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  • Published: Apr 27th, 2012
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The View from the Umpire Chair: Not Always the Best Seat in the House

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Typically, when we watch tennis matches we focus on the players; watching it on our television or, if we are lucky enough, from a seat in the stands. But do you ever wonder what a tennis match would look like sitting in the umpire chair?

Sitting in the umpire chair during a match not only gives you the best view but you are the final say on all calls; a rather powerful position.

Although sitting in the umpire chair gives a sense of authority, the view from the top isn’t always as great as you would think.

In September of 2011, many top tennis officials decided not to participate in the US Open and opted to give up their prime seat on the umpire chair.

The 2011 US Open raked in a record high $23.7 million in prize money with the tournaments total earnings exceeding $200 million. Despite the tournament`s high revenue,  the gold badge chair umpires, some who officiate at the legendary Wimbledon tournament, only make $250 per day sitting in the umpire chairs at the US Open; the lowest pay for any Grand Slam tournament.

A retired gold badge chair umpire, Norm Chryst, stated that, “The U.S. Open makes more and more each year, but very little of that goes to the officials. Gold badge umpires don’t want to come here. Why? A lot of the answer is money.”

Not only do chair umpires have to sometimes deal with unfair pay rates but along with the prime view of the players from the umpire chair, sometimes come harsh words from pros when officials have to make  difficult calls that the athletes don`t agree with.

In September 2011, again at the US Open, Serena Williams was extremely upset with umpire, Eva Asderaki, after she made a call ruling that Williams grunted with the intent of distracting her opponent, Samantha Stosur.

Eva Asderaki kept her cool while getting berated by Williams who also confused Asderaki with a US Open official from two years prior saying, “Aren’t you the one that screwed me over last time? Yeah, you are. Seriously, you have it out for me.” Asderaki, looking down at Serena from her umpire chair, shook her head “no,” but Williams continued her insulting rant.

More recently, in January of 2012, David Nalbandian criticized the chair official, Kader Nouni, for over-ruling a point. Later, Nalbandian told reporters he felt that Nouni wasn`t fit to sit in the umpire chair.

In another recent incident involving umpire, Kader Nouni and pro, Caroline Wozniacki, Wozniacki was upset that Nouni overruled a call on a match point. Wozniacki felt that he should have stayed out of it because of the fact that she had no more challenges while opponent, Maria Sharapova did.  The replay showed that Nouni`s call was right however, an angry Wozniacki, who ultimately lost the match, refused to shake Nouni`s hand at the end of the match when he came down from his umpire chair.

Those are just a few instances where sitting front-row-center in the umpire chair is not so rewarding. What players fail to realize when arguing with the chair umpire is that no matter what, the official`s position gives them the final say.

SI.com journalist, Courtney Nguyen, said in an article that “Umpires are damned if they do, damned if they don’t, damned the minute they start climbing that little chair of theirs.” As you can see the view from the umpire chair can be quiet controversial at times.

Courtney Sloan is a college student studying the field of mass media and a copywriter. As a writer and a tennis enthusiast, Courtney has made it her top priority to research and write about topics including tennis news, tennis products, fashion and more and report her findings to the tennis community. 

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  • Author:
  • Published: Apr 24th, 2012
  • Category: Other
  • Comments: Comments Off on The Grand National

The Grand National

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2011 Grand National

2011 Grand National (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s one of those races which pulls in visitors from all over the planet – The Grand National is an iconic horse race which punishes both horse and rider, with a long history of injury for both.

Origins of the Grand National

The Grand National, or simply ‘National’ is known throughout the world as one of the toughest horse races on earth, with terrifyingly tall jumps, ditches and water troughs which pose serious threats to both horse and rider. The original course was laid out by a local hotel owner, William Lynn and a local Lord, the 2nd Earl of Sefton.

There is actually quite a bit of debate over when the first race took place, with some saying that this happened in 1836, whilst the majority saying that races before 1838 happened on a different course. It is clear that in 1838-89 the small, local race turned into a national extravaganza when the railway arrived in Liverpool, enabling a large influx of visitors to the race and an explosion of publicity.

Further Changes

The Grand National captured the imagination of the public in the UK and worldwide, however the race wasn’t originally a handicap race. This was done after the original owner Lynn became ill and this laid the groundwork to drastically increase both the interest in the race and it’s noteriery as a real challenge. Ever since the change to a handicap format, The National has been one of the most popular betting races in the calendar, attracting bets worldwide.

