Shot to Nothing

Friday, June 29, 2007

48,125 Fans Not Enough To Save NFL Europa

The NFL has decided to close down NFL Europa despite the impressive attendence that the World Bowl received last weekend.

Overall I think this was the right decision, not only was the league losing approximately $30 million a year, but it was growing increasingly half-assed and was filled with more bitter coaching then a sacked Tennis parent.

The truth is the NFL didn't really know what to do with NFL Europa. It started out well enough but the owners were mostly greedy guys who thought they could make a fast buck and, rather then market and develop a new fan base, all but one of the teams ended up moving to Germany, where the fans apparently have a hunger for bad football.

This decision will give the NFL more resources to focus on the International Series which is far, far more likely to gain the growth and support that the League is after. European fans all know the same thing that U.S. fans do; The NFL is it. There is no other league in the world or in  any other sport that provides the thrill and excitement of the NFL. It's time for the rest of the world to get a chance to see it.


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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Other Tiger

Wimbledon aka The Tennis World Championships, is well under way at the moment. Actually the tournament is well under way, the actual matches are being rained off to a slightly ridiculous level at the moment.

Nevertheless, Federer, Nadal and Roddick eased their way through the first round matchups without too much trouble. But the real story was Tim Henman's four hour five set marathon victory over Carlos Moya. Henman had won an incredible two matches this year on the international circuit and was looking every part the washed up old pro in a world of young robots.

The pundits never gave him a chance against Moya (and neither did I) but we may have forgotten that this is Henman's House. He may never have won Wimbledon but he's still a hero to the British fans who cheered him louder then ever before. And, for once, he responded to them. I've never seen Henman so fired up as he was against Moya. It was pretty exciting to watch this former number six in the world playing so damned determined and aggressively, he refused to let the British crowd down by busting
out in the first round.

There was a film a couple of years ago with Kirstin Dunst, where this old English Tennis Ace goes on the streak of his career and wins the whole thing. Watching Henman yesterday you almost believed he could do the same. Almost.

The truth is Henamn is almost certain to go out in the next round, but in my mind, he's done enough. He came in and entertained the fans one more time, gave them a victory they didn't expect and left them with a smile on his face. Win or lose the next game, he's done a great job.


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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Awesomeness of Jesse Owens Lives On

I wrote a little post on Jesse Owens for the 100 Most 'Ifluential' People in Sports over on A Price Above Bip Roberts. Check it out here.

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The Swiss Don't Often Make Mistakes, But When They Do...

It's currently one-a-piece in the America's Cup final between Emirates Team New Zealand and the reigning Champions Alinghi, from Switzerland (yeah, the country surrounded by land with zero access to the sea).

Pundits and fans are stuck on which team will pull out of this victorious, both the ridiculously precise Swiss and the 'Never Say Die' Kiwis have looked unbeatable at times. However, the Kiwi's victory was a surprise one yesterday brought on by a rare Swiss mistake; apparently someone said 'Avast me-hearties!' instead of 'turn to starboard' and the whole
thing turned into a blame fest.

I'm not certain about the exact Swiss translation of 'Avast' or 'Me-hearties' but I do know that this mistake does not necessarily mean the Kiwi's were purely lucky. Sailing, you see is all about the mistakes of judgement. The better your judgement, the less mistakes you make and the more you win,so while it may seem like New Zealand were gifted the victory, perhaps the truth is that the Swiss are not as inch perfect as the fans have come to expect?

[Official 32nd America's Cup Website]

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Sports Positions that are Sexually Ambiguous

Many times when I'm watching sports (so that's many times multiplied by many times then?) I notice that a particular position seems to be a little more open to innuendo then the others. (Inyourend-o). I often wonder how these names were thought up; what was he thinking? etc etc. And so below is a list of the dubious positions I have noticed so far.

Slot Receiver - I for one would not like to be receiving anything in my slot. Nor would I want people to describe me as being 'excellent at receiving it in the slot'. Obviously the slot is important to everybody, it's just not something that belongs in a sports name.

Hooker - Whoever invented Rugby Union must have been short on ideas when it came to naming the positions. We can only assume that a 'Lady of the Night' happened to stroll past the position namers' window at the time and he had a light bulb moment. Which perhaps, as a position after Hooker is simply called 'Number Eight', leads us to the conclusion that the Lady was not waiting long for her next customer...

Hole Check - Now come on, this is just getting silly. Why would Water Polo need a player whose distinct role involves checking the hole? And whose hole are we talking about here? His own, or somebody elses? I can't decide whether the word 'Gap' would have been better used here or not. Or perhaps, oh I don't know... 'Checker', 'Forward Defender' or anything else along those lines might have been a better choice.

Tight-End -  The position of Tight-End provides us with such a large amount of juvenile humour through-out the Football season that it deserves to make this list more then any of the others. 'Brady forced that one into the Tight-End', 'The running back went up the inside of the Tight-End' and on and on...

