Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
It is well known that athletes will do pretty much anything to get an athletic edge, even if it means altering their physical appearance. Up and coming tennis sensation Simona Halep is ready to give her all if it means she will have one shot at greatness on the tennis circuit. Exactly what is Simon Halep doing? She is getting a breast reduction. That's right she believes that a breast reduction will allow her to be more flexible and cause less pain. Here at Walker Sports, we say, this is just a same. Take a look and see why.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The Chicago Cubs have not gotten off the great start that they may have hoped for. But it is baseball and that means the season will last another eight months. Nonetheless, for a day at least the Cubs appear to have righted a sinking ship. Of course the man who helped to bring the spark was none other than the fiery Carlos Zambrano.
Check out how Zambrano's actions get the Chicago Cubs back into the saddle.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
With all the posturing done, squads picked and then picked apart by a line of journalists across the globe. The Lions are ready and raring to go.
Make no mistake this is it for Rugby Union this year. Wales may have won a world championship in sevens, The Bulls or Chiefs will win The Super 14, Leinster The European Cup and Ireland the Grand Slam. Whilst all are great achievements they do not sit anywhere near what winning this series means for The Lions players and fans.
Ask any of the Irish players if they will look upon their season as a failure if they lose this test series and it would amazing to hear one say no.
NZ and Australia have been jumping up and down trying remain in the rugby public's eye, whilst the Super 14 final will play second fiddle to The Lions playing a bunch of unknowns called The Highveld XV or Royal XV at the uniquely named "Bafokeng Sports Palace" in Rustenburg with close to 42,000 fans there to cheer them on, 20,000 of those will be Lions fans.
Take a look at Jim Telfer in '97 in the video - everything he says still stands true.
For The Lions, passion and teamwork will be needed by the bucketful for them to get the series win. The Bok's will be good, but, you get the feeling - not good enough.
The South Africans are nothing but confident as a race. This confidence occassionally leads to arrogance and should The Bulls despatch The Chiefs in the Super 14 they will be flying.
What the Lions have is a management team that is bred on success, the Springbok management may well be its weak link and that is where this series will be won.
How Peter De Villiers stands up to a level of scrutiny he has never been under before will go a long way to determining the outcome of this series. The Lions management have the edge of that there is no doubt and with that edge may well come glory.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
So it is pretty obvious that Mark Sanchez is more than excited and ready to live the NFL lifestyle, well at least the off the field part of the NFL life. Mark Sanchez has already made ripples for his upcoming GQ photo shoot, which could be his undoing before he even steps onto an NFL field. However, Sanchez does not just act like a model, he also dates them. Check out Mark Sanchez's smoking hot girlfriend, bikini model Hilary Rhoda.
Even if Sanchez is not a winner on the field, he is a winner in life for this one.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Earlier this week we spoke about NFL Defensive player of the year James Harrison turning down an official visit to the White House to meet President Obama. While the writers here at Walker-Sports did not like the fact that Harrison snubbed the president, we hate his lame excuses even more.
According to sources close to James Harrison, the reason he declined a visit to the White House was Harrison is afraid of flying. Yes, you read that correctly, one of the baddest men in football is too scared to hop on a plane and fly to Washington D.C. According to both friends and James Harrison's agent, he is deathly afraid to hop on a plane and is an absolute train wreck when he has to travel with the Steelers.
Granted fear of flying is a legitimate excuse, and it is a condition has kept many people from perusing their dreams. However, when your jobs requires, and you do it, flying eight or more times a year it is hard to believe that suddenly your fear is too great to overcome when a paycheck is not on the line.
On the surface it appears that Harrison has found a good excuse to get out of traveling to the White House. However, if you scratch the surface just a bit it really looks like that Harrison shot off his mouth a few days ago, and once his statements became public he needed to find a quick out, and save some face. Maybe next time he will come up with a better excuse.
"With the number one pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Clippers select; Blake Griffin, forward Oklahoma Sooners." Those are words, that the NCAA All American and player of the year Blake Griffin will have to get used to over the next few weeks, and they are words that Griffin may grow to fear.
The Clippers beat the odds on Tuesday night and locked up the rights to the number one pick in the 2009 NBA draft. Barring a miracle, they will likely take the best player in the draft Blake Griffin. This will mark the third time in franchise history the Clippers have selected in the number one spot. What have they done with those previous number one picks? Not much, and for that reason Blake Griffin should be afraid, very afraid.
