Irish Sprint Hurdler Derval O'Rourke Prepares For World Championships With Tea, Chocolate, And Drugs*

Deval O'Rourke

DERVAL O’ROURKE’S quest to win a Championship medal has begun, as preparations intensify ahead of the 100m Hurdles Heats on Friday morning (2.20am Irish time).

Writing on her official blog, O’Rourke expressed excitement at the prospect of competing, while outlining an extensive list of essentials she has packed for her journey, including “barrys tea, crackers, dark chocolate” and “drugs – not the dirty bad kind the sleeping tablet/anti histamine/asthma drug kind”.

O’Rourke came fourth in the same event at the World Championships two years ago, setting a new Irish record of 12.67 in the process. She then improved on this record a year later at the European Championships in Barcelona, recording a time of 12.65 and taking silver at the event.

And far from being daunted by the occasion, the athlete is confident she can improve on past efforts:

“I think finishing fourth at the Indoors gave me the motivation to work harder for these Championships, so it some ways it helped and I feel that it refocused me on Daegu.”

She also dismissed fears that she would be affected by the climate in South Korea, stating:

“My races are usually under 13 seconds so the heat has little or no impact on me.  It has a bigger bearing on those who have to run longer in the heat.  For me it’s an advantage as my body is warmer and capable of going faster so hopefully that’s the case this week.”

O’Rourke had high praise for Irish compatriots Deirdre Ryan and Olive Loughnane, tipping both to make a significant impact at the event.

In addition to the Heats on friday, the 100m Hurdles semi-final will be taking place on Saturday (11am Irish time), with the final taking place the same day (1.00pm Irish time).

This post originally appeared at The Score.

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Arsenal Transfer News: Are Mertesacker and Santos the Answers?

So, Arsene Wenger has finally decided to listen to all those around him and spend his way out of the mire he and his team find themselves in.

After the weekend's 8-2 drubbing by Manchester United, it is now clearer than ever before that Arsenal need to reinforce their back line with quality defenders - something they should have done  a long time ago.

So, with just 24 hours to go before the transfer window closes, Wenger has turned his attentions to Germany defender Per Mertesacker and Brazil left-back Andre Santos.

He could do a lot worse, considering the time constraints.

Mertesacker is what the Gunners have been crying out for: an international defender with bags of European and international experience who is confident with the ball at his feet and who is unlikely to lose his head under pressure.

He isn't even that old - still just 26 - yet he is a veteran of some 75 Germany caps and he has won third-place medals at two World Cups.

Standing at 6ft 6in, he is a commanding presence at the back, yet despite his height he is far from clumsy in the tackle. Indeed, he has a reputation in the Bundesliga for being a clean tackler and is rarely on the wrong side of the referee.

Typically for a German, the Werder Bremen player is well-organised, professional and more than capable of whipping the Gunners' back line into shape. Laurent Koscielny just doesn't have the same standing.

In other words, Mertesacker is just what Arsenal need at the moment.

Santos, should he go to the Emirates, would perhaps be less of an impact player, but considering Gael Clichy has already departed, Kieran Gibbs is injured and Armand Traore has just been sold to QPR, bringing in cover in the left-back position before the window closes is absolutely essential.

Like Mertesacker, Santos has a good pedigree, boasting 22 Brazil caps and Champions League experience with Turkish side Fenerbahce, and the 28-year-old would bring some much needed know-how to the Gunners' defence.

Looking further forward, Arsenal have already secured the services of striker Park Chu-Young and while the South Korean will not be expected to turn things around for Arsenal, for a squad player costing £4 million he seems a typically astute bit of Wenger business.

But there is still the question of a midfielder to fill the creative void left by the departure of Samir Nasri. Step forward Yossi Benayoun, perhaps the only quality midfielder on the continent not seeing regular action for his current club and who may consider a move to the Emirates.

These players must be Wenger's priorities on this final day of transfer dealings. If he can seal deals for all three and rather belatedly begin his rebuilding project, perhaps this season is not yet lost for Arsenal.

The clock is ticking.

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/828735-arsenal-transfer-news-are-mertesacker-and-santos-the-answers

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LaCombe a key cog in Jacks? upcoming draft efforts

Source: http://www.americanjuniorhockey.com/2011/03/lacombe-key-cog-in-jacks-upcoming-draft.html

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Former Wizards, Grizzlies Guard Javaris Crittenton wanted for Murder; Captured by FBI

Update: FBI arrest Crittenton at John Wayne/Orange County airport. From ESPN: Crittenton, who was suspended from the league in March 2010 for having guns in a locker room with teammate Gilbert Arenas, was arrested Monday in Southern California to face a murder charge in a deadly Atlanta shooting. Crittenton was taken into custody at about [...]

Source: http://www.thesportsbank.net/nba/former-wizards-grizzlies-guard-javaris-crittenton-wanted-for-murder-sought-by-fbi/

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Tornado Send A Statement To The Bulls with 3-1 Win

Source: http://www.americanjuniorhockey.com/2011/03/tornado-send-statement-to-bulls-with-3.html

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Big Ten Predictions 2011: 7 Upsets Waiting to Happen

Every year, in every conference, there are countless upsets that nobody sees coming.  There are also upsets that people may have suspected but never thought would actually happen.

The Big Ten is bound to see numerous upsets this year, just as it does every season.  Here's a look at seven games that won't necessarily result in a upset but potentially could if the favored team isn't careful.

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Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/827543-big-ten-predictions-2011-7-upsets-waiting-to-happen

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WWE: CM Punk and Triple H Shouldn't Wrestle at Night of Champions

WWE is doing a phenomenal job ruining the feud between CM Punk and Triple H.