Fine Leg - Doesn't a fine pair of legs usually come in pairs? Then again, on the odd occasion that I've seen any Cricket, there hasn't been any sexiness on the field at all. Mostly it's just a bunch of slow-moving pot belied dudes walking around a field. Maybe the position was named after the creator was shocked to catch a glimpse of a nice leg during a wayward streak?

So there you have it. If there are any I have missed out then feel free to add them
on in the comments.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Blogroll Driveby...

Some of the best from around the blogzone...

Kevin Harlan is todays pick for 100 most 'influential' sports peeps over on [A Price Above Bip Roberts]

There's only really one debate we can have this week and [Complete Sports] has it down in the Thursday Debate.

Sometimes fate likes to remind you that it does have a sense of humor. [The Extrapolater]

Who would have thought that a Cross Country meet... in Alaska... would cause this much controversy? [WBRS Sports Blog]

Can 14 people be a justifyable nnumber of announcers for any event, let alone the NBA Draft? [Awful Announcing]

Man, does anybody else wish that Lacrosse would just go way and die somewhere? [With Leather]

You now those no hopers who declared themselves for the NBA draft this year? No?? Well here they are! [The Feed]

I've always liked Sammy Sosa. There's just something about the guy that seems... oh I don't know, friendly or something. That's why this was some great news this week. [Babes Love Baseball]

There's more to Coco Crisp then just a cool name according to [One More Dying Quail]

Is the NFC West really open enough for the 49ers to win it this year? [Troy's Thoughts on Sports]

And Finally...

Have you entered the free competition yet? If not, why not?! [Shot To Nothing]

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cam Cameron Surprised by Knowledgeable British Fans

For those of you who don't know, Cam Cameron is in London for three days this week doing a bunch of media gigs and promotional events for the NFL International Series game in October.

And whaddaya know, it turns out the British fans actually know stuff about football...

'One thing I've found very interesting is how knowledgeable the people are about the Miami Dolphins and the NFL,''

Why do some folks still not get the enormity of the worldwide NFL fanbase? It's not like the NFL haven't been banging on about how popular it is in Europe for the last three years.

Thankfully David Neal of the Miami Herald appears to understand the massive support that the Dolphins have in Britain:

"Cameron expected even British NFL fans to know and discuss Taylor and linebacker Zach Thomas. But when people start bringing up a tight end who has started only 30 percent of his games in a six-season NFL career, it's an indication those first 40,000 tickets didn't get sold in 90 minutes (according to the NFL) because British sports fans thought Dolphins-Giants was a great novelty act."

It's good to see that honest, hard-working, Dolphin loving fans in London will finally get to see their team playing up close. Unlike alot of people, I see the international series as a great thing for the NFL, not only in terms of revenue but also in terms of growth. I'm glad to see it working out so well.

[Miami Herald]

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Alonso Can Still Win The World Championship. But Hopefully Won't.

After the U.S. and Canadian Grand Prix's, Formula 1 returns to Europe (where Nascar fans undoubtedly think it should stay) with the first race being the French GP on the 1st of July.

This is where the honeymoon period may well end for Lewis Hamilton and the fighting and stress of the marriage to Alonso may well set in.

Whilst I don't want to tear down the tracks outside of Europe, it's the ones inside that take the most amount of skill. A bit like with a fair few of those pretty ladies you see down on the grid before a race, if you're going to score experience is everything. And, you know, money.

Alonso, as much of a crybaby asshole as he is, has a huge advantage over Hamilton here where the straights are narrow and the corners tight. It's not that I don't think Hamilton can keep winning and go all the way, it's just that now is the time to see whether his extreme lack of experience will affect him or not. If it does then sadly we may have to watch Alonso making a come-back.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Competition Time. Win $30 worth of Goodness! Free to enter!!

That's right, you can win a $30 gift voucher just by entering our free competition. It's open to anybody 18 or over who has an email account, so check out the rules below and join in!

To enter all you have to do is tell me why you love your favorite sport. In three words or less. It doesn't matter what sport you love or why you love it but the reason must be no more than three words in length. For example:

I love football and my reason (one of them anyway) is "Unnecessary Roughness". Having a foul for 'Unnecessary Roughness' implies that, in order to play the game, there is necessary roughness. Which is brilliant and humorous at the same time.

You can choose a facet of the sport, a player that you love to watch, or whatever you like, as long as it's three words or less, it's all gravy.  You can leave an explanation of your choice if you want. The winner will be the one that I like the best and my decision is final bitch.

The competition will run from right now to the 1st of July. Entries can be made by comment or by email to shottonothing[/at/] and you can enter as many times as your heart desires. The winner will be announced on Monday the 2nd of July and will be notified by email (so remember to send me your email address if you're answering via a comment!)

