Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Would You Dope If You Could?

Posted By on Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 11:41 AM

After I told one of my regular sports partners I had been covering the story of the Memphis pro golfer suspended by the PGA Tour for doping violations, he looked at me and smiled, "You know where I can get some testosterone?" He was kidding, I think.

As one of the PGA's attorneys said in court last week, professional athletes are held to high standards for the integrity of the game.

"When you become a professional athlete you don't always get to do everything the man on the street gets to do," said Rich Young, a lawyer in Colorado Springs who has worked on the Floyd Landis case and other major doping suspensions.

If, as a weekend warrior, you could take drugs to boost your strength, speed your recovery, improve your time, or calm your nerves, would you do it? I'm not so sure.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Bad Knees to New Knees: One Man's Story

Posted By on Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 4:48 PM

My friend Al Wise and I have been playing tennis with and against each other for 20 years. I think he's ahead in victories but I'm ahead in the category that really matters. I'm still playing on my god-given knees and he's about to trade his in for two manufactured ones.

Enjoy 'em while you got 'em, athletes. Here's one man's story of injury, decline, and hopefully recovery next year.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cyclocross on Sunday

Posted By on Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 11:45 AM

The Outdoors Inc. Cyclocross Championship is Sunday, November 15th, at Greenbelt Park on Mud Island.

The event includes something for riders from 5 to 55 years old, ranging from a 50-yard dash to a 40 minute race over the 1.5 mile course. There is also a men's pro division with a 50-minute race.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. and the first races are at 9 a.m. Mountain bikes are welcome, and the entry fee is $30 for all categories ($10 for childrem 14 and under), benefitting the Church Health Center.

Cyclocross is spectator friendly and held on an obstacle course that requires riders to dismount several times and carry their bikes.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Best Low-Calorie Beer: None of 'Em

Posted By on Sun, Nov 8, 2009 at 1:30 PM

All the burping and beer breath, none of the taste. So much for the new super-low-calorie beers.

The best beers for athletes, according to an unscientific survey of athletes I know, are these:

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Komen Race Plus St Jude Marathon: 31,500 Participants

Posted By on Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 10:43 AM

What's the most popular participant sport in America? The numbers suggest running and walking.

More than 16,000 people signed up to participate in last weekend's 2009 Komen Memphis-Midsouth Race for the Cure in Germantown. The St. Jude Memphis Marathon in December is at capacity with 3,500 participants in the marathon and a good chance of making the goal of 12,000 more in the FK and half marathon.

There are some lessons for backers of other sports vying for attention and funding in Memphis.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Great Excuses for Backsliding

Posted By on Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 1:29 PM

Ten months down, two months to go. But November and December are murder on diets, stiff joints, and resolutions.

In January I set personal goals for strength, weight, and competition with a goal of winning a national age-group championship. So far, so so. I've met two of the three goals but have been backsliding lately, and I come up with new excuses every week.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Least Trendy Fitness Club in Town

Posted By on Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 9:09 AM

Rosie Murrell
  • Rosie Murrell
The water temperature in the pool is a lethargy-inducing 94 degrees. The dress code bans sleeveless shirts, spandex, Speedos, and tight-fitting clothes. There are no mirrors in the weight room, and the televisions are rarely turned on. Triathletes and serious runners are discouraged from joining.

There is a method to the blandness. Dr. Scott Morris thinks this is the way you get people who are beyond out of shape to exercise, lose weight, and change their lives.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

U.S. Racquetball Open Ends with a Bang

Posted By on Sun, Oct 25, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Racquetball is fast, exciting, and loud.

It is possibly the loudest sport not involving firearms or motor vehicles. The ball comes off the wall with a crack like a rifle shot, with the noise confined to the enclosed court. During breaks in the pro matches on Sunday, the music was cranked up to the decibels of jet engines. This is a sport for people who don't like to sit still.

Nobody plays it better than Kane Waselenchuk, who won the pro tournament for the fifth time in three straight games. He may be the best of the best, by the widest margin, of any athlete in any sport in the world. The guy is almost unbeatable. The only thing to stop him was a two-year suspension for drugs a couple years ago. Now he's clean and a machine.

The 14th U.S. Open Racquetball Tournament at the Racquet Club was also probably the last one for Memphis. The event lost its title sponsors — formerly Promus and Hampton Inns, which are no longer Memphis based companies — and is likely to move somewhere else next year, possibly Minnesota.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Does Sports Terminology Matter?

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 3:21 PM

I've been drawn into some pointless debates, and it happened again this week when I was corrected by a "cyclist" for (not) using the term "biker" in a story about a person who rides a bicycle.

Not guilty on the language tort, but more on that later. The more interesting question is how much influence the sports intelligentsia should exercise in making public policy. Less than they think, is my opinion.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Killer Workout

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 9:00 AM

We've all heard some weekend warrior say it: "I'm going to do this if it kills me."

And every once in a while it does. Last Sunday, three people died running the half-marathon in Detroit, a jinxed city if there ever was one.

Could it happen here at the St. Jude Memphis Marathon on December 5th? Highly unlikely, but anything is possible when thousands of people participate in extreme sports, say runners, doctors and race organizers.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Are You and Yoga a Match?

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 7:18 AM

Yoga is hot. There is hard yoga, soft yoga, hot yoga designed to make you sweat, and even competitive yoga.

To those of us who have spent our athletic lives straining, lifting, grunting, running, jumping, or chasing a ball, this is very strange. Not that we aren't envious.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Iverson's Hamstring

Posted By on Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Professional athletes are not like you and me, except in this respect: As they get older they get more injury prone.

I hope I'm wrong, but Allen Iverson's torn hamstring, especially if it is black and purple as he says it is, could keep him down for quite a while.

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A Tennis Player Weighs in on Public Courts

Posted By on Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Should Memphis close some of its tennis centers and refocus on a first-class megacenter instead?

One serious Memphis tennis player (and tennis dad and patron of both public and private tennis clubs) thinks so.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Are Any Sports "Free"?

Posted By on Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 3:39 PM

There’s a really good new book called “Free: The Future of a Radical Price,” by Chris Anderson, the editor of Wired magazine.

He argues that businesses like Google (“the Citadel of Free”) can make more by giving things away than by charging for them. Free websites, long distance calls, blogs, stock trades, and newspapers are among the many examples.

Anderson does what a good writer should do. He tells you things you didn’t know, he keeps you reading, and he makes you think. He got me thinking about how we value time, information, and sports.

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

"A K" Calls "Game"

Posted By on Sat, Oct 3, 2009 at 11:28 AM

If you call "game" in playground basketball you better have it.

Especially if a you're the only white guy on the court. And a newbie. And your last name is Stoneking.

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