Why does the Sports Guru make fun of what I eat?

As I said in my very first post, I can be on the mean side when it comes to those who do not understand and feel the same way about sports as I do. I am learning to be just a tad more tolerant (just ask the Sports Guru’s Sports Gal) as I find out there are many more gals and guys than I expected that feel differently than I do about sports. What rock have all these people been living under for the past 40 years? (You see what I mean).

So I am going to put on my “nice hat” and discuss the virtues of dirt versus synthetic turf in horse racing. I know you glazed over the moment I used the word horse racing. OK, let’s try something more simple like; why do some baseball managers bring in the infield with a runner on third and less than two outs in the first inning. I know, I know. I’m trying hard here. You see there are major differences between my well tuned sports mind and your sports-mind-in-training.

Maybe this will be a little better. What should you watch on TV this weekend to fine tune your sports mind? Let’s start with the Scripp’s National Spelling Bee tonight on ABC 8pm EST – a bunch of 9 to 13 year olds spelling words that the Sports Guru and most of you have NEVER heard of. It’s so cute when these little spelling nerds ask the moderator “can you give me another definition”, “is there another pronunciation”, “can I have the root and can you use it in a sentence”. No wonder these kids get beat up at school. How often in your life do you need to use the word accordatura (used in tuning an instrument) or chlorambucil (a chemotherapy drug). I do like it when they cry when they miss a word………

Not into spelling? How about CBS on Saturday night at 9pm EST (just in case you don’t have a date) – the network prime-time premier of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighting. Two great fights to watch. Gina Carano (Crush on American Gladiators) vs. Kaitlin Young (a self proclaimed jock/nerd who studies kinesiology [you look it up, I gave you accordatura before] in college and Kimbo Slice (just YouTube his name) vs. James Thompson (don’t worry about him, nobody knows who he is). The great thing about MMA is that the fighters get to beat the crap out of each other and they love it. The fans love it, the networks hope you will love it and then sponsors will love it also. Look for Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano to be all over the TV this summer.

I know you want to learn about traditional sports. I want you to eat a cheese steak for lunch every now and then. You see, it is a two-way street. You do something nice for the Sports Guru (send me a comment) and I will explain how a curveball curves and why sometimes a 5-2 favorite at the track is really a bad bet.

Have a great weekend (yes it’s ok to have a second burger with the bun)!

Your friend in Sports,

Dave the Sports Guru

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What’s really going on in the world of sports.

Time to step up our lessons a little. You can learn it now or stuff your nose in the Sports section of the paper during lunch while you try to eat that fish taco. The end of May is really an exciting time of year for sports. Well according to the Sports Guru, 365 days of the year are exciting but for now let’s just concentrate on what’s going on right now.

The National Hockey League (NHL) is holding their championship series called the the Stanley Cup Finals. The two teams competing for the Cup are the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Pittsburgh won game 3 of their series last night 3-2 and now trail Detroit 2 games to 1 in their best of 7 series (first to win 4 game is the champ). That was easy (Thank you Staples).

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is down to 4 teams battling it out for their championship. The NBA is divided into 2 conferences, the Western and Eastern Conference. In the East the Boston Celtics defeated the Detroit Pistons (yes Detroit has two teams trying to win a championship in two sports at the same time) last night to take a 3 games to 2 lead. Again this series is the best of 7. In the Western Conference the Los Angeles Lakers lead the San Antonio Spurs 3 games to 1 entering tonight’s 5th game in LA. If the Lakers win tonight they will qualify for the NBA Finals against the winner of Detroit and Boston. If San Antonio wins then they go back to San Antonio for game 6 on Saturday night. The Spurs are defending NBA Champions.

Major League Baseball is about to hit the 1/3 mark of the 2008 season. Baseball teams play 162 game seasons so all of the teams will play game 54 some time this week. Baseball is divided into 2 leagues, the American League (AL) and National League (NL). East league is divided into 3 divisions: East, Central and West. The current leaders in each division are as follows: AL East – Tampa Bay Rays, AL Central – Chicago White Sox and in the AL West the Los Angeles Angels. The NL East is currently led by the Florida Marlins, The NL Central by the Chicago Cubs and the NL West by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Yes it might be a very exciting summer in Chicago if the Cubs and White Sox continue their hot starts.

Remember your friends Nigel and Graham from last week? Well yesterday they were very happy as England beat the United States 2-0 in a “friendly” soccer (football) match. Maybe they will buy you that fish taco for lunch today.