The Los Angeles Clippers First had the number one pick in the NBA Draft in 1988 after going 12-70. The Clippers used the opportunity to draft NCAA Tournament standout Danny Manning. Afterwards, the Clippers promptly improved their record to 17-65 and once again failed to make the post season. LA would receive the second overall pick that year and they drafted Danny Ferry. Somehow, the Danny to Danny connection never amounted to what Clipper fans had hoped for.
The Clippers would once again find themselves at the bottom of the NBA in 1998. This time LA decided to go big with the number one pick, too bad the big man they selected was Michael Olowokandi, an epic bust pick out of Pacific. Eventually Olowokandi would team up with Lamar Odom to form an unimpressive front court. In an odd twist of fate, Odom once again finds himself playing in L.A. for the other team in town, and go figure he has emerged as an All Star.
With the 2009 NBA Draft just around the corner, Blake Griffin is poised to be the next Clipper to be drafted with the number one pick. On the positive side, Griffin's predecessors set a very low bar for him to clear. The other side of that coin is, Griffin will be a Clipper and the despite having a low bar to clear, the Clippers always manage to underachieve.
As the draft draws nearer, one has to imagine that Griffin cannot be happy with this situation. NBA fans will once again be robbed of what could have been, as they watch another basketball prodigy go to waste in La La land. The best we can hope for now is that Blake Griffin resurfaces three years from now somewhere else.
Monday, May 18, 2009
It's been a long standing tradition in American sports history that when a team (seemingly any team) wins a championship they get to go to the White House and meet the president. Sometimes the mixing of athletes and political figures can create an awkward moment. However, for the most part the whole thing is just a good photo opportunity for all involved. As the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare to make their visit to the White House and celebrate their Super Bowl victory, there is one player who will not make the trip, actually he is flat out refusing the invitation.
James Harrison was one of the most feared men in the NFL last season. He had nothing short of a phenomenal season. He capped off the 2008 campaign by making one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history as he rumbled nearly 100 yards for a touchdown. There is no doubt that the Steelers do not make the Super Bowl, if Harrison is not on the team last season. Now it appears that Harrison is ready to make his impact off the field, but turning down the invitation to travel with the Steelers to Washington D.C. to meet President Obama.
According to a report from Pittsburgh News affiliate Chanel 4 Action News, James Harrison is refusing to make the trip to Washington D.C. Harrison had the following to say about the whole situation.
"This is how I feel -- if you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don't win the Super Bowl. As far as I'm concerned, he [Obama] would've invited Arizona if they had won,"
While that is true, it definitely comes across as arrogant that Harrison feels that it should be Obama who is honored to meet him and not the other way around. I suppose that James Harrison's offseason is just too busy to take a day out to visit the president. I mean really how busy can Obama be that he doesn't take time out to visit the star linebacker on his own time? While I understand where Harrison is coming from, you got to sit back and think seriously who does this guy think he is? I'd actually prefer it if Harrison had refused the White House visit because he was making a political statement.
With behavior of this nature, it is not surprising that half the NFL seemingly gets arrested on a regular basis.
It should be noted that Harrison also refused to go to the White House in 2006 to meet President Bush. I guess he was too busy on that day as well.
New York Knicks center Eddy Curry has begun his off season workouts already. Yes, the NBA playoffs are still in full swing but there is no rest for the weary, or to be more precise there is no rest for the overweight.
The word on the street is Curry has ballooned up to the 300 pound mark which is completely unacceptable for a man of his height at 6'11. Curry typically played around the 285 pound mark which was already hefty, but it is believed now he is carrying upwards of another 25 pounds of fat.
In order to combat his weight problems, Eddy Curry is currently enrolled in two-a-day workout programs in an undisclosed facility in Michigan. Curry's agent Leon Rose is responsible for setting up these training sessions. The Knicks center is working out with William Wesley to guide this renovation project.
Hopefully for the sake of Curry's career the workouts will payoff. Curry was in the dog house much of last season because of his weight problems. Head Coach Mike D'Antoni plays a fast paced run and gun style (if he couldn't fit Shaq into the mix Baby Shaq stands no chance) and an overweight slow center simply is worthless.
As it stands right now, it looks like Eddy Curry is on the list to become yet another NBA player who eats themselves out of the league.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
In what will undoubtedly be the match of the first weekends finals defending champions NYAC (Blue #2) host The Denver Barbarians (Red #3) at 2pm EST.
Both teams are packed full of quality, disciplined players and both sides are extremely well coached.
There is little to choose between the sides statistically either with Denver having a points differential of 88 and NYAC of 101.
NYAC will enjoy homeground advantage and that is what should carry them home on the back of their desire to retain their title against a very tough opponent in the Denver Barbo's.
Heavensgame spoke to Bruce McLane coach of the NYAC team about the match.