Good luck and thanks for taking part!

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I'm all for jumping on the bandwagon, but $80,000 for Hamilton's kart seems a little too much...

The ebays have struck again. Lewis Hamilton has sold one of his former racing karts for £42,000 (just over $80,000) today.

I'm guessing the added bonus of getting to meet Lewis himself went along way to securing such a phenominal figure, but I could be wrong. That Kart can do about 80mph and has won several hi-profile er... Karting races, so perhaps this makes it the perfect gift for the Hamilton crazed karting kid?

And before you start in with all that 'cashing in' or 'selling out' malarky, all proceeds from the sale of the kart wil go to Tommy's which is a babies charity I believe. Which is yet another reason to like the guy, I guess.

[BBC Sport]

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Cross Your Fingers and Pray For a Quick Summer

Alright sports fans this is serious. We all know these summer months are nice and warm but inside our sports lovin' hearts are turnin' cold. So now that the NBA finals have er... happpened, what the heck are we going to do from now until September 6th? Well don't worry peeps, your ol' buddy Sanchez has hooked you up with just enough decent action to get you through the next few months. And I mean it when I say 'just enough'

June - 25th Wimbledon. So yeah it's Tennis, but it's Tennis at it's best and you could always make it more interesting by betting everything you own on Federer to win. That'll give you a good two weeks of butt-clenching sporting action.

July - 1st,8th and 22nd The French, British and European Formula 1 Grand Prix's. Considering half the races take place on circuits in and around Europe, I'm not sure why they need to specify a particular 'European' Grand Prix...

- 7th-15th The IFAF (International Federation of 'American' Football) World Cup. I don't even know if this will be on t.v. but ehy, if you're a real football fan you'll find a way to watch it. Bitch.

- 6th and 13th Two Golden League Athletics Meets. The biggest track stars compete for major prize money. If an athlete wins all six Golden League events he/she wins a share of $1 Million. In 2005 Tatyana Lebedeva was the only athlete to win her event (Triple Jump) in all six Golden League Meets and therefore took the whole $1 million. Which ain't half bad really.

August - 5th, 26th Hungarian and Turkish Formula 1 Grand Prix's. Hopefully by this point either Lewis Hamilton has a clear lead or one of the two Ferrari drivers has finally stepped up to the challenge (Like that's going to happen...)

- 24th IAAF World Athletics Championships. These come around every two years so it's not quite as prestigious as the Olympics. But it's still right up there as the number two event for any athelete.

So there you have it, Tennis, Athletics, Amateur Football and Motor Racing; pretty thin on the ground I know but what else are we gonna do, watch Baseball all summer?

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And The Picture Says It All...

Just look at Alonso's face in this picture ->

Is that the face of a man who:

a) Has been thoroughly beaten by his team-mate, a rookie... again but is happy to show a bit of team spirit. OR

b) Has been told by his team that no matter the result you will show a united front. No more media shenanigans.

You decide for yourself ladies and gents, but I know what I think. Especially after that whiny brat signal to the pitt wall when he couldn't get past Hamilton.

At-least we finally had a bit of decent racing action in a Grand Prix this season. It was pretty thrilling stuff watching Lewis's master class in racing even if it was mostly defense. With that win he really does have a chance to win the World Championship in his rookie year. Unbelievable.

[BBC Sport]

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Alonso Forced To Suck On Hamilton's Pole

Those 'pole' jokes never get old do they? Yeah ok, maybe they do...

Lewis Hamilton outclassed Fernando Alonso again during qualifying yesterday. That was impressive enough as it is, but Alonso couldn't even match Hamilton's first Qualie 3 pole time leaving only the rookie himself to break it.

I feel like I'm a broken record when I talk about Lewis Hamilton, so to put things in perspective for you: I'm a Ferrari fan, I've been one for many many years BUT watching this young rookie reinvigorate the sport and do such incredible things inspires me to support him week after week, despite the fact that he drives for a rival team. If Lewis can claim victory in the Indianapolis Grand Prix today then he has a very real chance to win the World Championship in his rookie year. Which would just be so frickin' awesome...

Would I rather Massa or 'Robot'konen win? Yes, of-course I would, but when it's Hamilton who beats them, it's not such a hard pill to swallow. Especially when I get to see Alonso's whinging mug in the papers all week.

[BBC Sport]

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Spurs Win. When Does Football Start?

There is a good thing about the Spurs sweep of the cavs; at-least it'll do my heart good to know that she's getting banged...

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Blogroll Driveby...

Some of the best from around the Blogzone...

Ted over on [A Price Above Bip Roberts] is spending the summer running the '100 most "influential" people in sports'. Today it's Jay Z (?) and if you want to know why then you'll just have to read the post now won't you?