It is a slap in the face to fans how terrible this storyline has progressed and unraveled. It’s as clear as day WWE couldn’t wait to pull the trigger on Triple H versus Punk ever since Comic-Con after Money in the Bank.

They dropped Punk from his captivating storyline with John Cena to pursue this horrible excuse of an enjoyable feud. The dream match we wanted between HHH and Punk is happening at Night of Champions without the proper build. WWE is wasting this epic WrestleMania-caliber match on a throw away Pay-Per-View to combat the NFL.

Give me a break, WWE. Couldn’t you at least give this match more time? You’re throwing it out there for no reason whatsoever. I’m not even looking forward to this match any more because it’s been rushed and is lacking any quality substance. We’re going to see the match and not have a single answer as to why it’s even taking place.

I was able to accept the potential Kevin Nash versus Punk match at Night of Champions because at least it made sense within the confines of the WWE Universe. We don’t know for sure why Nash got involved, but he did. It’s as if WWE views Nash as the bigger threat to Punk when it should clearly be Triple H.

I'm sorry, I thought Triple H was calling the shots around here. Since when did Nash take over? Triple H shouldn’t be protecting Nash from Punk. Instead, it should be Nash attempting to do Triple H’s dirty work for him. We’re less than two months into Triple H’s new role and he’s already back in the squared circle? That should have been the last resort, not the first!

Nash versus Punk would surely be a terrible match considering Nash’s condition and that he was never a high-quality big man to begin with, but at least it would have progressed the storyline. WWE is skipping a key component in the storyline. They’re going from Point A to Point C and just skipping Point B altogether. Nash said it himself, he's signed to a contract. Why is he being pulled from an encounter with Punk for Triple H?

We might get some more answers between now and Night of Champions, but how many people even care now? The match is already booked, so whatever the reasoning behind it is irrelevant at this point. WWE jumped the gun much too soon.

Triple H versus Punk would have been a fitting match for Hell in a Cell, but not Night of Champions. They could have wrestled their one-on-one match and then went into a Survivor Series style with a new-look Kliq against a newly formed faction standing behind Punk. That’s just one idea. There’s dozens of others we could toss out there that would have made far more sense than this sorry excuse for booking.

Where do we go from here?

At the drop of a dime, Triple H will be back in the ring at any given notice. That’s not how it should be, at least not now. We needed to see Triple H continue to take the back seat and high road to be a professional boss. That’s why Nash is here in the first place. Is Triple H just going to hop in the ring with every superstar that crosses his path? 

Vince McMahon only did that when it was necessary. It’s not necessary yet with Triple H. I understand he’s different than Vince, but we can’t forget Triple H is new to the job. Is Triple H going to be the hit man for the WWE Board of Directors? Is he the enforcer that will be called upon to take out anybody that threatens the WWE Universe?

It seemed the whole point of Triple H taking over as COO was to get him away from the ring and take a back seat to the other superstars. Instead, it’s the complete opposite. He started off well, but it has been a steady decline.

The man we have to feel sorry for at this point is Punk. He was red-hot the entire summer in an exciting and enthralling feud with Cena that left us salivating for more each week. He’s now stuck in a jumbled mess of nonsense without any direction.

Congratulations, WWE, for ruining another potentially awesome feud in Triple H versus Punk by rushing it beyond imagination. 

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/828055-wwe-night-of-champions-too-early-for-triple-h-vs-cm-punk

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Tuesday Morning Fly By: August Is Almost Over, Promise

Source: http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2011/8/30/2392599/tuesday-morning-fly-by-august-is-almost-over-promise

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Philadelphia Eagles: 5 Non "Dream Team" Players Who Will Be Key

The Philadelphia Eagles and their fans cringe every time they hear the term "Dream Team." This now infamous declaration by Eagles backup QB Vince Young has put an unneeded target on the back of the team.

Besides the obvious ones, who are lesser thought-about players whose performance this season will be key to the team's overall success?

We can all pretty much agree on the players who make up this dream team nonsense: Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Trent Cole, Cullen Jenkins and Jason Babin.

Sorry Vince, even though you came up with the name, you aren't part of it!

And even though Young could become a key player as the backup to an injury prone Michael Vick, I'm not certain that it wouldn't be Mike Kafka who comes in as the #2.

With that said, here are five other guys who need to step up in order to make this season a success.



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Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/827416-philadelphia-eagles-5-non-dream-team-players-who-will-be-key

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The Big Lubanski: Kenai River captain helps bring Bears to respectability

Source: http://www.americanjuniorhockey.com/2011/03/big-lubanski-kenai-river-captain-helps.html

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TNA Knockout Slams Pay Reports, Ignores Her Own History of Complaining About Pay

Over at her blog, TNA knockout Tara talks about the recent controversies concerning Matt Hardy and Ric Flair. She also takes exception to some of the recent reports regarding how much the knockouts are paid (namely, that while most of the female performers earn $600 or less, former WWE girls Christy Hemme and Mickie James earn much more). Tara complains:

And with regards to what is said in the wrestling gossip sites, I’m not going to bash them. Sometimes they are accurate, and I wonder how that info got out. But sometimes, and on stuff I know for certain, it can be inaccurate. Again, I don’t know how people get their information. But a perfect example is a couple days ago there was someone talking about the pay for the Knockouts. I know for certain that there were multiple inaccuracies in that article. Did someone plant the story to cause tension in our locker room, which is especially stress-free these days? Or did someone just mistakenly get some information wrong? Who knows, but that’s my “don’t believe everything you read” speech. If you want to know ask me. I respond to as much as I can on Twitter. What’s my favorite color? Red. How old is my dog Sophie? Three. How much do I get paid as a Knockout? None of your damn business ; )

Those no-good, lying dirtsheets, right? 