"It will certainly be a tough game, not only are Denver coached by an Eagle legend and current Eagle coach Dave Hodges, they have 6 players in the pack with Eagle experience in Moreno, Mangan, Vander Geisen, Johnson, Stencel, and Quinn. They also have a professionally experienced Welsh prop in Dai Maddocks who Hodges knew from his days with the Scarletts, and this group is led by long time super league hooker Tim Russo. All of this will be a handful for the younger, smaller NYAC pack."
It is not all doom and gloom for the hosts as McLane adds "NYAC can counter with experienced players such as prop Troy Bartley and hooker Matt Wyatt as well as a contingent of All Americans and youth in Lou Stanfill, Andrew Lindsey, Frank Sharpe, Andy King, James Denise and the powerful Alex Willen. We are hoping that the improvement and growth they have shown through the season continues."
Bruce then gave his thoughts on both backlines "The Denver backline has performed better with the addition of Maximo DeAchaval at FH in the midseason where they posted some big wins and a 1 point loss to perennial finalists Belmont Shore. NYAC must counter with a real team effort in the backs from Mike Petri, Dan Power, Captain Jez Atkin and Tim Ryland."
How will the match turnout?
Bruce can see an argument for both sides prevailing ""Denver has played a playoff game at the NYAC, so they know the lay of the land and know what to expect. It is always safe to back the home side, but in this case it could be different as the Denver Barbarians played in the more difficult Western Conference. NYAC is hoping to be able to execute their gameplan and play smart rugby. If we are able to do that, we should be OK. If Denver overpowers us in the pack and uses their potent attacking flair of DeAchaval and Yavala, they could certainly avenge last year's semi final loss."
"All in all, it will be a quality game of rugby, we are prepared, we are ready, our team is motivated to play in front of our fans and we are excited for the challenge. Not to mention that Dave Hodges is an Eagle coach, so players will want to show they can play. Bill LeClerc, the Eagle scrum coach will also be in attendance so it is a good opportunity for both teams to get players onto Eddie O'Sullivan's radar screen."
Heavensgame also caught up with Dumont Walker – from the leading sports opinion site http://www.walker-sports.net/ to glean his insight on the game
Walker's thoughts on NYAC "This should prove to be the most intriguing match of the weekend. NYAC are the defending RSL Champions and despite an up an down season, they will not relinquish their crown lightly."
Walker's thoughts on Denver "Devner has often knocked at the door for RSL success, but playing in the Red Conference can prove to be difficult for any team."
Walker's prediction "The travel will be too much for the Barbarians to overcome, and once again Denver will fall short in the first round of the post season."
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Continuing our look at the RSL playoffs we once again call on our favorite rugby website Heavens Game to shed some knowledge on us. This time the boys are talking about Old Blue and their trip out west to take on perennial power Belmont Shore.
This weekend sees Old Blue New York (Blue 3#) travel to play the second seed from The Red side of the draw the perennial finalists Belmont Shore AT 1pm PST.
this match should be a home win, The Western division (Red) is stronger than its Eastern counterpart and with that brings obvious favouritism. With that said Belmont finishing second in that division really means that it should have too much in attack for the visitors.
Old Blue only clinched third place in the Blue Conference with a 32-14 home win over Charlotte in the last round of competition. While Belmont Shore warmed up for the match with an impressive 53-3 hammering of the Chicago Griffins.
Heavensgame caught up with Dumont Walker – from the leading sports opinion site http://www.walker-sports.net/ to glean his insight on the game
Walker's thoughts on Old Blue "It kind of amazes me that Old Blue made the playoffs and secured a third seed at that."
Walker's thoughts on Belmont Shore " Belmont has been uncharacteristically quiet all season, but that will change on Saturday when they break out with a big win against their cross country rivals."
Walker's prediction "Belmont has Too much offensive firepower for Old Blue to contend with."
This weekend, the Rugby Super League kicks off their post season, and there are some interesting that will kickoff across the country. As usual when it comes to rugby we are bringing in our favorite rugby experts from Heavens Game to give their thoughts on the Super League playoffs. And if you look closely enough you may just see something extra in this preview.
This weekend sees The Dallas Harlequins (BLUE #4) travel to San Francisco to play the top seed from The Red side of the draw San Francisco Golden Gate (RED #1) AT 3pm PST.
San Francisco had been one of the pre season favourites to reach the RSL finals and this match up should provide them with the opportunity to progress. Dallas needed a win the final round of the competition against PAC to make the finals while San Francisco clinched top spot in the Red Conference and relegated the Chicago Lions to fourth with a 44-20 win over their finals rivals.
