Monday, May 31, 2010

Danica Patrick still in control amidst controversies

Eye candy in the race track: Indy 500 driver Danica Patrick is perhaps
one of the most recognizable faces in Motorsports.
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Danica Patrick is very much like LeBron James -- she's the hype in the Indy 500. Sure, she got the looks, the body and a real knack for driving cars -- fast cars. While she makes guys drop jaws speeding away in the race track, it seems like a typical day for an Indy driver. But when the hype finally caught up with her, it totally changed everything.

She's been acting a little too different lately. The fans are starting to think she's getting way over her head. They're wondering if she's still passionate about the sport or not. They start to question if already losing her grip -- not focused and bringing out just sub-par performances. Struggling is the word to describe what fans see in her.

Whether or not the controversies have affected her, it seems she's is pretty much got it under control. She's rather happy of her performance and results -- never mind if the fans didn't like it:

Still, though it may turn the stomachs of hardcore race fans, most eyes that turn to Indy turn to Danica. And she learned from her earlier comments, laying all praise at the feet of her crew:

"I’m very happy with the result, and the reason we got it were that our pit stops rocked and we had a perfect strategy," Patrick said. "I focused on making sure I lifted [off the gas] and got a tow from other cars to save fuel as the laps were winding down. I’m really glad the yellow came out at the end, because we were cutting it real close on fuel. That’s the roll of the dice and the team did a perfect job."


Ladies and germs: Danica Patrick. Stay classy girl.

New World Cup Ball gets no love from players

Ball of criticism: 'Jabulani' the Official World Cup 2010 ball by Adidas
didn't exactly impress a lot of players.
(Telegraph UK/Getty Images/Adidas)

Who would've thought a simple 'ball' would get that much attention? That 'ball' is non other than FIFA World Cup's new official ball called "Jabulani" made by Adidas, isn't exactly making waves, so to speak. The ball has getting a lot complaints as opposed to praises. The German sports outfitter felt there was nothing wrong with the ball -- or so they thought.

World Cup players from the Spanish National team share their words about 'the ball':

"It's sad that an event as important as the World Cup has such a rotten ball," Spain's keeper and captain Iker Casillas noted from his squad's training camp in Schruns, in western Austria.

"This new generation of balls is very fast and it isn't just the goalkeepers who are complaining," he was quoted as saying by the Austria Press Agency.

The ball rather resembled a beach ball, the Real Madrid player said, insisting however that there was still time to get used to it before the tournament kicks off in South Africa on June 11. "We still have ten days until the World Cup," he added.

The criticisms pouring in however, didn't sit all too well for the Three-Stripes brand:

Company spokesman Thomas van Schaik said he was surprised to hear the critical comments, made by top goalkeepers such as Spain’s Iker Casillas and Brazil’s Julio Cesar, because the “Jabulani” balls had been used for months without any complaints.

“We started using it in December in a wide variety of leagues,” he told The Associated Press. “All the response we have had has been positive.

“On top of that, we have distributed it to all the finalists so that they have been able to get used to the ball. Apparently they have not taken advantage of that if we are only hearing this criticism now. I am quite surprised in these circumstances.”

If no player isn't thrilled with the controversial ball's performance, why can't they just go back to the generic ball? Maybe then, everybody will all be happy campers and move on playing the most 'beautiful game' in the world. Perhaps new technology doesn't necessarily improve how a sport is played.

The problem may not be the ball but how it is, well -- used. Whatever the reason is, let's just leave the 'ball' alone and play the game. Period.

Jose Mourinho is Real Madrid bound

A new beginning: Portuguese Jose Mourinho will take over as new manager of Real Madrid.
Photo by: Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

One of the best football managers in Europe is making headlines again. Fresh from leading Inter Milan FC to winning the most coveted prize in the UEFA Champions league, he decided to bolt out of Italy. He wants Spain to be his new home. After all the rumors brewing all over the football grapevine, it's now confirmed -- Mourinho will helm the Galacticos next season.

So far, he's getting all the love in Spain. He's not the only Portuguese popular there -- Cristiano Ronaldo's gonna have to get used to sharing the spotlight. Not much has changed in his expressions or body language of delight being the new guy in Real Madrid -- a typical Jose thing -- that's why everybody loves a guy him because he's a winner. He does smile once in a while though.