Except, last year, Tara almost left the company over a pay discrepancy and publicly slammed them over what she called a refusal to "pay me what I think is fair." She also accused the company of telling lies about her and leaking them to the Internet, presumably in retaliation over her asking for a better deal. Here are some highlights from the April 2010 blog

It appears that I'm winding down at TNA. Unfortunately some organizations "leak" information to wrestling websites to put their spin on a situation, to make sure they come out in the best light. Not me. I'm gonna say it. I'm gonna put my name on it. And I'm going to stand behind it.

I came to TNA last year because I still had a lot of wrestling left in me.  I was paid a fraction of what I thought I deserved.  But I wanted to show I was still at the top of my game.  Now my contract is up in May.  I want a modest pay increase.  They don't want to pay me what I think is fair.  I have no problem going my own way.

Tara is claiming that the stories of low pay are untrue, despite the fact that she was one of the people that complained and drew attention to the issue in the first place. What sense does this make?

She has a valid point in saying that the wrestling press don't know every single thing that goes on backstage. However, at this point, any suggestion that the stories of pay discrepancy in TNA have somehow been made up by the "dirtsheets" to cause trouble in TNA is completely laughable.   

Aside from Tara's complaints last year, Awesome Kong (now Kharma in WWE) also criticised the TNA management's unwillingness to pay her what she was worth. She admitted it was one of the main reasons why she left the company in early 2010.

Gail Kim and Shelly Martinez have also said that they parted ways with TNA over money. What's more, in a now famous story, TNA knockout Taylor Wilde admitted that she was recognized as KO champion while working at Sunglass Hut.

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/827180-tna-knockout-slams-pay-reports-ignores-her-own-history-of-complaining-about-pay

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Philadelphia Phillies: Is Cole Hamels a Cy Young Contender?

The Philadelphia Phillies finally returned to the field last night to defeat the Cincinnati Reds, 3-2. The victory was especially sweet because starting pitcher Cole Hamels returned from the DL.

Although he received a no-decision, he went six innings, allowing two hits and one run and striking out seven.

This outing only served to strengthen his bid for the Cy Young Award. He still probably remains somewhat behind teammate Roy Halladay and the Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw. Nevertheless, he has been having an amazing season so far, and with a very strong September, he could contend for the award.

Hamels is 13-7 this season. His ERA and WHIP have both dropped as a result of his start last night to 2.58 and 0.97, respectively. Opponents are only batting .211 against him. He is also averaging 8.19 strikeouts per nine innings.

In terms of sabermetrics, his 5.3 wins-above-replacement rating is indeed third among National League pitchers behind Halladay (6.9) and Kershaw (5.8), according to FanGraphs.

As the only homegrown ace the Phillies have in the rotation right now (although Vance Worley is making a case to join the aces), he has shown that the Phillies can develop pitchers as well as trade for them.

He has also shown that September is traditionally his best month over the past three seasons, were his ERA is 0.7 runs below his season statistic at that time.

With a strong September, perhaps he can make some noise and gain ground on Halladay and Kershaw in the Cy Young race. However, he does have quite a bit of ground to make up.

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/826969-philadelphia-phillies-is-cole-hamels-a-cy-young-contender

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#70 Indiana State Sycamores: College Basketball 111 in 111

Welcome to The Sports Bank?s second annual college basketball season preview series.� Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.� This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.� We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.� [...]

Source: http://www.thesportsbank.net/college-bball/70-indiana-state-sycamores-college-basketball-111-in-111/

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Roma Transfer Rumors: Simon Kjaer Return to Serie A at the Deadline

Former Palermo defensive stalwart Simon Kjaer appears likely to make his Serie A return, just one year removed from a €13 million deal that sent him to Bundesliga side VFL Wolfsburg.

After experiencing a less than stellar campaign, in which the defender saw his form suffer and new club narrowly avoid regulation from the German first tier, the Dutch international has been deemed surplus to manager Felix Magath’s requirements.

Having been granted permission to seek pastures anew by Magath himself, the 22-year-old center-back has set his sights on becoming the latest of Luis Enrique’s acquisitions to AS Roma for a fee in the vicinity of €10 million.

In spite of the player’s difficult experience abroad, Kjaer would do much to shore up and improve a backline that dearly misses the departed Philippe Mexes, who left for Serie A titleholders AC Milan on a free transfer earlier this summer.

At 1.89 m (6'2"), the powerfully built defender will strike a fierce presence at the back and on corners for many seasons to come. In truth, Kjaer’s youth may be his greatest asset to a Giallorossi squad overburdened by members on the wrong side of 30 and well past their individual bests.

Considering the state of the Roma defense which has been embarrassed time and time again no more than three games in, the Dane may well become the Italian club's greatest addition of a very busy window.

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/826752-roma-transfer-rumors-simon-kjaer-return-to-serie-a-at-the-deadline

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Jay Cutler?s Ex Kristin Cavallari and Ron Artest doing DWTS

ABC announced the new lineup for season 13 of “Dancing with the Stars,” and it includes U.S. Women’s soccer goaltender Hope Solo, former Indiana Pacers star, and NBA Champion with the Los Angeles Lakers Ron Artest. One of the biggest and most surprising names is Kristin Cavallari, the former fiance of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay [...]