You can expect San Francisco fly half Volney Rouse who finished as the 2009 Rugby Super League top point scorer with 107 points to improve on that number through this match up.
Heavensgame caught up with Dumont Walker – from the leading sports opinion site http://www.walker-sports.net/ to glean his insight on the game.
Walker's thoughts on San Fran "Golden Gate has been on the cusp of putting it all together for some years now."With OMBAC experiencing a down year, San Francisco appears ready to make their move. "
Walker's thoughts about Dallas on the road "The Dallas Harlequins typically struggle when traveling, and they looked less than stellar against PAC in their season finale."
Walker's prediction "Look for Golden Gate to roll."
According to sources at Yahoo.Sports a former associate of NBA star O.J. Mayo, states that USC head Coach Tim Floyd gave money to help bring Mayo to USC.
In a story that broke on Tuesday night on Yahoo Sports, Louis Johnson a former associate of O.J. Mayo, told reporters that Rodney Guillory informed him that Floyd had given Guillory a "grand."
Louis Johnson has reported this activity to the NCAA as well as federal investigates claiming that he saw the money in the envelope that Guillory received.
What is truly sad about this whole situation is I highly doubt that anyone is surprised that something shady took place in the recruiting of O.J. Mayo. This is not the first time that USC has been accused of wrong doing in their recruiting practices, remember the school is still under investigation for their actions when dealing with 2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush.
O.J. Mayo was one of the hottest recruits coming out a few years ago, and his high school career was marred with tons of missteps. Anytime a kid attends four separate high schools chances are something is up. To make matters stranger, Mayo reportedly contacted Floyd first and insisted he was ready to play for USC. Which is the opposite of how the recruiting process should go down.
Perhaps the most important fact in this whole situation is once again USC finds itself under the microscope for recruiting and player violations. At some point enough has to be enough. The Trojans are obviously delving into shady tactics with their recruiting efforts in all their athletic programs. At what point will the NCAA actually step in and say something, or are they too scared to touch the golden boy that is USC?
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
With spring in full swing here in the United States rugby playoffs are heating up. This weekend, the Rugby Super League kicks off their post season, and there are some interesting that will kickoff across the country. As usual when it comes to rugby we are bringing in our favorite rugby experts from Heavens Game to give their thoughts on the Super League playoffs. And if you look closely enough you may just see something extra in this preview.
Let's start with a look at the Chicago Lions who are traveling to take on Life University.
This weekend sees The Chicago Lions travel (RED #4) to play the top seed from The Blue side of the draw the unbeaten Life University running eagles (BLUE #1) AT 2pm EST.
Of all the matches to predict this is the simplest, Life University will be too strong on their home ground for the Chicago Lions. Life have for the most part strolled through their games. Chicago are coming of another long road trip to San Francisco where they were touched up 44-20 by San Fran.
Life warmed up for the finals with a 54-14 hammering of Boston RFC.
Heavensgame caught up with Dumont Walker – from the leading sports opinion site http://www.walker-sports.net/ to glean his insight on the game
Walker's thoughts on Chicago "Chicago put together a solid season, but they are about to run into a buzz saw that is Life University."
Walker's thoughts on Life "In their first year back in the RSL, Life has left their mark on every team they've played. Want to know why Life has done so well this season, simple look at their points allowed column."
Walker's prediction "Their defense is too tough for the Lions to crack."
Monday, May 11, 2009
It's always good to see that Nike is once again at the top with their inventive commercial campaigns.
No matter what it was that Jeremy Mayfield tested positive for, Walker-Sports has a message for him and all the other NASCAR drivers.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Breaking news L.A. Dodger Manny Ramirez will be suspended for 50 games after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. This is coming from a Los Angeles Times.
Ramirez is expected to blame the positive test on some prescription meds he received from a doctor for a personal medical problem.
There is no doubt that this recent development will not only hurt the Dodgers as they strive to make the post season. But more importantly it will taint the already strange legacy of Manny Ramirez. There is no doubt that this once first ballot Hall of Famer is now under the microscope.
Perhaps the best part of this whole situation is the explanation of his actions that Ron Artest gives during his post game interview. For once he actually makes sense, and frankly he makes a valid point.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Granted Ovie chanting Pitt sucks is not the best PR move or any of that stuff, but I have to admit I love. No athlete in sports enjoys their job more than Alexander Ovechkin. It is good to see an athlete enjoy what they are doing and having some fun. Sports are meant to be fun, and too often we forget that.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Monday, May 04, 2009
Perhaps the greatest upset in sports history took place this weekend in Stanford California and most of the world didn’t even know a game was taking place. What could be such a grown breaking moment in sports history you may ask? Sunday was the culmination of the division 1 college rugby season. And for the fourth year in a row we saw the meeting of two powerhouse programs when the Cal Bears and BYU Cougars took the field. The result however was something that few would have predicted.