Many Memorable Winners

There have been many memorable races at the now famous Liverpool race course Aintree – probably one of the most recognisable names on this list would be Red Rum. Red Rum was originally bought for 6000 guineas, however after successive wins at the National and many other races became priceless and a national treasure, eventually being given the honour of being buried on the finishing line at the Liverpool course.

Love Hate Relationship

There have been many changes to the course over the years, with recent calls for the fences again to be lowered following the last race in 2012. In the race, two horses died after falls and riders were injured. Despite this, the 2012 Grand National race was deemed the closest finish in history, with a photo finish which took quite a while to decide.

The public at large have a real love hate relationship with The Grand National, with some animal protection societies calling for the race to be banned altogether and others asking that again the course be altered to reduce the chance of injuries to horses. It’s in a way sad that the extreme nature of the course is slowly being eroded, with the highest jumps being made slimmer and lower, but in the end the special nature of this race is made from the whole atmosphere of the event.

Citations:
  • Image courtesy of RacingKel

The Equine Warehouse offer a great range of equine respiratory supplements- perfect for your horse to prepare for that big race!

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Tonight on the radio version of News, Notes and Rumors

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We continue all NFL draft all the time tonight.

Our friend Paul Banks owner of Chicago Sports Guru and the Sports Bank.com joins us to talk about the draft.

Eric Galko, Dir. Of Scouting for OptimumScouting.com, joins us to talk about my Browns Mock draft and what corrections it needs.

NOTE:  There will be no show on Wednesday. 

 

IF you want Browns draft coverage of the live draft, join us.

Thursday join us for our live draft coverage starting at 7:30 PM EDT.  John Tuzey, senior draft analyst for theHuddle.com will be my co-host and we will get live updates from the floor of the draft from Eric Galko, and Samantha Bunten.  We will also talk to Bob Karlovec as well.

Friday the coverage will begin at 7:00 PM EDT and my co-host will be Matt Waldman of

Rookie Scouting Portfolio.  We will cover rounds 2 and 3.

Saturday we will begin coverage at noon EDT.  My co-host will be Ken Becks of

1stdownscouting.com/1st down.  We will be on the air for as long as the voice of the old man (me) holds up. 

Our NNR Sportsims.net football league will start on May 2.  The league is free to our listeners and readers.  Email me at [email protected] to register.  The draft order will be determined by the date of registration.

NNR at 6PM EDT follows the Moohead show at 5PM on http://mooheadradio.com/2.0/.  Press the Green arrow at 6 for NNR.

Join Mr. Moohead  on http://mooheadradio.com/2.0/ after early Cavs games for his post-game chat.

The archive of the show is available the following day at http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Be part of the show by calling our SportSims.com hotline at 216-539-0607.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com and was a senior writer for .  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.  

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  • Author:
  • Published: Mar 27th, 2012
  • Category: Cycling, Hockey, Other
  • Comments: Comments Off on Super Summer Sports Perfect For A Sunny Day

Super Summer Sports Perfect For A Sunny Day

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Français : Ludovic Dubau au Roc d'Azur 2008

Français : Ludovic Dubau au Roc d'Azur 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Super Summer Sports Perfect For A Sunny Day

Enjoy the summer sun with some great sports to get the heart rate pumping. Do them in combination with your diet to help the pounds slide away. Here is a list of summer sports to start you off.

With spring and summer comes the chance to brush off those winter cobwebs and get out of doors. The warmer summer months are perfect for enjoying a range of sports, from something simple to the more adventurous, here’s a list of some great activities for enjoying the summer.

1: Tennis. This traditional spring game can be played anytime during the warmer months, outdoor or indoor. Whether you’re a complete novice or a bit of a pro, there’s nothing better than a quick knock around to start off the season and it’ll help you earn those strawberries and cream.

2: Mountain Biking. Get out and about in the fresh air with this exhilarating sport. Suitable for any age or ability you’ll be sure to find the perfect track for you. Whether it’s a gentle peddle through the forests to an adrenaline fuelled whiz through the hills, mountain biking is a great way to get out and about, on your own or with a group.

3: Canoeing. There’s nothing better for cooling down in the summer sun than getting out on the water. Canoeing is fast becoming one of Britain’s most popular watersports and with man-made lakes and water courses popping up all over the country due to the Olympics, there’s sure to be one on your door step.

