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Tag: Sports (21-30 of 678)

'American Ninja Warrior': These fools are amazing

Another week, another hour spent in awe of people’s upper bodies while I furiously bicep-curl chips. I’ve finally decided on my summer TV boyfriend — Paul Kasemir, the “Extreme American Ninja Warrior Pro” (whoa!) who crushed the competition with his trademark “quiet consistency” in Monday’s Denver finals episode on NBC. Paul’s headed to Las Vegas’ Mt. Midoriyama (translation: “Mount Green Mountain”) for the fourth year in a row. He has a double personality, which means he has a desk job (writing source code in a lab) and is probably a secret superhero. He’s totally the Andrew Garfield of NBC right this second.

This week presented two new Death to Your Upper Body obstacles for the qualifying Mile High City ninja warriors: Pole Grasper and the Floating Stairs. Strippers or super-fit people who work out on stripper poles for the Core benefits would make a killing on Pole Grasper, for the record. The rock-climbing guys had a distinct advantage over the free runners with this one. Very few ninjas even made it to these new deathtraps, though, considering the Salmon Ladder was still in play. That thing is deadly and a total momentum-crusher. I keep wanting Salmon Ladder to pop up as a dangerously compelling appetizer at my local sushi joint. Buy too many of those and they’ll kill ya. READ FULL STORY

Does SportsCenter need to worry about the new Fox Sports 1 anchors?


On Saturday FOX launched its 24-hour sports channel FOX Sports 1, and despite a solid roster of NASCAR, UFC, and MLB games, the clear must-watch on the schedule is the the flagship highlights show, FOX Sports Live and it’s co-anchors Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole. Onrait and O’Toole have been entertaining Canada for years with their unique brand of sarcasm and adorable Canadian accents, and this weekend they traded in their beaver-pelts and igloos for spray tans and plastic surgery as they headed south for their debut from Los Angeles. In a throwback to the haloed SportsCenter days of Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick, FOX Sports 1 is banking on chemistry and entertainment from their anchors to drive ratings and pull in viewers.

Here are a few of the highlights:

Keith Olbermann and A-Rod: You can go home again... as long as you're a hit

Alex Rodriguez returns to play in Yankee Stadium tonight for the first time since a disastrous 2012 postseason performance and  — even more ignominiously — since appealing his 211-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. Boos have rained down on him since he returned to the field during the Yankees recent road trip, but it will be interesting to see how the home crowd receives him. Rodriguez can take solace in the fact that Keith Olbermann returned to SportsCenter last night, 16 years after napalming his bridges there. Maybe you can go home again after all.

Olbermann’s first tour of duty at ESPN was defined by two things: (1) His star-making SportsCenter partnership with Dan Patrick that helped define the franchise, and (2) his impressive ability to insult and offend just about everyone that had to work with him. When ESPN hired him back last month — to host his own show on ESPN2 — observers couldn’t help but think back to the line in ESPN: Those Guys Have All the Fun, in which Rece Davis told authors James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales about the producer who said, “If we hire Olbermann back, he first has to stand in the reception area and everybody who wants to, gets to come up and punch him in the stomach.” READ FULL STORY

'American Ninja Warrior': Play along while feeling utterly useless!

It’s damn near impossible to simultaneously watch American Ninja Warrior (airing Sunday nights on G4 and Monday nights on NBC) and feel like a respectable human being. Not only are you doing nothing indoors (and watching this of all things?), but you are no ninja. Can you even lift your TV? Don’t even try. What’s the point? You’re a disgrace.

Below are my ill-fated suggestions for “playing along” during ANW — the magnificent Upper Body Beastliness obstacle course quickly winning the hearts and guts of millions of Americans who have less hope than ever of executing a single pull-up in their lifetimes. Rev up your appetite and get ready to live vicariously through these tremendous beasts — and hate yourself more than ever!


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Retrieve a snack from the kitchen. Repeat five times. Go easy on this one. There’s a lot left to be done, but it’s all downhill from here.



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Pfffft. Anyone could do this. Just ride a skateboard down any railing in your house, then grab whatever’s closest (chocolate?) for support. Move on. It gets darker. READ FULL STORY

Nate Silver leaves New York Times for 'dream job' at ESPN

Nate Silver, the statistical analyst who confounded many political pundits by accurately forecasting the last two presidential elections, confirmed today that he was leaving the New York Times and taking his award-winning website, FiveThirtyEight.com, to ESPN. In 2008, Silver, who initially established his analytical expertise as a baseball statistician, dug deep into the sea of presidential-election polls and successfully predicted the results in 49 of 50 states. He brought his blog to the Times in 2010, and in 2012, he improved upon his 2008 record, nailing all 50 states.

At ESPN, Silver will be editor-in-chief of a new FiveThirtyEight site, similar to the arrangement that the company has with Bill Simmons and his Grantland website. In fact, Silver himself recently tweeted: “Grantland’s a model for what new 538 will look like. Independent editorial point-of-view. We’ll be doing some hiring, building a great team.”