Nonetheless, he's more than ready to take the Galacticos to the next level:

"I like to give myself a challenge and this is a big one," Mourinho told a news conference at the Bernabeu Stadium. "I have a lot of confidence in myself and my ability as a coach.

"I want to thank the board for hiring me and I promise I will not change. I am Jose Mourinho and I arrive here with all my qualities and my defects," Mourinho added.

"The strength of my teams is the team not individual players or the coach. If they all recognise this it will not be difficult to get results."

That's one classy guy right there. He's all set to win a UEFA title with the Galacticos. Inter fans shouldn't feel all that bad. Rumor has it that England coach Fabio Capello will be replacing Mourinho's spot with Internazionale. So it's a win-win situation for both teams and that makes the poker faced Mourinho just as happy perhaps. It will yet be another exciting season for the UEFA Champions league and Spanish La Liga.

LA Lakers advance to face Celtics in the Finals

Black Mamba on the prowl: Kobe Bryant is ready to take on the Boston Celtics in the Finals.
Christian Petersen/NBAE/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns had homecourt advantage in game 6, Steve Nash and gang knew they could beat the L.A. Lakers and force a Game 7. They got everything planned out and their game plan was in full effect. The 2-3 zone bothered most of the Lakers but they forgot about the one guy they should really worry about -- Kobe Bryant.

A typical Kobe performance dropping 37 points on the Suns to make yet another return to the Finals. Phoenix's resilience and tremendous comeback undoubtedly gave the Lakeshow a run for their money. Amar'e Stoudemire knew their efforts didn't do too much against the Lakers:

“We played great and we were only two games short of getting to the Finals,” Suns forward Amar’e Stoudemire said. “They (the Lakers) have a great team and they have all bases covered; from the bench, to the starters, to Kobe.”

Suns veteran and co-captain Grant Hill agrees with Stat:

“It makes it hard when you’re down like that,” Suns co-captain Grant Hill said. “We fought and got back into the game but they have experience of being in these types of games before and they’re pretty good.”

Who could forget Suns' heartbreaking loss in Game 5 at the hands of one Ron Artest, who was always criticized by the Phil Jackson of his poor shot selections -- he didn't complain about his game winning shot though. How about Kobe's little gesture on Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry after hitting a big 3-pointer -- with Grant Hill all over him -- late in the 4th quarter? This clip says it all:

Stoudemire lead his team with 27 while Steve Nash collected 21 points along with 9 assists. Despite the loss, the Suns' court general praised his team for a great season and playoff run:

“I know everyone makes a deal out of I've never made the finals,” the playmaker said, “but if I play with a team like I played with this year, I'll be satisfied with that. It's phenomenally rewarding to be part of a group like this.

“It's a great source of pride for me to get a chance to play with these guys. They're just such great, great people and great teammates. They've committed absolutely to what we're trying to do. You want to say we overachieved until you think about it and say, 'We're a good team.' We had a real legitimate chance to beat the Lakers and go to the Finals and play for a championship.”

So it's come to this, the Lakers-Celtics rivalry is back in full effect. The Lakeshow now has the opportunity to avenge their loss in 2008. The defending champs have lot to prove as they have yet to win against the Boston Celtics in the finals. Kobe Bryant comments on what to expect in their storied rivalry come June:

"The challenge is to win the championship. The Celtics are in the way. They feel the same way about us. Obviously this is a matchup, it's very easy to talk about. There's a lot of things that people can write about and talk about. It's a sexy matchup.
We're looking forward to this challenge, looking forward to the test. When the ball goes up, we'll be ready to go."

As the 2010 NBA Finals loom, this is going to be yet another great championship match-up of epic proportions. It's win or go home for both teams. The Boston Celtics are aiming for NBA title number 18. The L.A. Lakers however want not just to defend their 'chip but it's all about redemption.

Celtics back in the NBA Finals

Team effort: Paul Pierce and the Celtics booked themselves a ticket back to the NBA Finals.
Jim Rogash/NBAE/Getty Images)

Beantown has every reason to celebrate as the Boston Celtics finally vanquished the Orlando Magic 96-84, in Game 6 of Eastern Conference Finals. Despite having a few set backs in the last 2 games, the Celtics were able to clinch a spot in the NBA Finals to face their west coast rival, the L.A. Lakers. It will be a rematch of the NBA Finals back in 2008.