What with the NBA finals going the way they are, the Thursday debate over on [Complete Sports] seems pretty apt.

You may think you know everything there is to know about Justin Verlander, but [The Extrapolater] knows more. And it's all pretty awesome stuff.

Yawn. Yes, the Spurs did win game 3. At-least we can get some decent analysis from [WBRS Sports Blog].

Apparently there are a few teams interested in Culpepper, Jacksonville being one of them. My only question is - WHY? [The Hazean]

Sexy Sooze from [Babes Love Baseball] asks the question you all know you've been thinking. Yes you have. You have damnit...

And finally...

[Awful Announcing] is right, this may well be the most awesome thing ever...

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Awesome Athletes: Irving Saladino (What a kick ass name.)

In the run up to the 2007 track and field season, which kicks off in full on the 15th of June with the first IAAF Golden League event in Oslo, I will be featuring some of the best Athletes from around the globe for you to keep your eye on.

Featured So Far - Nicola Sanders, Tyson Gay

According to Wikipedia 'Panama is a transcontinental nation which connects North and South America.' Well, I don't know much about that but I do know two things about Panama:

1) They run a bitchass canal.

2) It's where the long jumper Irving Saladino originates from.

There haven't been too many Panamanian Athletes recently ever, and there certainly haven't been any superb Panamanian Athletes, but Irving Saladino is about to change all that.

At the 2006 World Indoor Championships Saladinocame second with a jump of 8.29 meters and then went on to win five out of the six Golden League events, which must have been a bitch 'cause that one last win would have brought him a share of $1 Million, (as is the Golden League system). He also became the South American record holder, which doesn't sound that good, but was actually pretty awesome - his 8.56m record breaker was also the longest jump in the world last year.

Having already jumped 8.53 this year, Saladino is definately one to keep your eye on this season.

[Irving Saladino Wiki]

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Alonso Never Felt 'Completely Comfortable' With The Best Team In Formula-1

Yesterday I was called out by Keith from F-1 Fanatic who thought I was being too hard on Alonso for his, admitedly fairly light (for him, comments on Mclaren's supposedly favoured cheering of Hamilton's successes.

Although I agreed that maybe I was being too harsh, I know the way Alonso has acted in the past; the guy simply can't lose gracefully or accept anything other then absolute adulation from his team and the fans alike. In short, he's a terrible sportsman who rags on everyone but himself when he fails to win. Yes his comment yesterday wasn't that bad, but the fact that he had to say anything at all, heck, the fact that you knew he would have to say something, makes him enough of an asshole in my eyes.

Thankfully, Alonso has vindicated my rant by coming out on spanish radio and declaring that he has never felt "completely comfortable" with Mclaren. Well why would he, they're only the most successful team in Formula-1!

On his team-mate Lewis Hamilton he said "we knew all the help and support would go his way" - like in Monaco when the team told Hamilton to back off the chase, when you were in front, ehy Fernando?

And just to finish it off, Alonso kindly pointed out that Hamilton's win was down to luck rather than skill: "Lewis's win is good for the team. But it was very lucky as well as we were on similar strategies and if the safety car came out one lap before Lewis's stop we would have been eighth or ninth." - yeah, ok buddy and I suppose we'll just forget about you being overtaken by Sato (who was driving a much slower car) shall we?

I respect Keith and I like his blog, but as far as Alonso is concerned, I find it almost as difficult to keep my mouth shut as Fernando does. (almost)

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Crazy Eights

In the build up to the Rugby World Cup this September, I’m going to write a regular feature on why you should make time to watch this brilliant tournament.

Much like Football, Rugby has rigid player numbers and on every rugby union team there is a number eight. These guys are usually the biggest knuckle draggers on the roster and play a similar role to a middle linebacker, albeit in both offensive and defensive play. They are also usually ever so slightly unhinged. In fact, unlike the other positions (Hooker, Scrum-half, Fly-half etc.), the position of Number 8 doesn't actually have a 'proper' name; It's just called 'Number 8' and everyone is just expected to understand.

"Shit, look at that caveman over there! What position does he play?"
"He's a number eight"

I love these guys, they are aggressive, vocal and always up for it; a bit like the French Number 8, a Monsieur Sebastian Chabal aka 'Sea Bass'. This guy is not only a stereotypical Number Eight but a stereotypical French man too. I'm fairly certain that if they let him play with a beret and a string of onions around his neck, he would do. Here he is doing what he does best:


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Alonso Wants You To Cheer Him As Much As You Cheer The Other Kids

As soon as Lewis Hamilton won the Canadian Grand Prix, you knew that his team-mate Fernando Alonos would have to complain about something.

I thought he may go by his usual route when he messes up and start blaming the team or the mechanics, but instead he really out did himself this time.

Fernando claims that the team have celebrated Hamiltons' achievements this year more then his own.