ESPN is a natural home for the sports-minded Silver, who will also be a valuable resource for ABC during the election season. “This is a dream job for me,” Silver said in a statement. “I’m excited to expand FiveThirtyEight’s data-driven approach into new areas, while also reuniting with my love of sports. I’m thrilled that we’re going to be able to create jobs for a great team of journalists, writers and analysts. And I think that I’ve found the perfect place to do it. The variety and quality of the assets ESPN and ABC News presented to me was compelling and unparalleled. I can’t wait to get started.” READ FULL STORY

The ESPYs: Jon Hamm is mad funny as host

Welcome to the ESPYs! You know, that awards show that happens on a Wednesday on ESPN? Yeah, they give out awards to athletes who are like “Thanks, but I totally have an actual championship ring back at home.”

I’ve personally never felt the need to watch the awards show, or as host Jon Hamm calls it “the world’s largest gathering of people wearing sunglasses indoors,” but the idea of missing the Mad Men star hosting was too risky to pass up. Those of you who’ve seen Hamm guest on 30 Rock or make a cameo in Bridesmaids knows that the man with immeasurable beauty can crack a joke or two, and tonight’s awards were no different. Showing no mercy, Hamm poked fun at Dwight Howard, the city of Detroit, and swimmer Ryan Lochte. Some examples of his killer lines: “Honestly, I’ve always been a little wary of the BCS system. I just feel like you can’t completely trust something just because a computer says it.” and “Manti Te’o — fake internet girlfriend or a real girlfriend who goes to Notre Dame? Pretty much the same amount of sex.” Boom. (Check out Hamm’s full monologue.)

We were off to a good start, and thankfully, the show very rarely lost its steam, thanks to some on-point sketches shown in between the awards. Here are the top 10 things that I took away from it:

NCAA to stop putting name, logo on EA video game

Hang on to NCAA Football 2014, all you video game fans. It will be a collector’s edition.

The NCAA said Wednesday it will bar Electronic Arts Inc. from using its logo and name beginning next year. The move ends a lucrative, eight-year business deal with the gaming industry giant and it comes as the NCAA fights a high-profile lawsuit that says the governing body owes billions of dollars to former players for allowing their likenesses to be used for free.

The NCAA said it won’t seek a new contract with EA Sports, which manufactures the popular game, beyond the current one that expires in June 2014. However, that won’t stop EA Sports from producing a college football video game depicting powerhouse schools such as Alabama, Ohio State and Oregon, and the Redwood City, Calif.-based company made that clear.

“EA Sports will continue to develop and publish college football games, but we will no longer include the NCAA names and marks,” said Andrew Wilson, executive vice president. “Our relationship with the Collegiate Licensing Co. is strong and we are already working on a new game for next generation consoles which will launch next year and feature the college teams, conferences and all the innovation fans expect from EA Sports.”

Baseball's Tim McCarver goes deep into Metallica's 'Enter Sandman'

Baseball relief pitchers are like professional wrestlers in that they have great entrance music to announce their presence with authority when they enter a close game in the late innings. And no closer is more associated with his music than the Sandman, New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, who’s been jogging in from the bullpen to the tune of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” for most of his illustrious career. At last night’s All-Star game in New York, the 43-year-old got the call one last time in his final midsummer classic before his planned retirement. The music blared, the players paid tribute, the fans stood, Rivera mozied onto the mound and tipped his hat. And then… something happened.

Just as Yankees fans finished wiping tears from their eyes (and even as Mets and Red Sox fans applauded in grudging appreciation), Fox TV analyst Tim McCarver — who’s also retiring after this season — dug deep into the song’s lyrics. Perhaps McCarver is a Metallica fan from way-back. Perhaps some Fox Sports intern handed McCarver the lyrics to share with MLB’s mature television audience (mean age: 126). Or perhaps this is just Tim McCarver being the Master of the Universe that he’s always known himself to be. “How ’bout the chorus to “Enter Sandman’…,” McCarver began, as a million Gen-Xers picked up their smartphones in unison. McCarver’s recital of the lyrics is a brilliant blend of professorial condescension and beat poetry that I doubt James Hetfield and Co. ever imagined, even in their darkest nightmare. Click below for audio only, or click here for video of both Rivera’s entrance and McCarver’s… tribute? READ FULL STORY

Read along: 'ESPN The Magazine' Body Issue edition!

Even if you’re not into sports, odds are you’d happily sit down with ESPN The Magazine‘s annual Body Issue. You might flip to the features, which include pieces on how a female athlete’s breasts can be an obstacle (p. 112) and why the 1,700-pound bucking bull Bushwacker “may just have the baddest body in all of sports” (p. 129). But you’re most likely headed straight to the nude photo spreads, which begin on page 51. (You’re welcome.) So you’re not “reading” alone, we’ll read along with you. READ FULL STORY

Jon Snow knows hockey, too! -- VIDEO

Game of Thrones star Kit Harington was among the celebs who attended last night’s Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins. His Leafs lost, but on the upside, he did make the JumboTron. Watch a clip below. We’d give his performance a solid B here (nice to see him smiling). READ FULL STORY

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