A few more things to impress your family and friends; just tread lightly here. The French Open (Tennis) is finishing up its first week and so far no major upsets have happened. The College World Series of Women’s Softball begins in Oklahoma later today. The Scripps National Spelling Bee is on to the Quarterfinal round later today with the finals tomorrow night on ABC TV.

That should do it for today. Tomorrow we will discuss the Lakers and Spurs, NASCAR, Golf and the World Series of Poker. That should give you incentive to maybe have some fries with that fish taco…..

Your friend in Sports,

Dave the Sports Guru

Why do swimmers IM and other tough sports questions.

As I have said in previous posts, I love sports.  Someone currently more famous than me once said “sports is like life”, not quite as good as Forrest Gump’s mother saying “life is like a box of chocolates”, but nonetheless sports plays a critical role in my life.  That’s why I’m the sports guru and I am doing everything possible to help you, the sportsnerd graduate into the “Wide World of Sports” (thank you Jim McKay).

Let’s start today’s lesson with a real easy one.  I know you read the title and thought swimmers IM because they don’t want to swim across the pool again to ask their coach how fast they swam.  Well guess what, swimmers don’t Instant Message their coaches, they swim Individual Medleys (no, no, no, it has nothing to do with singing show tunes).  There are four basic swim strokes:  Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly and Freestyle.  An IM swimmer will swim each of those strokes in this order in one race.  OK on to the next lesson.

We all liked Julia Roberts (Vivian) in “Pretty Woman”; the tub scene with the strawberries was a classic.  There is a scene in the movie where Richard Gere (Edward) takes Vivian to a polo match.  Ralph Lauren was not there, and no the tops and bottoms don’t have to look the same.  Anyway polo is played with rich good-looking men on horses with interesting names like Esteban, Raul, Sebastian and Pablo (the men not the horses).  Water polo is played in a pool (without the horses) by good-looking men with names like Chay, Cole, Clay and Krsto.  So if you are looking for a sport to play and don’t have a horse, a cool name or are good-looking, these two are out.

So what can you play?  How about the hammer throw (a 35 pound weight on a chain, not something you hang pictures with)?  Maybe you would be good at the clean and jerk (a weight lifting event, not what you do in the kitchen while you call your spouse a bad name as he or she sits on the couch and watches tv).  I know you could try being a Pentathlete, Heptathlete or Decathlete.  I figured you did well in English class at school and would know what these big Greek words mean.  Basically, Penta for 5, Hep for 7 and Deca for 10.  You compete in an event that contains 5, 7 or 10 elements.  If you are “really interested” in what those 5, 7 or 10 events are, drop me a line (david.nagelberg@gmail.com).  I’ll give you a hint, one involves a gun and a horse.       

Your friend in Sports,

Dave the Sports Guru  

Why can’t the Penguins score a goal?

I like hockey.  No I love hockey.  That puts me in the smallest of minorities in this country.  There might be more left handed blind accordian playing Alaskan’s over 7 foot tall then hockey fans in America.  Yes many sports fans know about hockey, but the gals and guys that buy the jersey’s and watch fight dvd’s are a rare breed.

The ultimate prize in the National Hockey League is called the Stanley Cup.  No need to bore you with details about Lord Stanley of Preston other than he is the guy the trophy is named after.  There are many stories about the cup and the players and teams that have won it.  Again no major details needed other than, hockey players who have never won the cup refuse to touch the cup.  The winning team gets to drink champagne (and many other adult beverages) out of it and each player gets to keep the trophy for a day during the summer after his team has won the championship. 

That’s leads us to this season’s Stanley Cup Final between the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins.  To win the cup you need to win 4 games out of 7.  Currently the Red Wings lead the Penguins 2 games to none having won the first two games in Detroit, 4-0 and 3-0.  Game three is tomorrow night in Pittsburgh.

That’s enough about Hockey for now.  If you need to “know more” about hockey or any sport just drop me a line at david.nagelberg@gmail.com

Your friend in Sports,

Dave the Sports Guru

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend marks a great time for many sports fans.  Not only is it the unofficial beginning of summer, it is the weekend that sports fans have lots of choices of what to watch on the tv when they need a little break from their families.

Baseball is in full swing and each team is past the quarter mark of their season.  A good time to figure out if it is going to be an exciting summer of rooting on your team, or are you going to count the days until Labor Day weekend and the beginning of football season.  If you live in Pittsburgh, summer is really short….

The Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend is the Indianapolis 500.  It used to be a big deal.  So big that you could not watch the race live on television.  You had to wait until 8pm to watch it on Sunday night.  Over 150,000 fans will cram into Indianapolis Motor Speedway to watch the cars go around in circles for a few hours. What they really come to see is the crashes.  Not ones that kill anybody, just the ones that wreck the cars and look really great on YouTube the next day.   Yes, that is the same Helio Castroneves you watch on Dancing with the Stars.  He was a very famous driver BEFORE he danced on television.  Don’t even ask about the milk…….

Another 125,000 sports fans will spend the weekend outside of Boston watching a bunch of college kids whack each other with sticks and run around hitting anything that moves.  Those fans are going to the NCAA Lacrosse Championships.  This is great event and well worth a few minutes of your time to watch these warriors give it everything they have for their schools, friends and families.

So enjoy your burgers, hot dogs and brats.  Have a few brews with your friends and family and watch a little sports on the tube this long weekend.  It will make you feel like a real sports fan!

 

Your friend in Sports,

Dave the Sports Guru

Do I Call it Soccer or Football?

If you are like many sportsnerds this is what happened to you yesterday afternoon.  You came out of your nice corner office and went down the hall looking for your associate Nigel.  When you could not find Nigel, you went looking for your former boss Graham.  When you could not find either of the two you asked around your floor “what happened to Nigel and Graham”?  Your administrative assistant Nikesha said “they went down the block to that English pub to watch the game”.

Pub, game.  Who goes to the pub in the middle of the afternoon and what game is on at the pub in the middle of the day on a Wednesday?

Well sportsnerds, your friend the Sports Guru has the answer.  And I promise to keep it real simple…

Yesterday was the Finals of the UEFA Champions League.  Don’t gloss over yet.  Basically it is the final game among the best Football (read soccer) clubs in Europe.  It’s an annual event that starts with 32 of the best clubs in Europe from many countries and after many rounds of games you have just two teams left.

So what happened to Nigel and Graham?  You see for the first time in the history of the Championship, two English sides (teams) played for the biggest Football trophy in Europe.  Manchester United (owned by an American) and Chelsea (owned by a Russian) played in the rain last night in Moscow.  I’ll cut to the chase as this starting to get a little long.  Manchester United defeated Chelsea 6-5 in penalty kicks.

I know, I know.  What in the world is a penalty kick?  The game was tied 1 goal apiece (1-1) after 90 minutes of game time and 30 minutes of extra time.  So after two hours of play nothing was decided.  A penalty kick is just between a player and the goalie from the other team.  The ball is spotted on the “penalty dot” 12 yards away from the goal and the player tries to kick the ball past the goalie.  Each team gets 5 chances (one shot per player).  If after 5 tries one team has not outscored the other they continue to play until one team scores and the other does not.  It took 7 rounds for Manchester United to defeat Chelsea 6 to 5.

So there it is.  Our first foray into the wonderful world of football (soccer).  So when you join Nigel and Graham for lunch later today, offer to buy them fish and chips and let them know you know all about the Champions League final.  Well maybe just buy the boys some lunch……

Your friend in Sports,

 

Dave the Sports Guru  

 

What happened with the ping pong balls?

Last night the NBA (National Basketball Association) held it’s 2008 draft lottery.  There are 30 teams that compete in the NBA.  When the regular season is completed after playing 82 games, 16 teams make the playoffs and the remaining 14 head off to the lottery.  You really have to be miserable when more than half of the teams in the league make the playoffs and your team does not.

So what is the NBA draft.  Basically players who are leaving college (either graduating or leaving for “greener pastures”) and foreign born players who are not in the NBA are available to be drafted into the NBA.  There are 2 rounds in the NBA draft so basically 60 players will have the opportunity to play in the NBA next season 

The team with worst record in the 2007-2008 season, the Miami Heat, had a 25% chance at having the first pick in the draft next month.  The team with the 14th worst record, the Golden State Warriors had a 0.5% chance of getting the first pick.  

Behind the scenes, a random drawing is held to determine the top three picks in the draft.  After the top three are figured out, the remaining 11 teams are slotted in reverse order based on their record of the just completed season. 

With only a 1.7% chance of getting the first pick, the Chicago Bulls defied the odds and will select first during the draft on June 26th in New York.   The Miami Heat wound up with the second pick followed by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

That’s enough ping pong ball discussion until I pick the favorites for the gold medals during the Olympic ping pong competition later this summer from China.  Just kidding.  Now you can enjoy your Big Mac for lunch!

Your friend in Sports…..

 Dave the Sports Guru