Rajon Rondo brought his A-game despite hitting the floor hard during the game with 14 points and 6 assists. Paul Pierce was in usual self as he scored 31 points with 13 boards to his credit. Kevin Garnett chalked up 10 points and sweet shooting Ray Allen also chipped in 20 points. Coach Doc Rivers wasn't at all surprised of his teams performance:

"The first thing we said when we got in the locker room is this is where we thought we would be," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "So, don't be surprised. This is what we talked about before the season started.

"I just believed that I saw what they did and what they had. And we kept saying as a staff, 'It's in us. We've got to try to get it back out of us.'"

The Magic's Vince Carter wasn't much of a factor in game 6 having scored only 17 points. Dwight Howard's 20-10 performance didn't much either albeit his 28 points and 12 rebounds. Orlandos' Superman gave credit to their rivals from Boston of their hard-earned victory:

"[The Celtics] played like they wanted to win the championship the whole series," he added. "That's why they're in the position that they're in now."

An unlikely spark plug in the form of Nate Robinson, came off the bench all fired up -- literally helped his Celtics pull off the win -- that's coming from a player who has only made a few appearances in the playoffs. His teammate Tony Allen gives props to Robinson for his performance:

"Here's a guy that didn't play too much all series and gave us a lift," Tony Allen said. "He was ready for his opportunity and he took clean advantage of it."

A breathe of new life indeed for Nate and now has an opportunity to win his first ever championship. Kendrick Perkins couldn't be more happier of Technical Foul called on him in Game 5 at Orlando. He's got the NBA Commissioner David Stern to thank for -- thus he was able to play in Game 6. The Celtics will have 5 days rest before facing the Lakeshow in June 3 (June 4 in Manila).

Now that the Celtics are back in the finals, fans in Beantown are hoping to win yet another NBA title and perhaps add banner number 18 in the rafters of the TD Garden. With C's starting 5 back in shape, there's no stopping the gang green in taking the NBA Championship back to the east.

On that note, check out this play of Rajon Rondo's dime drop to P-Double for a nice two-handed throwdown.

Hamilton rules Turkish GP, Button takes number 2 in Drivers' Championship

Britain's finest: McLaren-Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button
celebrated their victory after their 1-2 podium finish in Instanbul, Turkey.
(Eurosport UK/Reuters)

It's been a while since I last posted something about Formula 1. I promised myself I'd do more updates about it but to no avail, it was an epic FAIL. Anyways, I'ma try to redeem myself and perhaps make up for lost time. It's really hard to keep up with the news especially if you're a writer who has an all sport blog, like yours truly. Now, on to some F1 stuff....

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton made this bold prediction about beating the Red Bulls in Turkey -- He did exactly just that and it was loud and clear. It was a one-two finish for McLaren with Hamilton taking the chequered flag while defending champ Jenson Button took 2nd place. He (Hamilton) even dedicated his win for his pops, which is a nice shout out, by the way:

“Having said all that, winning today doesn’t feel quite as good as it sometimes does. That’s because it’s a little bit different from some of my previous race victories: ideally, the racer in me wants to win by overtaking the guys in front, not by seeing them crash out in front of me. Rather than inheriting a win, it’s much nicer to fight your way past your rivals and earn the win the hard way.

“Still, I’m very happy for the team. My girlfriend is here too, which is nice, and my dad is on holiday and I really wanted to win today so that I could dedicate the win to him. It’s his 50th birthday tomorrow, you see, and a grand prix victory is the best birthday present I could ever give him.”

Red Bull GP's Mark Webber placed third. The Australian wasn't able to clinch another win after being victorious in the last two races. Sebastian Vettel wasn't all too happy with Webber about crashing in the middle of the race trying to overtake each other. Vettel insisted he had it all under control, to say the least.

HOWEVA, the Drivers' Championship leader had some rather interesting words after that incident:

"But before we got there he came across to the right and I couldn’t react fast enough, because I wasn’t at all expecting that at that point, and that’s why it happened so fast and there was contact.

"Of course in Seb’s car, it obviously feels very bad that I’ve turned left into him, but I’m pretty confident that there was some drift from his way and then it was a f***ing disaster."

Classy indeed.

Lewis Hamilton meanwhile made sure the incident with the Red Bulls won't happen:

"It won't happen with me and Jenson," the 2008 world champion told Reuters after he led reigning champion Jenson Button to a one-two finish after the Red Bull drivers had wrecked their chances.

Asked how he could be so certain, particularly after a race in which the McLarens jousted with each other in the closing stages, Hamilton replied: "We're both world champions, we're both professionals, we both have a huge amount of respect for each other.