Source: http://www.thesportsbank.net/nba/jay-cutlers-ex-kristin-cavallari-and-ron-artest-doing-dwts/

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Source: http://www.americanjuniorhockey.com/2011/03/americans-fend-off-giants-5-4-in-wild.html

Brian Wilson Eli Whiteside Mike Fontenot Brett Pill Pat Burrell Jhan Marinez

EPL Transfer News: Deals That Could Tip in Favor of the Top 4 Clubs

With the countdown to the end of the 2011 summer transfer window already begun, teams look to make their final moves and get the team they will compete with for the first half of the season. Many clubs have already bought early, bought up their side and are comfortable with the players they have.

But what makes the dying embers of the transfer window the most exciting is those teams that think the player that is the answer to all their problems still lie out there.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea are the early leaders of the Premier League pack. They have handled business in their first three games and to no one’s surprise are living up to their status as favorites to win the league.

But to sustain this kind of success throughout the season is the real mark of a championship side. All four have already made headlines with their signings thus far, but when you are playing the high stakes game of big time football, it is never enough.

All will be looking to get an advantage over the other in the first half of the season and create a gap the others cannot close. To do so, they will make deadline deals to strengthen and improve their already quality sides.

Here is one player each team could get that would greatly improve their chances of glory come May.

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Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/826399-epl-transfer-news-1-deal-that-could-tip-in-favor-for-the-top-4-clubs

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NFL: 7 Reasons This Season Is More Intriguing Than Past Years

It's not like fans are hard-pressed to find reasons for tuning-in to football, and this season will give them even more motivation to do so.

Intriguing storylines have always cluttered the airwaves from week to week, and several football-related topics will again provide for interesting water-cooler conversations across the country.

This year is special, though. A catastrophic offseason has reshaped the football earth, leaving several plot twists to emerge in its aftermath. 

As we witness these stories take shape over the years, we may keep looking at the 2011 season as a starting point to league-changing events. Most will truly come into their own in years to come, but several will be noticed sooner than later.

That said, it's worth examining seven reasons why this season will be more intriguing than others in recent memory.

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Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/826035-nfl-7-reasons-this-season-is-more-intriguing-than-past-years

Jason Arnott David Clarkson Patrick Davis Tyler Eckford Mark Fraser Andy Greene

Las Vegas Submits Rogue Bid To Host The 2020 Olympics

Las Vegas

Las Vegas submitted a letter to the International Olympic Committee last week announcing its intention to seek to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

There's just one problem: The IOC will not accept any bid unless it also has the support of the national Olympic committee. The USOC has already declared that they will not submit an American bid for 2020.

The IOC has already specifically rejected the Las Vegas idea on those grounds.

But Vegas being Vegas, that technicality isn't stopping them. Bid organizers still think they can convince the USOC and IOC to change their minds, even though the deadline for applications is September 1.

Also – although NBC would certainly love to cover an American Olympics - unless the city can somehow find a way to hold every single event indoors, a Summer Olympics in the middle of the Nevada desert is a long shot at best.

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Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/sportspage/~3/5y35nRRfsAM/las-vegas-2020-olympics-2011-8

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ACC Roundtable: 2011 Preseason College Football Edition

Source: http://www.bcinterruption.com/2011/8/29/2390786/acc-football-2011-preview-roundtable-florida-state-virginia-tech

Jhan Marinez Anibal Sanchez John Baker Brad Davis Logan Morrison Mike Stanton

Top Fantasy Centers

from Matt Cubeta of NHL.com, From Tampa Bay?s Steven Stamkos?a bona fide superstar who gives Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Daniel Sedin a run for their money in terms of the best overall fantasy player?to Logan Couture, who emerged as one of the more dangerous players on the ice, night in night out, this year?s crop of centers will help make your fantasy team a contender.

read on for the top 30 ranked centers?

Source: http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/hockey/comments/top_fantasy_centers/

Jorge Posada Lance Berkman Reegie Corona Juan Miranda Colin Curtis Kevin Russo

#6 LSU Tigers: College Football 77 in 77

Have you been following the news lately? The LSU Tigers could be facing a Category 2 storm of off-the-field issues. If they’re lucky, their problems could be downgraded to a Tropical Storm by conference season. LSU football players should have learned- what good can come from hanging out at a bar named Shady’s? I bet [...]

Source: http://www.thesportsbank.net/college-fball/6-lsu-tigers-college-football-77-in-77/

Nick Johnson Javier Lopez Alex Hinshaw Ramon Ramirez Sergio Romo Brian Wilson

Analyzing the Minnesota Vikings Depth Chart

The addition of Donovan McNabb and Michael Jenkins on the offensive side of the ball have been the two most notable positive amendments during the offseason. The most newsworthy departure is undoubtedly the exit by offensive lineman and consistent Pro Bowler Bryant McKinnie. After taking a look at the depth chart on the team?s official [...]

Source: http://www.thesportsbank.net/nfl/analyzing-the-minnesota-vikings-depth-chart/

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MLS: MLS Team Colors Lack Uniformity

Watching Toronto FC vs. FC Dallas for two nights (first night got cancelled because of lightning strikes close to the stadium) compete in CONCACAF Champions League took some time to get used to.  

Usually, FC Dallas plays in red, but for these two nights, they were dressed in blue.  Toronto's main theme color is red.  They were the home team, so they got the privilege of wearing red over FC Dallas, which they did the first night—a deep red.  The second night, they wore a sort of red/orange. 

The confusion among team colors merits a review of whether MLS teams are doing a good or bad job in selecting their colors and uniforms. 

Overall, there are too many teams with similar color schemes, too many reds and blues. Compounding this problem, teams don't wear their team names anywhere on the uniforms, giving the space to advertisers.

Advertising on the uniforms is fine.  It's one more way to generate revenue.  But, team names should always be visible and easy to spot for sports fans.  For example, if D.C. United has Volkswagen on the front of their uniforms, there's room right below the VW insignia to put their team name.