4: Cricket. If you want to tone it down a bit, why not wile away the days with the most British of games. Nearly every village, town or city has its own cricket ground, so it’s easy to find a club or group to suit any age or ability.

5: Orienteering. If you’re one for getting out into the countryside then orienteering is definitely the sport for you. With few overhead costs and expensive equipment required, all you need is the mindset to get up and go.

6: Rock-climbing. This is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to get out doors and keep fit. With climbing walls being put up all over the country, indoor or outdoor, you really can’t go wrong. With the proper training and guidance this great summer sport will have you climbing up the walls for another go.

7: Track and Field. This is a great way to get out and meet new people all while getting fit and trying new sports. With a range of different activities, from running and jumping to javelin throwing, you’ll be sure to find something new and different to get you in the mood for the Olympics.

8: Free Running. And now for something a bit different- If you’re a city dweller looking for an adrenaline filled sport that won’t take you too far from your urban home, then give this exciting new sport a go. Once the past time of a few adventurous souls, Free Running is become the sport of choice for many, with clubs and societies popping up in cities all over the country.

Super Summer Sports Perfect For A Sunny Day

Enjoy the summer sun with some great sports to get the heart rate pumping. Do them in combination with your diet to help the pounds slide away. Here is a list of summer sports to start you off.

With spring and summer comes the chance to brush off those winter cobwebs and get out of doors. The warmer summer months are perfect for enjoying a range of sports, from something simple to the more adventurous, here’s a list of some great activities for enjoying the summer.

1: Tennis. This traditional spring game can be played anytime during the warmer months, outdoor or indoor. Whether you’re a complete novice or a bit of a pro, there’s nothing better than a quick knock around to start off the season and it’ll help you earn those strawberries and cream.

2: Mountain Biking. Get out and about in the fresh air with this exhilarating sport. Suitable for any age or ability you’ll be sure to find the perfect track for you. Whether it’s a gentle peddle through the forests to an adrenaline fuelled whiz through the hills, mountain biking is a great way to get out and about, on your own or with a group.

3: Canoeing. There’s nothing better for cooling down in the summer sun than getting out on the water. Canoeing is fast becoming one of Britain’s most popular watersports and with man-made lakes and water courses popping up all over the country due to the Olympics, there’s sure to be one on your door step.

4: Cricket. If you want to tone it down a bit, why not wile away the days with the most British of games. Nearly every village, town or city has its own cricket ground, so it’s easy to find a club or group to suit any age or ability.

5: Orienteering. If you’re one for getting out into the countryside then orienteering is definitely the sport for you. With few costs and equipment required, all you need is the get up and go.

6: Rock-climbing. This is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to get out doors and keep fit. With climbing walls being put up all over the country, indoor or outdoor, you really can’t go wrong. With the proper training and guidance this great summer sport will have you climbing up the walls for another go.

7: Track and Field. This is a great way to get out and meet new people all while getting fit and trying new sports. With a range of different activities, from running and jumping to javelin throwing, you’ll be sure to find something new and different to get you in the mood for the Olympics.

8: Free Running. And now for something a bit different- If you’re a city dweller looking for an adrenaline filled sport that won’t take you too far from your urban home, then give this exciting new sport a go. Once the past time of a few adventurous souls, Free Running is become the sport of choice for many, with clubs and societies popping up in cities all over the country.

Exercise needn’t be a chore, there are plenty of great sports for summer and with your diet plans you’ll be in great shape in no time.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Mar 2nd, 2012
  • Category: Other
  • Comments: Comments Off on Who To Watch For The London 2012 Summer Paralympics

Who To Watch For The London 2012 Summer Paralympics

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While people may well recognise household sporting names such as Usain Bolt or Chris Hoy from the Olympics, sometimes I get the feeling that equally talented athletes in the Paralympics are overlooked by the general public.

With that in mind, here are some of the most promising athletes in the run-up to the 2012 Paralympics.

Image by Ben Sutherland, some rights reserved.

 

Chinese Superiority

China dominated the 2008 Summer Paralympics with 211 medals, with stunning performances from many athletes.

Especially interesting were Guo Wei, who won gold in his category in Discus, Javelin and Shot put, and intends to compete again in 2012, and the Chinese  4×100 metre teams, were strong in various categories.

Keep an eye on their relay teams, throwing athletes, and on the blind judo.

Great Britain

Needless to say, as host country Great Britain will be looking to do well. As the second placed team in the 2008 Paralympics, they might even be looking to challenge China for the top spot.

