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Matt Millen Breaks Down On ESPN


An obviously emotional Matt Millen broke down in tears on Tuesday when discussing the disturbing… more than disturbing allegations regarding Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno and what seems to be an elaborate cover-up reaching back as far as a decade ago. Read more…

IAAF Thinks Women Need Boys to Succeed. Classy.

I don’t usually follow competitive running that carefully (although I did once run a 5K in a blazing 25 minutes once- be jealous, folks) but even I know when to call bullshit.

The International Association of Athletics Foundation (IAAF), the world governing body for track and field, recently decided to change the rules regarding women’s marathon records to require that a woman’s time can only qualify as a world record if she runs in a women-only field.

That means that Paula Radcliffe’s world record 2:15:25 at the 2003 London Marathon — so widely considered to be one of the greatest running performances in history that even I had heard about it — no longer qualifies as a world record because she ran with male pace-setters.

The IAAF’s thought seems to be that a woman couldn’t possibly perform that well on her own, she’d need men to help her — so it shouldn’t count.

What a crock.

Now interestingly, it appears to be true that elite women runners DO run faster when there are men running nearby.  There could be several reasons for this, but one obvious one, in my view, has nothing to do with gender: EVERYONE runs better when there is a pace group around them.  Not a lot of women can run as fast as Paula Radcliffe.  So pretty much by definition, for her to be running in a pack, that pack is going to be populated by men.

Does that really make her accomplishment any less extraordinary?  I mean, come on.  No one suggests that Paula Radcliffe did not run the 2003 London marathon on her own two legs.  Instead, the IAAF seems to think that merely by running alongside men, her performance was somehow not worthy of a world record, and instead must be referred to as “world’s best.”

In addition to being completely annoying and patronizing, this decision has another problem: the vast majority of marathons are mixed-gender fields. This means a woman can no longer set a world record at New York, or Chicago, or Berlin- because men run those marathons, too. Instead, world record status will be limited to those few (and much smaller) marathons that feature only women.

The good news, if there is any, is that everyone except the IAAF seems to recognize this is total BS.  The race directors of World Marathon Majors and the Association of International Marathons have already gone on record as saying that they refuse to accept the IAAF’s decision, and Nike has started a facebook campaign arguing that the 2003 time should stand as the world record despite the rule change.

I mean, what’s next? No world record if the course was too flat? If the weather was too perfect? If you had too many people cheering you on and giving you that extra boost at the end?

Paula Radcliffe did something amazing when she set the World Record in 2003- and it should stand. Period.

Longest Tenured Coach in Pro Sports Resigns

In a surprise move, Jerry Sloan stepped down as head coach of the Utah Jazz on Thursday, after recently signing a contract extension for the 2011-12 season.

Sloan has been an NBA constant for over 45 years after being drafted out of college by the Baltimore Bullets in 1965. He ends his career as the only NBA coach to have over 1,000 wins with the same team. He has been with the Jazz for 23 years.

Jazz GM, Kevin O’Connor, and CEO Greg Miller were informed of the decision on Wednesday night after the Jazz lost 91-86 to the Chicago Bulls. Sloan and his longtime assistant Phil Johnson confirmed their resignations at a press conference on Thursday.

Assistant coach Tyrone Corbin will take over immediately, with no interim status attached.

Speculation is swirling that star point guard Deron Williams had a hand in forcing Sloan out, and that might not be far from the truth. During the loss on Wednesday, after receiving a play from Sloan on the bench, Williams changed the play on the floor. Straw that broke the camel’s back perhaps?

Deron has a history of disagreeing with Sloan’s old school style, but in his biggest butthead move, Deron unleashed Kobe to the media.

“People need to leave D-Will the [expletive] alone on this,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports. “Leave him alone. He doesn’t deserve to be at the front of this. He’s a great competitor. He works his butt off. He’s always been a great leader. He’s clutch, performs under pressure. Enjoy the 23 great years that Jerry Sloan gave them, but don’t put this on Deron Williams.”

How the hell does Kobe end up getting his shit up in everyone else’s business?

You know what? Best of luck to Sloan and Johnson. Enjoy your retirement and not having to listen to these whiny assholes every day. Sounds like a winning decision to me.

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RIP Jack LaLanne

Jack LaLanne, the father of the modern health club and fitness tv shows, died Sunday at his home in California.  He was 96.

LaLanne caught the fitness bug after hearing a lecture on proper nutrition when he was 15- all the way back in 1930.  Back then, doctors discouraged weight lifting because they thought it would cause heart attacks and kill people’s sex drive.  LaLanne persevered, though, working out daily with weights and pioneering the concept of “lifting until exhaustion.”  (Sound familiar, CrossFitters?)

Determined to bring his health mission to the masses, he opened a juice bar, health food store, and gym in Oakland in 1936 (!) and eventually expanded his network to include dozens of health clubs.  He landed his own television show where he exhorted Americans to exercise.  The show ran from 1951 to the mid 1980s.

LaLanne stayed fit until the end, working out two hours a day at his home into his 90s.

Let’s review: started JUICE BAR in Oakland pre-World War II.  Had thirty-plus year running fitness television show.  Spent almost 70 years extolling the virtues of weight lifting for fitness.  I’d say this guy was ahead of his time.

RIP, Jack. In your honor, I promise to try at least one fingertip pushup. Someday.

Image credit: CrossFit Oakland

Cubs Icon Ron Santo Passes Away

It is a sad day in Chicago today. Our beloved Ron Santo died Thursday night in Arizona from complications of bladder cancer.

Santo is an icon in Chicago for all Cubs fans. His love of the Cubs was what made his radio broadcasts of Cubs games epic. Whether he was talking about washing his toupee in the dishwasher, or lambasting players or coaches for bad plays on the field, Ron Santo was always entertaining. He lived and breathed the Chicago Cubs.

“He absolutely loved the Cubs,” said Santo’s broadcast partner, Pat Hughes. “The Cubs have lost their biggest fan.”

Santo had a plethora of health issues, including diabetes, which took both his legs. But he never complained. Calling Cubs games on the radio was his passion and you could hear it over the radio.

“He considered going to games therapeutic,” Hughes said. “He enjoyed himself in the booth right to the end.”

Santo was the Cubs third baseman from 1960-73 and was a five-time Gold Glove winner. He passed away before seeing his dream of being elected into the Hall of Fame come true. He’s been on the ballot 19 times and came close to getting elected by the Veteran’s Committee in 2007, failing by just nine votes.

I, for one, will miss this man immensely. Cubs games won’t be the same. I will miss hearing his voice on the radio feeling the same emotions that I feel while listening to games.

Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts summed it up best – “Ronnie will forever be the heart and soul of Cubs fans.”

Rest in peace Ronnie.

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