Also, there does not seem to be enough synchronicity among MLS teams when it comes to home and away uniforms.  A lesson from other U.S. sports leagues may be needed.  For the most part in the recent past in the NBA and the NFL, the home team chooses to either wear mostly white or their dominant team color.  The visiting teams play in opposite style, with either their dominant color or their whites, depending on how the home team chooses. 

It seems, some MLS teams are using multiple uniforms for both home and away.  They are mixing up three or four colors and forming sets of uniforms. 

In world soccer, it is typical to change out the uniform from year to year, as the advertisers change. This is another area in which MLS has tried to copy too much of what the rest of the world is doing. 

It's not necessary to make wholesale changes.  It may be about selling more uniforms to the public, but a team playing with too many uniforms takes away from the main uniform's importance.

Teams should stick with more simple themes.  Interestingly, it seems the more simple, the more distinctive.  Sports fans are able to match colors to cities better for long-term memory.  Local fanbases are able to identify with a color and embrace it as their own.   

There are some impressive uniforms.  Seattle and Houston come to mind.  They have chosen bright colors.

It is excellent to see Seattle in green and Houston in orange, sometimes even wearing their colors for both shorts and shirts.  These colors stand out and are immediately recognizable.  They are able to build a bigger constituency not just within their own city limits but throughout the country. 

Other than Houston and Seattle, Portland has done a good job in standing apart with forest green as their main color.  It goes well with their Oregon Timbers theme.  There are other good colors in the MLS, too, like the yellow of Columbus, the purple of Real Salt Lake and the black of D.C.

MLS is still in a battle for mainstream status.  They can't relax just because of their NBC contract. They have to get all the little things in order to maintain their momentum.  Uniformity among uniforms will make it easier on sports fans.

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/825250-mls-team-colors-lack-uniformity

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Sabres Still Have Moves To Make

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe, They once watched stars such as Chris Drury and Danny Briere bolt for bigger bucks in unrestricted free agency. They saw GM Darcy Regier wheel Brian Campbell in the last year of the puck-rushing defenseman?s contract. Now, Buffalo fans are reeling for the opposite reason. Their penny-pinching club is burning through cash. ?Definitely a new scene,?? said ex-Sabre Daniel Paille. ?When I was there, they were more stingy with spending the money. Now they have an owner who wants to win. They have that enthusiasm right now. That?s what they needed to get a change. They?ve spent a lot of money. But obviously it?s tough to win.?? The free-spending Sabres will need to clear more than $3 million in salary (according to capgeek.com) to become cap-compliant before the start of the season. Buffalo traded for Robyn Regehr, signed Christian Ehrhoff and Ville Leino, and re-signed Nathan Gerbe and Cody McCormick. If Regier can?t trade some of his existing salaries, he might have to dump some players in the AHL.

more hockey topics?

Source: http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/hockey/comments/sabres_still_have_moves_to_make/

Colin Curtis Kevin Russo Curtis Granderson Nick Johnson Javier Lopez Alex Hinshaw

Anyone Need A Veteran Dman?

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal, Pat Morris, who represents former Oilers defenceman Steve Staios, says the 38-year-old still wants to play in the NHL this upcoming season.

?He?s been training with all the young players at Matt Nichols? camp in Toronto. I really think Steve could help a young team like the Islanders or Colorado (Avalanche). He played 23 of the last 27 games for Calgary last season, was an even-or plus-player in 18 of those games and had eight points.?

Staios, who has kids to enrol in school, likely wouldn?t take a training camp invite, but he has been around long enough to know that teams are always on the hunt for veteran defencemen. Something could occur this week.

read on for addtional hockey talk?

Source: http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/hockey/comments/anyone_need_a_veteran_dman/

Boston Bruins Buffalo Sabres Montreal Canadiens Ottawa Senators Toronto Maple Leafs Atlanta Trashers

Spirit Lose to Storm; Playoff Series Stands Even

Source: http://www.americanjuniorhockey.com/2011/03/spirit-lose-to-storm-playoff-series.html

Mariano Rivera Kerry Wood Francisco Cervelli Chad Moeller Jorge Posada Lance Berkman


Source: http://www.americanjuniorhockey.com/2011/03/runners-fall-to-bulls-3-2.html

Lance Berkman Reegie Corona Juan Miranda Colin Curtis Kevin Russo Curtis Granderson

Packers Nip the Colts 24-21; Preseason Notes and Links

The Green Bay Packers played their starters for an entire half en route to a 24-21 win over the Indianapolis Colts to improve to 2-1 in the preseason. Even though Aaron Rodgers and company had a crisp half, it was third-stringer Graham Harrell who led the Pack to a last minute victory on Friday. Follow [...]

Source: http://www.thesportsbank.net/nfl/packers-nip-the-colts-24-21-preseason-notes-and-links/

Wade Belak Martin Erat Marcel Goc Jamie Lundmark Nick Spaling Pikka Rinne

New York Rangers: How Will the European Road Trip Affect Team Chemistry?

As many of you may or may not know, the New York Rangers will open up the 2011-12 NHL season in Europe. The Rangers will take part in a number of preseason exhibition match-ups and they will also play a regular season game against the Los Angeles Kings.

This road trip to Europe could prove to be an interesting one for the Blueshirts. There are some factors to consider when looking at how this could affect team morale and on-ice performance. The Rangers will be taking along some rookie players that have never been acclimated to a situation like this.

They will be in unfamiliar territory and many wonder how they will react. As most players, coaches, fans and scouts will tell you, hockey players are creatures of habit. They stick to certain routines and rituals before they step onto the ice. Could this affect the psyche of some players in a small way?