The Cal Bears have been the golden standard for college rugby in the United States seemingly since the beginning of time. The Bears have won a record 24 national titles including five in a row entering this season. For most you either love or hate the Cal Bears and what they have accomplished over the last thirty years. Some hate the Bears for their dominance of the game while others love them for elevating the level of colligate rugby in the United States.
One team that has generated a rivalry with the Bears is the BYU Cougars who have fallen victim to the Ca Bears in three consecutive years. Entering Sunday’s Championship game most felt BYU was once again overmatched. And it would take nothing short of a heroic effort to overcome the odds. To begin with, the championship game was played in Cal’s backyard of Stanford California and the 3,400 who showed up were ready to cheer on the Bears. To make matters worse for BYU, the Cougars would take on four yellow cards during the course of the game. At times BYU was actually playing 13 on 15 with a two man disadvantage.
Nonetheless the Cougars continued to battle back from adversity. Entering the half down 12-7 the Cougars were not ready to go down without a fight. The second half saw BYU attacking the Bears at the gainline. They tackled like mad men as they forced the issue and caused turnover ball in the ruck. As the second half wore on, the pressure was too much for Cal to handle. Thanks to a few penalty conversions BYU ended the game leading 25-22.
There is no doubt this one of the great upsets of colligate sports history. Many teams from around North America have tried to break the hold Cal has had on American rugby and for a team to break through on the biggest stage and in their own back yard is nothing short of phenomenal.
Congratulation to the BYU Cougars for completing one of the great upsets of all time.
Friday, May 01, 2009
With summer fast approaching here in the United States that means summer 7's season is right around the corner. The fast paced rugby hybrid has become a hit in the States, and for those of you who have followed Walker-Sports for a while know that while we are not fans of Rugby 7's we do believe it will be the path the U.S. takes if they want to make an impact on the world scene. Well after talking with our friends over at Heavens Game, it looks that we are not the only ones who believe rugby 7's could be used as a vehicle for a countries success. In an intereting conversation, the boys from Heavens Game are talking about Rugby 7's and the small island of Trinidad and Tobago, not exactly a country known for their rugby.
Heavensgame has been fortunate to have a discussion on Rugby with Brian Lewis Honorary Secretary of the Trinidad and Tobago RFU (T&TRFU).
Brian explained his main functions as Honorary Secretary of the T&TRFU "Responsible for the overall administration of the Game on a day to day basis.Ensuring that the decisions of the TTRFU Executive and Management Committee are implemented and executed."
He highlighted the most important facet, given the time commitment Brian makes "Please note it is unpaid/voluntary. We have contracted a CORPORATE Secretarial Service provider. They do the actual work. So I am able to direct, oversee etc.it works very well for us."
Rugby we find out is not a new game to the Islands as Brian points out "Rugby has been played in Trinidad and Tobago since 1922 - 23"
The game has a solid foundation in the country "Currently In senior rugby we have 11 clubs.Two have women teams.Six have under 19s.There are about 17 schools playing rugby.For an island of 1.3 million.Where football, cricket, track and field, basketball, hockey, swimming are more popular sports."
"We (rugby)have a good foundation to build on. Over the years we have been successful in changing the image of the sport.I should probably say perception from elitist,expat to a more mainstream sport.There is still the image that it is a dangerous and overly robust sport played by beer drinking miscreants that we have to work on.'
"The success of our National Rugby teams in the Caribbean over the years have allowed for a more serious view to be taken by Government and the media. Should rugby get on to the Olympic programme it will be a further boost. We have tremendous international potential in 7s rugby." Explained Brian.
Just as in any sporting body across the globe there are issues that have to be dealt with and The T&TRFU is no exception " The biggest issue is lack of sufficient financial resources to really provide the kind of economies of scale and capacity building that will prove trans formative.'
"We do get an IRB grant for development but it just allows us to scratch the surface."
The Americas is now the only region in the world under The IRB that does not have an all encompassing tiered campaign now that Asia has develope their 5 nations. Does Brian see such a competition helping The T&TRFU?
"I would like to think so.But with Canada and USA fighting to elevate themselves from tier 2 IRB ranking.I am not confident such a competition will be a priority for the North Americans or the IRB."
"Let me say that the IRB may need to look at 7s rugby as a separate aspect.If this is done there some of the Caribbean countries have significant potential to do just as Kenya has done in 7s rugby." We can only concur.