"Asked if he felt some of the mechanics in the team celebrated Hamilton's successes more than his, Alonso said: "I have sensed it a little, but I understand it, it's an English team.""

Alonso is kind of like the spoiled brat who cannot accept defeat without throwing his toys out of the pram and doesn't understand why anyone would give another driver more attention than him. Even if the other guy is a rookie setting the world alight and leading the World Championship by eight points.

I don't mind though, the angrier Alonso get's the more funny his accusations are. There's not that many World Champion Formula-1 Drivers whose team's let them go without a fight, but Renault were so sick of his whinging that last year they did just that. Hopefully Hamilton will out perform him again at the Indianapolis Grand Prix this weekend. Then we'll really see some fireworks!

[BBC Sport]

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Just Like 'Cap' Rooney, Trent Green has "3 or 4 More Years"

What is it about ageing Quarter Backs? It's like they just don't get the memo or something.

Despite the entire football world knowing that Trent Green has been brought into the Dolphins to lead the team for one year at best and then handover to Beck, Green thinks different.

"From a body standpoint, I feel really good, and whether it's two years, three years, four years, whatever it might be, as long as I feel good and I'm playing at a high level and I'm contributing to help this team win, I want to keep playing..."

Ha! You gotta give him credit for not taking the exact line that so many late thirties QB's tend to take; he did mention that he might only have two years, not the usual 3 or 4. Perhaps it's just me, but it seems like every time a mature QB says he has '3 or 4 more years' he inevitably ends up retiring at the end of the season and working in broadcasting. Or, you know, coaching somewhere obscure.

[Ryan Wilson at The Fanhouse]

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Not In Nadal's House Rog

Raphael Nadal has become the French Open Champion for the third year in a row. He beat Roger Federer in four sets 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-4.

The final itself did not disappoint with both players seeming to step it up time and time again in the face of their awesome opposition. This one came down to determination however, and Nadal was simply not going to lose this one. Clearly hurting from his loss to Federer on Clay a couple of weeks ago, Nadal came out with a 'Not in My House' jawline and a
racket set to 'revenge'.

Although Roger was a little bit unlucky at times, it was the soul destroying way that Rapha came back from two-three break points in the first two sets that broke Federers spirit. Nadal simply would not let go of the advantage and fought for every single point with gritty will power and unrelenting determination.

This was a very good result for the sport of Tennis. Not only has it cemented a fierce rivalry but it also prevented one person from dominating every event. Federer may win against anyone everywhere else without breaking a sweat but when it comes to facing Nadal on Clay - Forgeddaboudid...

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Lewis Hamilton's Wins First Grand Prix. Overshadowed by Bad Officiating - Blame Canada.

Rookie Lewis Hamilton won his first Grand Prix this weekend in Canada. In his first six races as a Formula-1 driver Hamilton has never finished lower than third place; I guess it's time start believing the hype.

Hamilton now leads the World Championship race by eight points over infuriated team-mate Fernando Alonso. If he wins the World Championship in his rookie year it would be an unbelievabel achievement. Not only could he be the savior of the sport but he could go on to be the greatest driver ever as well.

Unfortunately the whole Grand Prix was decimated by a number of officiating errors fringing on the ridiculous. Too give a fair picture of just how bad a job the FIA officials did and of the snowball of errors they created I have put the various errors into a chronological list:

1. Early on in the race a Spyker hit a wall relatively softly. There was no debris whatsoever and both car and river drifted to a relatively safe area of grass several feet from the race track. Instead of deciding to either put the safety car out immediately or let the race continue, the officials spent several minutes contemplating.

2. Despite most of the cars passing by the area unaffected, the lapse of time since the 'crash', the lack of debris and the apparent safety of the Spyker's resting place, the Safety Car was deployed. This dubious decision was completely unnannounced and unexpected. Milli-seconds after the safety car is deployed both Alonso and Rossa enter the pit-lane. Both cars were out of fuel but as you aren't allowed to pit on the first lap of the Safety Car, both drivers receive 10 second stop and go penalties effectively ending their chances of a podium place.

3. Shortly after, the red light in the pit lane is put on in error. Kubica hits the breaks and stops inside the pits whilst Massa and Fischicella head back out onto the track. The light is switched to green and realising he's been shafted, Robert Kubica re-joins the race.

4. Probably thinking that he's lost a few places because of official error, Kubica is pushing hard on his out-lap. Something goes wrong off camera and Kubica is hurled through the air in a horrendous crash that sees him hit walls on both sides of the track and barrel role several times. Appart from a broken leg Kubica would thankfully turn out to be ok.

5. The Safety car is deployed again. This time it's the right procedure but none of this would be necessary if the previous errors had not been made.