Chances are that it won't but there is always that one player who could upset the apple cart. This long trip will give players an opportunity to really get to know one another. Two players that really need to become acquainted are Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. During these long plane rides and bus trips, Richards and Gaborik will be given extra time to get to know each other and will learn more about each other. Chances are that if they were in New York they wouldn't spend as much time getting to know each other.

The Rangers acquired Brad Richards in attempting to fill two key holes in their lineup. The key word is they are attempting to fix these holes. Adding Brad Richards to the equation is no guarantee for sure-fire success but he is an important addition in finding a solution to the Rangers' problems.

Marian Gaborik is a talented goal scorer that really has never played with a true No. 1 center before. If he could score 80-plus points with Vinny Prospal, there is no reason why Gaborik, with his speed and Richards' talented play-making abilities, shouldn't put up 40-45 goals. 

Coaches have always said that you really get to learn a lot about your team's character when you're on the road. After home games, players return to their homes and unwind but on the road players have opportunities to interact and hangout in whatever city they are in. This trip gives the Rangers the chance to become a solid and cohesive unit. They can put their trust in each other and this chemistry will benefit them throughout the stressful and challenging NHL season.

I'm particularly interested in how young players like Tim Erixon, Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh, and countless others adapt to such a vast and extensive road trip.

Derek Stepan for example is a player whom the Rangers would love to see produce a lot this year. 

Last season, the Rangers relied heavily on their young core players. With the acquisition of Brad Richards, Stepan will take a reduced amount of ice time in comparison to last year. This ice time, however, will be typical for a third-line player with Stepan's experience.

Stepan will also not be pressured to carry the offense for the Rangers. Last year Stepan was one of the few 20-goal scorers for the Rangers. Often times, Rangers bench boss John Tortorella put Stepan out on the ice when he needed a goal. This was because Stepan had shown early success when he was put in similar situations.

Stepan if anything will benefit from the reduced pressure and stress and could easily put up 50-60 points this season.

Ryan McDonagh and Tim Erixon are two young defensemen who have great potential. McDonagh proved himself last year on Broadway, and Erixon has been a highly touted defensive prospect. His father Jan was a solid Ranger and management hope for the same in Tim.

The Rangers do not play a home game at Madison Square Garden until October 27th against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Most of these players are not used to being away from home for such an extended period of time.

They are professionals and many feel that they will be just fine and will step up to the challenge. This road trip to Europe is going to be a major part of the Rangers' season. They can get off to a great start, can learn about each other, can bond as a team and once they return to the Garden, they can dominate on the ice.

Leave your comments in the section below to get the conversation going. If you liked what you read, feel free to give it some props, a like and a +1.

Tom Urtz is an NHL Featured Columnist.

For more NHL free agent news, updates and alerts about players:

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Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/824499-new-york-rangers-how-will-the-european-road-trip-affect-team-chemistry

Philadelphia Phillies Pittsburgh Pirates San Diego Padres San Francisco Giants St. Louis Cardinals Washington Nationals

DOWN GOES LSU: Star QB Jordan Jefferson Suspended After Second-Degree Battery Arrest

jordan jeffersonLSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson has been suspended indefinitely after Baton Rouge police issued an arrest warrants him and linebacker Josh Johns today.

The two players have been charged with second-degree battery after allegedly kicking a marine in the face during a wild melee outside a bar last Thursday night.

Jefferson was cooperating with police prior to his arrest.

Yesterday, police searched his home and seized 49 pairs of his shoes.

The Tigers are ranked No. 4 in the country, and face No. 3 Oregon on Sept. 3.

Needless to say, they now face an uphill battle to meet their lofty preseason expectations.

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Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/sportspage/~3/_K58wSTIVFw/jordan-jefferson-suspended-2011-8

New York Rangers Philadelphia Flyers Pittsburgh Penguins Boston Bruins Buffalo Sabres Montreal Canadiens

Philadelphia Phillies: Taking a Look at the Full End of Season Schedule

The Philadelphia Phillies only have 33 games left in the season. However, thanks to Hurricane Irene, all of these games will be played in 31 days. That will definitely test their durability.

Let's take a look at where they will play and who they will play.

They will have one or two games every day for the rest of the season. This might not be so bad if every game was in Philadelphia. Of course, they will be traveling quite a bit over the next month. Of their 10 remaining series, six of them will be on the road.

Perhaps fortunately, half of these road trips are in the National League East, which will reduce travel time a little bit. Also, the Phillies do have the best road record in the National League at 37-24. Obviously, though, there will still be a lot of time in the air.

Again, the Phillies have 33 games left. 18 of these games are against teams with records at or above .500 (currently, the Phillies have four games with the Cincinnati Reds who are 66-66). They play the Milwaukee Brewers four times and the Atlanta Braves six times. Milwaukee has the second best record in the National League and Atlanta is third best. Of course, the Phillies do have the best record in baseball right now. However, if this was the NCAA, the strength of schedule is pretty high for this month.

Finally, they do have a 10 game homestand in the middle of September, but they have to play a pair of doubleheaders during this stretch. That essentially means that they will play 10 games in eight days. This could have implications on their starting rotation and require some spot starts from Kyle Kendrick or some September call up. If they do not utilize another starting pitcher, some of their regular rotation will be throwing on four days rest twice. This is definitely less than ideal.

They are going to play just over a fifth of the season in this one month. I guess that could be called busy.