"We want to finish the race, we do both want to win, but not in an aggressive manner," continued the 25-year-old Briton.

"When I win he is happy for me and vice versa.

"For sure, you want to be ahead, so if you finish second you're not the happiest. However, he is a very supportive team-mate and he is doing a solid job.

"We had a great battle out there and he wasn't aggressive, he wasn't silly, he didn't make any stupid mistakes, and that's why we had a good battle," said Hamilton after his first victory of the season. "I have no doubts the rest of the year will be the same.

Lovely, spoken like a true champion. Maturity on his part perhaps or maybe just being respectful of Jenson Button who's currently the defending champ. Fans won't be surprised if he steals the thunder again just like what he did to Fernando Alonso when he was with Mclaren back in 2007 -- Hamilton's rookie season.

7-time World Champ Michael Schumacher didn't have a hard time catching up with the young guns as he finished 4th place in Turkey. He isn't doing bad since he came out of retirement for a one-year stint with Mercedes GP. For a veteran like Schumacher, being able to finish in the top 10 just proves that can still compete for another year or so. That's just me of course.

As the race now shifts to Canada in 2 weeks, Mclaren's Jenson Button will have to make a strong finish to overtake Red Bull's Mark Webber for the top spot in the Drivers' Championship. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is not far behind and still in the hunt for that coveted title as well. It's going to yet another interesting race as the rivalry between Red Bull and Mclaren continue to heat up.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Michael Jordan endorses video game franchise

Be like Mike? Gamers and fans can relive Michael Jordan's
glory days again as the much awaited NBA 2k11 game, is set to drop this year.
(Via Google Images)

I'm not really a fan of the NBA 2K series but for some reason, I think I'm gonna have a change of heart. Though I've always loved playing the NBA Live games, the only reason I never got to play the 2010 version is that didn't come out for the PS2 (I still love that console, by the way) -- only the 2k10 did.

I own the NBA 2k10 (PS2 version) which featured Kobe Bryant(!) as the game's cover boy. Now, the folks who created the video game(s) just stepped up their, well -- game. Word has it that Hall of Famer Michael Jordan -- the GOAT -- is on lock to grace the cover of NBA 2k11. Money will also have his image, likeness and will be playable in the game as well.

ESPN's got the low down on the latter:

While rumors pegged LeBron James, Derrick Rose and even Tyreke Evans as favorites to appear on the cover of "NBA 2K11," multiple sources have told ESPN that the company has gone in a completely different direction, signing basketball legend Michael Jordan as its new spokesman.

This will be the first time that a former player will appear on the front of the box for 2K, and with Jordan taking over majority ownership of the Charlotte Bobcats, it will also be the first time that a team owner will endorse the popular franchise.

But the real question is, what value -- beyond obvious name and iconic image recognition -- will Jordan bring to the game? In the era of Kobe and King James, are gamers still yearning to "Be Like Mike"?

The designers at 2K must think so. In addition to acting as cover model for "NBA 2K11," the speculation is that Jordan will also be digitized into a playable character. This means gamers will become the virtual MJ in hopes of reliving some of his trademark moments.

There's more. I've even heard whispers that 2K has been in negotiations with several players (both teammates and opponents) from the Jordan era to appear in "2K11" to help gamers and history buffs accurately recreate the heated competition between the classic Bulls and rivals like the Celtics, Knicks and Cavaliers. But since 2K needs to ink all former players to individual contracts, it's still up in the air whom the company will be able to sign in time to appear in the game.

Being a fan MJ, there's a reason for me to buy the game (hoping that it comes out on PS2), unless of course, I buy myself a PS3 or XBOX 360 console for that matter. This is going to be every Jordan fanboy's wet dream (I think). Gamers and sports fans alike will be clamoring for this once it's officially released within this year.

Time to save some money for this game. I'll do just that but I'll have work on getting the next gen console first -- I may have to wait for the PS2 (crosses fingers) and PC version though.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Nike to launch World Cup ad in a UEFA game

As mentioned on Brooks Peck's Soccer blog, this new ad campaign from the folks at Nike (that's all over the internet already) will debut this Saturday (in the US, I presume) during a UEFA Champions League game. It's the full version of the ad. Really dope if you ask me. You'll see a lot of familiar faces in soccer/football -- the ones that rock Nike gear obviously. If you watch soccer games and a fan of the sport, you'll certainly recognize them (and some other Nike athletes). HOWEVA, there's one cameo in the ad that had me scratching my head though.