6. Quite incredibly, Massa and Fishicella are Black Flagged (Dis-qualified) for leaving the pitlane under a red light, despite the fact that the light was on in error and that the man who lost out to them is no longer in the race. This is possibly one of the most ludicrous decisions I have ever seen in Formula-1. But it doesn't end there...

7. In the middle of a heated race for position between Raikonen and Alonso, Raikonen is blue flagged (told to allow the car behind to pass). The blue flag is only used for cars that are about to be lapped.

8. The Safety Car is called out for the third time following another crash. Despite the fact that the rules clearly state that you cannot overtake whilst the S.C. is out, Alonso is allowed to overtake Raikonen in the pit lane.

9. Towards the end of the race the S.C. is yet again called out. Over half the race has now been run behind the much slower safety car. The lack of speed allows many cars tyres to cool down rapidly and results in them losing grip on the track and crashing out. Because of this only 12 0f the 22 cars that started the race finnished it.

This isn't the first time the Canadiam Grand Prix has seen officiating controversy. In my opinion this was the last straw and Formula-1 should turn it's back on Canada.

[BBC Sport]

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

A Big Thank You To All. My Ego Is Saved!

Well, it's all over bar the salted kashews in the Hot Bloggers Bracket and it looks like I'm going down to the sexy Darren Heitner of Sports Agent Blog. BUT...

I somehow managed to accumulate over 100 votes, which more then compensated for the loss and did my ego a wealth of good. I want each and every person who voted for me, from the lurkers to the commentors and from the old vets to the first time readers, to know that words cannot express my gratitude. Thank you so much for taking the time out to hit that vote button for me, it means a heck of alot and it really helped me to feel good about myself this week.

So whether you're a regular or a newbie, I hope you continue to enjoy Shot To Nothing Sports Blog as much as I enjoy writing it.



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Friday, June 08, 2007

Federer, Nadal Will Meet in French Open Final. You're Shocked I Know.

So the final that the fans, the players and even the bookies knew was going to happen (I couldn't find a single one who would offer me at-least evens on this matchup. Stupid bookies) has been confirmed.

Nadal fulfilled his end of the bargain in style by crushing Novak Djokovic (try saying that ten times at pace) in straight sets. Nadal looks fired up for this one, that loss on clay to Federer a couple of weeks ago is hurting him and he needs his revenge. It's like clay was the last fortress holding up too Federer's intensive, racket based siege and Nadal was the final gatekeeper. He stands alone, fighting to stop the takeover of his sport by a Swiss machine.

Unlike the last time they met, in a best of three sets final at a relatively small and obscure tournament, Sunday's final is the real deal. Roger has only dropped one set so far in his journey to the final whilst Rafa has dropped none. Whether this is any indication as to the result, I couldn't say, but it's going to be one heck of a game, that's for sure.

[BBC Sport]

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Blogroll Driveby...

Some of the best from around the Blogzone...

One of the things that really gets my goat is the MLB All-Star game actually counting for something. Should this continue? (The Correct answer is no btw.) [Complete Sports]

Speaking of Baseball, the excellent Sooze from [Babes Love Baseball] has a few ways to make the MLB draft a bit more... entertaining. Man, she is so gorgeous, I am totally crushing on Sooze right now.

[WBRS Sports Blog] has a sweet little number on the NBA Finals (and crap, we're at the finals already?! Where does the time go?)

If you were wondering who the Hot Shots of todays Baseball world were then [The Extrapolater] has just the series for you.

I still don't think The Phins screwed the pooch by not taking Quinn, but The Daunte Culpepper Experiment is a good name for a band. [Signal To Noise]

Well, he's kickng my ass on the Hot Blogger Bracket, but Darren Heitner sure knows his tobacco when it comes to B-ball contracts. [Sports Agent Blog]

[One More Dying Quail] has surprised me with this little piece.

And Finally...

Boy oh Boy, that must feel almost as bad as being a Browns fan. [Run Up The Score]

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Federer Drops Set, World Gasps...

Not that it's going to stop the French Open Final from looking any different, but it could be said that Nadal now has a psycological advantage. The chunky-armed one has not dropped a single set so far on his route to the semi-finals.

I don't think that necessarily means that Nadal is a shoe-in; we all now that this is not Federer's best surface and the guy he was playing, Tommy Robredo, loves the red stuff. Surely he's entitled to lose a set or two before we start writing him off isn't he?

Big Rog will face Nikolay Davydenko in the semis, a guy who has beaten in all eight of their previous matches, so that should pretty much see him into the final. Nadal will have a tougher time against Novak Djokovic, but not much of a tougher time.

So it looks like they could have just done away with the rest of the matches and shot straight to the final doesn't it? Either way it should be a good match.

[BBC Sport]

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New Zealand Win Louis Vuitton Cup. Not America's Cup Champions Yet.

Emirates Team New Zealand have swept asside (literally) Luna Rossa Challenge to win the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup.