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/824535-philadelphia-phillies-taking-a-look-at-the-full-end-of-season-schedule

Calgary Flames Colorado Avalanche Edmonton Oilers Minnesota Wild Vancouver Canucks Anaheim Ducks

D.J. Williams Injury: All the Latest on the Denver Broncos Linebacker's Elbow

D.J. Williams, who has been a key member of the Denver Broncos defense since he entered the league in 2004, suffered an elbow injury during the Broncos preseason week three matchup against the Seahawks on Saturday. 

The injury happened during the first quarterback while Williams attempted to make a tackle. The linebacker was immediately helped off the field by members of the Broncos medical staff.

Williams has been the Broncos' leading tackler over the past two seasons, amassing 241 tackles over that span.

The early word out of the Broncos camp is that Williams will likely miss 3-4 weeks. That would put Williams' availability for the Broncos regular season opener vs. the Oakland Raiders in serious doubt. 

If Williams is indeed out for the Broncos week one game, backup Wesley Woodyard would probably take his place. 

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/823830-2011-nfl-preseason-week-3-tracking-the-major-news-from-around-the-league/entry/121045-dj-williams-injury-all-the-latest-on-the-denver-broncos-linebackers-elbow

Juan Miranda Colin Curtis Kevin Russo Curtis Granderson Nick Johnson Javier Lopez

USHL Alumni Dominate NCAA Tournament Rosters

Source: http://www.americanjuniorhockey.com/2011/03/ushl-alumni-dominate-ncaa-tournament.html

Los Angeles Dodgers Minnesota Twins New York Yankees Oakland Athletics Seattle Mariners Tampa Bay Rays

UFC 134 Fight Card: 6 Reasons Why Anderson Silva Is the Greatest of All Time

Tonight at UFC 134, in Rio de Janeiro, Anderson “the Spider” Silva proved once again why he is MMA’s best.

Silva was able to defeat Yushin Okami by TKO and avenge the DQ loss he had against him 5 years ago.

The win is Silva's fifteenth straight, which includes a perfect 14-0 in the UFC.

The win also proved that Silva is one of, if not the greatest MMA fighter of all time.

Silva has been able to go through the vast majority of his competition with ease. He continues to do so even at the age of 36.

If you don't believe Silva is the greatest of all time, here are six reasons why you should. 

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Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/824095-ufc-134-fight-card-6-reasons-why-anderson-silva-is-the-greatest-of-all-time

Nick Spaling Pikka Rinne Mathieu Carle Lars Eller Hal Gill John Madden



Source: http://www.americanjuniorhockey.com/2011/03/five-former-runners-in-ncaa-hockey.html

Atlanta Braves Chicago Cubs Cincinnati Reds Colorado Rockies Florida Marlins Houston Astros

Friday Fabian? A little more about Red Wings try-out Fabian Brunnstrom

Via RedWingsFeed, it?s not exactly what you?d expect on a Friday night in August, but the Sporting News?s Craig Custance had a conversation with Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill about try-out Fabian Brunnstrom, who rebuffed several offers to play in the Swedish Eliteserien for the opportunity to either steal a job from one of the Wings? 14 forwards already under contract?or impress another potential employer?over the course of training camp and the exhibition season:

?I think he?s comfortable with our style of hockey, our players,? Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill told Sporting News. ?These guys come over and they have a couple years to make it?it?s like the clock is ticking and all of a sudden you?re like ?Oh, my time is up.??

That time is closing in for Brunnstrom. He?s coming off a season in which he played in 72 AHL games with the Texas Stars and Toronto Marlies. He had 15 goals and 20 assists.

Source: http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/tmr/comments/friday_fabian_a_little_more_about_red_wings_try-out_fabian_brunnstrom/

New York Islanders New York Rangers Philadelphia Flyers Pittsburgh Penguins Boston Bruins Buffalo Sabres

Here Are This Week's Winners And Losers In Sports

New York Yankees Derek Jeter Engaged Minka Kelly

There was trouble in paradise this week for a lot of football teams, both pro and college.

Miami is still getting hit hard by the Nevin Shapiro scandal, and Tim Tebow is moving farther and farther down the quarterback chain.

But Jeter on the other hand... we can't be the only ones wondering if his break-up with Minka Kelly is the reason he's suddenly hitting so well...

WINNER: Danica Patrick

Patrick will move to the NASCAR Nationwide series full-time next year.

In doing so, she leaves the relative obscurity of IndyCar and reasserts herself on the national stage.

She’ll also bring an estimated $40 million in endorsements to her team JR Motorsports.

WINNER: Samuel Eto'o

Eto’o is one of the more lethal strikers in the world, but now he’s the highest paid.

He transferred from Italian giants Inter to the unknown Russian club Anhzi this week. His new contract is worth $29 million a year for three years — making him the highest paid soccer player in the world.

He won’t win the Champions League, but he’ll have a whole lot of cash.

WINNER: Plaxico Burress

Plax caught a touchdown in his first NFL game after leaving prison.

It’s been a long journey back for Burress after he shot himself in the leg two year ago. But he showed glimpses of his former self in a stellar three-catch, 66-yard performance.

The Jets may be a winner here too — Burress could end up being an upgrade over Braylon Edwards.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/sportspage/~3/X8eDEiO2KtA/jeter-minka-kelly-tim-tebow-2011-8

Andy Greene zach Parise bryce Salvador Wade Belak Martin Erat Marcel Goc

Rousimar Palhares' Premature Celebration and the 10 Funniest Moments in the Cage

The UFC has been around for almost 18 years, and with it, have come many hilarious moments inside the cage.

We got a new one to add to the list on Saturday night, thanks to Dan Miller, Herb Dean and most of all, Rousimar Palhares.

That got me thinking about some of the funniest moments in MMA history, from Pride to the UFC to random regional organizations.

So, here, in no specific order, are 10 of the funniest moments that have ever happened inside the cage.

