Washington, 12 p.m., ABC

Game 5*: Tuesday, April 29 at Chicago, TBD

Game 6*: Thursday, May 1 at Washington, TBD

Game 7*: Saturday, May 3 at Chicago, TBD, TNT and CSN

* if necessary

What’s Next:

milwaukee_022212_172Where you at Bulls-bandwagon? If you fell off throughout the season it’s time to climb back on because things are about to get real. The playoff party begins Sunday at the UC and will only continue to rage on throughout next week.

The Wizards are young and talented, but if Chicago can consistently find their offensive rhythm, their relentless defense will prove too overwhelming for the young studs and force them to crumble under pressure. Prediction: Bulls in 5.

via First Round Playoff Preview: Chicago Bulls vs. Washington Wizards | SportsDivas, Inc..