The Kiwis won five races in a row against the Italians which, considering they were allowed to choose their opponents, makes you wonder why they picked the Spanish team in the Semi's. I guess that's sailing for you though - *different*

And speaking of different, this win does not make Emirates Team New Zealand the America's Cup champions. Nope, that would be a little too straight forward damn it. Now they must face up against the current holders of the cup, Switzerland. Despite the ludicracy of this, I like that system. It adds a whole new element to the game and it gives the current champs a decent shot at reatining the title.

Well ok yeah, it's the kind of thing that could only ever work in a sport like Sailing, but ehy, it's fine by me.

[32nd America's Cup Official Website]

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Hot Bloggers Bracket: A Plea To The Lurkers

I need your help!!

The Ladies... have done a superb job in putting this bracket together and I was pretty happy with my Number 13 seed. Unfortunately I'm getting my ass kicked in the voting by the much better looking dude who writes the Sports Agent Blog.

So if you dig my blog and you've got a spare five secs, head on over to Ladies... and vote for your ol' buddy Sanchez. Thanks!

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A Fifth Round Pick, Shit It Was That Easy?

I took them that long to compromise between a forth round pick and a sixth round pick? Ok, ok technically the Chiefs started out on a second round pick but since the draft they've been asking for a fourth. Finally somebody says 'I got it! How 'bout a Fifth?' and the deal is done.

So I guess this answers the question over whether the Dolphins really were interested in Green or not. It's difficult to say how I feel about this trade though; Am I glad we've finally got ourselves a decent starter? well yeah I am. But I'm one of those Dolphins fans who was still holding on to the dillusion that Daunte Culpepper might still make a comeback, so I'm disaapointed in that regard.

My problem with this trade is that it seems to set up another year of QB uncertainty in 2008. Unless John Beck is ready by then of-course. I'm starting that prayer today.

[Michael David Smith - The Fanhouse]

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Awesome Athletes: Tyson Gay

I'm guessing that if you're Mr. And Mrs Gay, you'd be wanting to give your son the most macho name you could think of. And you can't get much more macho then 'Tyson'. I suppose Butch was another option, but then again that was never going to sound good...

Obvious jokes asside though, Tyson Gay has been threatening to become a world class sprinter for about two years now. Up until last year I thought of him predominantly as a 200m runner, but it looks like he has upped the acceleration and found the 'final forty' speed that is vital in today's 100m races.

When Justin Gatlin was caught cheating and banned I felt like we had been robbed of seeing him and Asafa Powell pushing each other to faster and faster times. I think the whole Track and Field world felt the same; Jamaican Powell was a step above everyone else in terms of 100m speed but he had never been able to beat Justin 'The Gun' Gatlin.

Now though, after Gay's impressive 9.76 time at the Reebok Grand Prix last Saturday, we can expect a new challenger to enter the fray. I don't want to talk about 'nearly' world records and all that - It was a wind assisted time, there's a reason they have a rule against that, but what Gay's time does show is that he has found the next level and is ready to push Powell for the title of 'World's Fastest Man', which is something we'd all like to see.

[The Japan Times]

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Cleo Lemon Re-Signed. No Party Planned.

I guess it was good to see that The Dolphins re-signed Cleo Lemon. It was only a one year deal but $1.3 million ain't bad, considering that he might end up being the Mighty Phish's starting Quarter Back. Not bad for Miami that is... no wait... argh...

I think the fact that this was only a one year gig suggests that Cameron and Co don't consider Lemon to be meeting the standards they thought he might three years ago when he was first signed. And neither do I for that matter. There's only so many years you can be happy with a guy who does 'ok' every game.

Has anyone ever seen Lemon do anything overly impressive? Personally, I think this re-signing is largely down to the fact that Trent Green is still not a Dolphin yet (and perhaps never will be).

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America's Cup Final aka The Washout

So it looks like Emirates Team New Zealand are a bit like the San Antonio Spurs in that they are clinical, well organised and don't often lose.

They have taken a huge 3-0 lead in the 'first to five' final against their Italian counterparts Luna Rossa Challenge. The Kiwis are generally a tough team to beat but this year they are awesome and have pretty much dominated all three races of the final so far from start to finish.

In the last race the Italian boat had the better starting position but still managed to turn a 20 metre advantage into a 40 metre deficit. You get the picture...

Yesterday was an off day but today the action gets going again and I think it's fair to say that this will be the last day of the final. I just can't see Luna Rossa Challenge winning more then one of the races, but ehy, it's sailing and what do I know about it?

[32nd Americas Cup Official Website]

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Awesome Athletes: Nicola Sanders

I heart NSIn the run up to the 2007 track and field season, which kicks off in full on the 15th of June with the first IAAF Golden League event in Oslo, I will be featuring some of the best Athletes from around the globe for you to keep your eye on.