If I've forgotten your favorite funny moment, let me know in the comments!

Begin Slideshow

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/824063-rousimar-palhares-premature-celebration-and-the-10-funniest-moments-in-the-cage

Alex Hinshaw Ramon Ramirez Sergio Romo Brian Wilson Eli Whiteside Mike Fontenot

College Football Starts Next Week? And The Big Finish

Source: http://www.bcinterruption.com/2011/8/27/2388076/2011-college-football-season-preview-week-1

Washington Capitals Arizona Diamondbacks Atlanta Braves Chicago Cubs Cincinnati Reds Colorado Rockies

MLB New York Yankees: No Reason to Be Excited for Jesus Montero

Before he becomes another Joba Chamberlain, trade him for the sake of the organization. 

I still don't understand why Montero causes so much excitement: he's not fast, he has improved in his defense but not much, and he fails to hit against even 40-man roster pitchers as proved in spring training. 

What's even worse? He hasn't improved much at the Triple-A level. Here's the comparison:

  • 2010: 
  1. AB- 453
  2. 2B- 34
  3. HR- 21
  4. AVG- .289
  5. BB- 46
  • 2011:
  1. AB- 409
  2. 2B- 19
  3. HR- 17
  4. AVG- .289
  5. BB- 35


I'm not a nuclear physics person or whatever they're called, but the stats tell the truth: there aren't significant differences from last year. If he hasn't increased production in what he is known for, what makes people expect Montero to have better production than from this past spring training?

Even if he turns out to be a 30-40 home runs middle of the lineup power hitter, there is the possibility he will decline due to the stress it puts on the body to be an everyday catcher. The DH position is already occupied mostly by Alex Rodriguez especially in the future, and there is no chance that he can be moved.

That just took out his catcher value: he might become one of the above average hitters in the league, perhaps one of the best, but I'm content with the outfield as it is. Granderson has become a MVP candidate, Gardner provides speed for a team that excels in the stolen base category, and Swisher is the heart of the clubhouse (not to mention a good No. 2 hitter, or a guy with some pop at the bottom of the lineup).

And that's not all, there are great alternates to Jesus Montero, and what can be done with him. 

For example, a better well rounded player in Austin Romine is the better option for the long run. Take care of the catcher position: check.

So what to do with Montero? He can be the centerpiece of a deal for a solid pitcher—at least one more reliable than A.J. Burnett. Bartolo Colon is also showing signs of aging, so a solid pitcher behind C.C. Sabathia might solve the Yankees' problem in pitching. 

Sure, I'll regret it if he turns out to be a next Alex Rodriguez type offensive player, especially for another team, but for now, I'll stick to my opinion.   

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/823894-mlb-new-york-yankees-no-reason-to-be-excited-for-jesus-montero

St Louis Blues Calgary Flames Colorado Avalanche Edmonton Oilers Minnesota Wild Vancouver Canucks

NBA Chicago Bulls: 5 Games Michael Jordan Reminded Us That He Was a Superhero

Often when we experience something great, we lose the ability to be shocked.

There is a reason why the circus is only three hours—after awhile it loses its wow factor.

The same can be said about Michael Jordan.

One great scoring night runs into the next and fans became spoiled to the greatness we had the privilege of seeing.

These five games should shed light and remind us why Michael Jordan was a superhero.   

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Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/823806-nba-chicago-bulls-5-games-michael-jordan-reminded-us-that-he-was-a-super-hero

Atlanta Trashers Carolina Hurricanes Florida Panthers Tampa Bay Lightning Washington Capitals Arizona Diamondbacks

Found on NAHL.com

Source: http://www.americanjuniorhockey.com/2011/03/found-on-nahlcom.html

Phil Hughes Damaso Marte Mariano Rivera Kerry Wood Francisco Cervelli Chad Moeller

Don?t be jealous now

For those still awaiting the start of the NHL pre-season, you can always tune in to us out here in the Dub, where 12 WHL teams have opened training camps and more will follow this weekend. That includes the Portland Winterhawks, whose camp includes the Neely Cup, a four-day extravaganza ending with a shiny object named for one of the team?s most famous alumni. I?m still sorting through what to watch throughout the league, but I can tell you the future is bright here in the Rose City. Our draftees made the most of summer, several injured players are back and ready for action, and there is plenty of talent on the horizon.

Source: http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/atg/comments/dont_be_jealous_now/

Los Angeles Dodgers Minnesota Twins New York Yankees Oakland Athletics Seattle Mariners Tampa Bay Rays

Ex-NBAer Involved In Locker Room Gun Incident Is Now Wanted For Murder

javaris crittenton

Atlanta police have issued an arrest warrant for former NBA player Javaris Crittenton and plan to charge him with murder for the shooting of a 23-year-old woman.

Crittenton was suspended from the NBA in 2010 after reportedly pulling a gun (or throwing a gun at) Washington Wizards teammate Gilbert Arenas during a locker room dispute.

Both players were banned for the remainder of the season and pled guilty to misdemeanor gun charges. Crittenton never returned to the NBA.

Crittenton is accused of firing at three people from the back of an SUV on August 19. Jullian Jones, a mother of four, was not believed to be the intended target, but she was stuck in the hip by a bullet and died during surgery.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Crittenton may have been trying to shoot a man he believed had robbed him of jewelry in an earlier incident.

The former Georgia Tech star is believed to be in Los Angeles and police say they hope he will turn himself in.

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Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/sportspage/~3/aOecEfYIjhk/javaris-crittenton-murder-charge-2011-8

Bruno Gervais Dustin Kohn Andrew McDonald Matt Martin Frans Nielsen Dwayne Roloson