This is a soccer ad but I have a problem with some personalities showing up there. Though I'm not surprised to see Kobe Bryant(!) and Roger Federer (did he ever play footie before?) but Homer Simpson?! Homer f*cking Simpson -- c'mon son!!! I'm a fan of the cartoon series but he/it seems a bit out of place there -- seriously! Maybe Homer was there to add some humor in the ad or something -- I dunno.

Whatever the reason is, only Nike knows right? It's still worth watching nonetheless. Hope this ad airs here in the Philippines soon.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Air Jordan VI Bulls Colorway to drop in June 2010

Another great Air Jordan release coming up in June.
Sneakerheads won't be missing these for sure.

These kicks are so gonna be copped! I've always wanted these when I was 12. Hope they drop here in the Philippines as a GR or General Release. The US release date is already confirmed though -- June 12, 2010.

Here's heads-up via NikeTalk:

The rumored released of the Air Jordan VI Infrared Pack had Jordan-heads in a total frenzy. In fact, when Sneaker News posted news of a possible confirmed release, over a hundred of our loyal readers chimed in. While there haven’t been any actual pictures of in-depth details, how about something that IS confirmed? Check out these pics of the Air Jordan VI Varsity Red and White colorway, set to drop in June. Some may bicker about the hue of the red color, but these are still an astoundingly gorgeous pair of Air Jordans that will clear off the store shelves rather quickly. If you can’t get your hands on the Infrared Pack, the White-Varsity Red joint would be a worthy replacement. via MarqueeSole.

Air Jordan VI Retro "Bulls" (GR release)
384664-102 White/Varsity Red-Black
$150.00 - Men's
$105.00 - Gradeschool
$65.00 - Preschool
$45.00 - Toddler
$40.00 - Crib

Can't wait for June already. Ain't sleeping on them either.

Monday, May 17, 2010

2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals: Celtics take Game 1

Point guard match-up: The Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo (left) tries to get past
Jameer Nelson (right) of the Orlando Magic. The Celtics beat the Magic 92-88
Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Hey folks! My first post in 2 months. Lots of things I had to deal with. I'm back and I've made some changes on my blog -- obviously. Hope y'all like it. I ain't done with it as I'll be adding a few more stuff here. So without further ado, on to the updates....

Everybody thought the Cleveland Cavaliers would go all the way to the Finals. Most Celtics fans (including myself) didn't think the C's would even get past the second round of the playoffs. Well lo and behold, the same Boston Celtics team that's been hampered with injuries and controversy (Rasheed Wallace anyone?) is making some noise and they're back in the hunt for the 'chip.

After getting Rondo'd twice, we may have seen LeBron James in a Cavs uni. That's another story altogether.

The Orlando Magic have been the most dominant team in the East. Having swept the Charlotte Bobcats and the Atlanta Hawks, a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference Finals was expected -- all that changed, thanks to the Celtics.

Paul Pierce and gang made yet another statement in O-Town as the Celtics gave the Magic a run for their money and won game 1. Vince Carter knew it wasn't gonna be easy:

"They came out ready to play," said Vince Carter, who led the Magic with 23 points. "They jumped on us early, offensively and defensively.

"We fought like heck to get back in the game. Unfortunately, when you're down that many points with about nine minutes to go, and with them defending like they did, it's going to be tough.

The Orlando Magic have to make some adjustments and even the series in Game 2. So far, the Celtics are at their best playing on the road and surely, another win in O-Town could mean another step going back to the Finals in a potential rematch with the LA Lakers. Speaking of the Lakers, Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals and it's another heated rivalry with the Phoenix Suns tomorrow. That's another series worth watching. I'm betting my money on the Suns to win in the West (sorry Lakers fans).

In some NBA news, Cavaliers guard Delonte West is making headlines of sorts, which I find rather odd and disturbing. I know this is old stuff, but I'm glad Vinny Del Negro finally got the pink slip from the Chicago Bulls management. A lot of coaching job openings in the L. This year's draft is something to look forward to in the coming days. Hope John Wall gets drafted at number 1. Whichever team drafts him is lucky, that's all I can say.

Competition's gonna get even more intense as the road to the NBA Finals continue. On that note, check out this awesome dunk from Vince Carter. See y'all in my next updates.


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