Nicola Sanders has everything you would look for in a world class athlete and whilst some sports-casters are only now catching on (and attempting to ride shot-gun on the Sanders bandwagon) Nicola has been showing all the right signs for some years now.

She has incredible strength of body and (perhaps more importantly) of mind and is that rare breed of 400m runner who never gives anything other than from 100% effort right up to the finish line. Her style is fluid and natural and when she runs she glides down the track like silk and finishes each race with a will of iron.

She talks like a World Class Athlete and seems to exude that air of self-confidence that can only be found in World Champions. When asked where she keeps her medals she replied “They used to be in a cabinet, but we got rid of it and they are in a box somewhere” - the wins of the past don't matter to her, it's the big wins of the future that count; The World Championships and The Olympic Games. Nicola Sanders believes that she can beat anybody who lines up in the blocks with her. And you know what? She can.

When she won the 400m at the European Indoor Championships this year she sent out a message to the world. The Gold itself was secondary to the time she clocked: 50.02 seconds. It sent shock-waves around the athletics world.

This is Sanders' breakout season, with her mind clearly focused on the World Championships, she will face her main rival Sanya Richards, who must by now be quaking in her spikes, for the first time in Oslo on the 15th of June.They will likely meet several times during the season, but it will be at the World Championships where she can truly put her stamp on the event.

Nicola Sanders is a superb athlete and a joy to watch on the track, she is gritty, fast and incredibly determined. Oh, and she's incredibly easy on the eye as well... 'nough said.

[Nicola Sanders Profile]

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59 Bucks Well Spent.

22 Year Old Joey Chestnut from San Jose, California, has smashed the 'World Hot Dog Eating Record' by consuming 59 hot dogs in 12 minutes.

That's roughly one hot dog every 12 seconds. The thing I find really strange about this is that Mr Chestnut appears to be a fairly slim dude, isn't competetive eating designed for lardasses who want to call themselves athletes?

[Houston Chronicle]

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8 Hours of Rugby and Three Ass Whippings

Saturday saw me pretty much spending the enitre day watching Rugby. Yeah, perhaps there are better ways to be spending my time, but it's the off-season in football and I need my sports-aggression fix.

The Southern Hemisphere looked firmly in control of things as they laid out three sizeable whippings, each of them at home, to the three European teams who came to challenge them.

The biggest disappointemnt came when a lacklustre and undermanned France lay down to a New Zealand team who executed precision passing at higher speeds then ever before. The only word that really fits the bill when talking about the All-Blacks these days is 'Dynamic'. It is hard to see how anyone can stop them in their march to the World Cup this year. Having said that France, considered to be one of the key challengers along with Ireland and (alledgedly) South-Africa, didn't really turn up for this one. Final score: NZ 42 - Fr 11

It's always nice to see the Welsh get shut-out and embarrassed and Australia duly obliged by beating them convincingly 31-0. Let me just reflect on that for one more second... *ahhhhhhh...*

Next it was Englands turn to face the onslaught. In the press this week the South African team, sportingly and in typical fashion, have refused to accept that England are being forced to play 3rd and even 4th string players due to a bout of Virus and Injury the likes of which have never been seen before.

Once again they threw out their first team and waited for the ass kicking to commence. Thankfully England made them work for it and thanks to some inspired play from Johnny Wilkinson, Toby Flood and Ben Scarborough, actually went in at halftime leading by 19-17. Unfortunately the English forwards simply refused to win any of their lineouts, which lead to the final score of 55-22 in the Springbok's favour.

These results should all be taken with a pinch of salt however, as none of them reflect a decent outing by any of the European teams. We will see how things look closer to the World Cup in September.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Phil Wellman Laughs in the Face of Your Ejection

You see, you log on all ready to write a nice intelligent yet humorous piece on the various sporting issues of the day, when you spot this little beauty on You Tube...


and try as you might you just... can't... stop... gut laughing.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

29 of the last 30 is all you need to know...


A lot has been written about Lebron in game 5 but a couple of standout posts can be found at:

[The Extrapolater]


[Signal To Noise]

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America's Cup Sailing Replicates Early Nineties Coin-op Video Games

The final of the Louis Vitton Cup kicks off today with Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA) and the ridiculously named Emirates Team New Zealand going head to head in a 'first to five' victories final.

But once either team has won their five races they don't automatically become the America's Cup Champions. Oh no, winning the final only gives them a shot at the current cup holders Alinghi (SWI), or as I like to think of them 'THE BOSS'.

Remember those old video games where you would get to the final fight or level or whatever only find that there is an unexpected super boss from Switzerland who you have to beat in order to win the game?

Well ok, I made up the Switzerland thing, but you know what I mean. I really wish I was a big sailing fan, the set up for this tournament is awesome and I would be glued to my seat if I was watching I'm sure.

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