If so, they face a stiff challenge, but if they can keep competitors like Darren Kenny, David Roberts and Lee Pearson doing so exceptionally well (with three to four golds each), they might stand a chance.

Great Britain should do well in the swimming, cycling and equestrian events.

United States

The US of A fielded a team for the 2008 Paralympics that included 16 veterans.

Army training appeared to pay off, as with help from swimmers like Erin Popovich and Jessica Long, they stormed to third place in the medal tables.

Popovich has since retired, but watch out for Jessica Long, she could do even better this time around.

South Africa

South Africa have some of the most famous Paralympics competitors there have ever been.

Oscar Pistorius, also known as the “Blade Runner”, is a forceful and charismatic character whose understated confidence is backed up by track results. He’s faced challenges over the years from people unable to believe that his speed is entirely natural, and is an excellent ambassador for disabled sports.

Another great athlete of theirs, Natalie du Toit, was accepted onto Time’s list of 100 Olympic Athletes to Watch at number 100 back in 2008. Not content with winning five paralympic golds, she also became the first amputee to qualify for the Olympic Games, finishing 16th in the 10K swim.

Who I’ll Be Watching

While all the events at the Paralympics promise to be incredibly competitive and exciting to watch, I’ll go out of my way to see the so-called “fastest man on no legs”, Oscar Pistorius. As a runner, he is truly world class, and I can only hope the controversies over his entry to the Olympics don’t obscure his performance in the Paralympics.

As well as the rest of the incredible athletes on this list, I’ll keep an eye on the Ukraine and Australia for emerging talents and personalities. They’ve given us some great competitors in the past, ranking fourth and fifth respectively in the medal tables for 2008, and I’ve no doubt that London 2012 will continue the trend.

I’ll see you there!

 

 

Luna MacGroode writes for Mobility Aids Direct, an online retailer who stock a wide range of daily living aids including electric mobility scooters.

 

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  • Author:
  • Published: Feb 17th, 2012
  • Category: Other
  • Comments: Comments Off on Don’t Miss Out On The Olympic Spectacular

Don’t Miss Out On The Olympic Spectacular

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A London Underground train decorated to promot...

Image via Wikipedia

The Olympic Games is the biggest sporting fiesta in the world, and provides some of the most spectacular action you are ever likely to see, ranging from dramatic recoveries from seemingly impossible positions to majestic dominance from the moment an event begins to the second it is won. Every four years, we settle down to watch the excitement unfold, and here are three of the sports to watch out for at London 2012.

Two-wheeled typhoons

The cycling is one of the most breath-taking events of all in any Olympic Games, and this year promises to be a classic. The Great Britain side swept all before them in 2008, and with home advantage they may be even more dominant than last time around. Of the 18 gold medals awarded in Beijing, eight of them went to UK riders. The London Velopark is located in the Olympic Park itself, and will provide spectators with a wonderful day’s entertainment. If you can’t attend, however, watching the action on a 46 inch LCD TV will prove to be just as much fun.

The fastest on the planet

While there are several events in the athletics programme that will undoubtedly catch the eye, the blue riband is surely the men’s 100 metres final. Last time out, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt shook the world with a staggering run that left his rivals far behind. His winning time of 9.69 seconds was all the more remarkable because he appeared to slow down after 70 metres. His victory propelled him into super-stardom, and the defence of his title in London is one of the most eagerly-awaited events of the 2012 Olympics.

GB United – but only as a one-off

The Olympic football tournament isn’t as high profile as many would like, partly because a significant number of nations prefer to use less experienced players, and partly because the use of players over a certain age is limited by the competition’s rules. The 2012 Games offers one intriguing prospect, however, because Great Britain, the host nation, will be entering a team. In world football England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland compete separately, and the individual governing bodies are not usually keen on any amalgamation. When the GB team plays, it might be worth recording it on Freeview recorders, because it’s unlikely to ever happen again.

Needless to say, there are many more sports which will make the headlines during the 2012 Olympics. They include swimming, rowing, boxing and sailing, so the true sports fan will want to see as much action as humanly possible.

 

 

 

David Rice is based in the UK and is a keen fan of sport. He has already invested in a 46 inch LCD TV in readiness for the Olympics, because he plans to see as much of the action as possible. He also plans to look at the choice of Freeview recorders on the market, so he will never miss any of the events.

 

 

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