Friday, September 16, 2016

2016's First NFL Color Rush Game

Photo credit:
Color Rush 2016 is back in full force in the NFL, with the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets debuting the first Thursday game of the season with monochrome uniforms. If you’re unfamiliar with Color Rush, it’s a promotion by the NFL in which every Thursday night game features teams wearing a special uniform that’s one, solid color – usually their secondary, less-featured color.

The Jets and Bills played each other last year in monochrome green and red, respectively. For the non-colorblind spectators, it looked like Christmas out on the field, but for anyone with red-green colorblindness, they could barely tell the teams apart. It didn’t help things that both teams wear white-based helmets! So how did they do this year?

Photo credit:
The NFL learned their lesson and featured the Jets in an all-white getup. To differentiate this one from their normal road uniform, their helmets had a white facemask instead of the usual green. The Bills, meanwhile, were decked out from shoulder to toe in bright red. They normally wear blue at home, so red was another chance to highlight their secondary color. This photo from fives a great look at the white facemask the Jets were wearing. It’s interesting that the Bills didn’t follow suit with a red facemask to keep with the theme. Missed opportunity!

If you ask us, these uniforms don’t have enough stripes ;) and need some more vertical accents to get a high grade from us. That being said, the color schemes of both teams are classic, which means there aren’t too many chances to mess up a good thing. The same-color socks definitely give everything too much of a “pajama” look, but it fits with what the league is trying to do. Compared to last year’s colorblind fiasco, we’d give this matchup 3 out of 5 stars. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Best Entrances in College Football

Nothing gets the crowd on its feet and the energy level rocking like a great entrance by the home team. In college football, entrances are a time-honored tradition, with plenty of schools developing routines that are equal parts nostalgia and intimidating. We’ve pulled together a short list of what we think are some of the top entrances in college football. Let’s see if you agree.

Photo credit:
Colorado runs a live buffalo out onto the field before every football game. Since 1967, the university has been doing this unique (and absolutely terrifying) routine with a line of buffaloes all named Ralphie. The animal is carefully handled by a team of runners all holding straps, but the idea of a thundering beast running at full speed gives us nightmares.

Clemson’s football team runs down a hill as they enter Memorial Stadium. At the top of that hill is Howard’s Rock, which each player touches before making the sprint down to the field. There’s nothing quite like 100 or so big football players round down a hill at full speed, and their entrance gets the Tigers fans in the right frame of mind for a big game.

Virginia Tech plays Metallica’s Enter Sandman before their football team takes the field and has been doing so since 2000. Imagine 65,000+ screaming and jumping fans while that iconic guitar riff blares through the loud speakers. Then imagine all of them losing their minds as soon as the football team rushes out of the tunnel. As one of the most famous college football entrances, Virginia Tech certainly knows how to build the hype.

Photo credit:
The Tennessee Volunteers run through a massive T comprised of the Pride of Southland Marching Band before every home football game. There’s no smoke or build-up, but pair this tradition with the fact that Tennessee’s stadium holds more than 100,000 fans and you’ve got a chilling, memorable college entrance that shouldn’t be missed.

The Auburn Tigers let an eagle soar through their stadium before kickoff. You read that right. Although Auburn’s mascot is a tiger, their more-than-a-century-old battle cry features the iconic “war eagle” phrase, so an eagle and its handler have been a staple of pre-game traditions in Auburn for years.

What do you think are some of the best college football entrances? Share them with us in the comments below!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Top 5 Flashiest New College Football Uniforms

Every new college football season brings with it another round of tweaks and rebrands to uniforms. Some teams adopt whole new color schemes while others add trendy designs such as black, grey (anthracite) and chrome to their look. Whether you’re a football uniform purist or you love the flashy new looks teams bring out every Saturday, you can’t deny they definitely cause a discussion. We’ve compiled a few of what we think are some of the flashiest, most unique new college football uniforms of 2016.

Photo credit:
1. Virginia Tech’s Hokie Stone uniforms – They may be only for one game against Tennessee, but these themed uniforms are something else. The jersey will feature a limestone pattern that resembles the buildings on Virginia Tech campus (known as Hokie Stone) and the helmets will be black with a Hokie Stone color over the VT logo. Virginia Tech’s normal uniforms are maroon with orange trim, so they’re going to look unrecognizable at Bristol Motor Speedway!

2. Middle Tennessee State University – The Blue Raiders haven’t announced any new threads for this season (which is always subject to change), but their stock of four jerseys, four pants, three socks, three gloves, four pairs of shoes and five helmets gives the team over 2,800 possible uniform combinations. Overkill? Probably.

Photo credit: @darrenrovell
3. Notre Dame’s Shamrock Series uniforms – Every year for the past several years, Notre Dame has worn a special one-game uniform for what they’ve called the Shamrock Series. They play on a neutral field away from South Bend and wear a special uniform to commemorate the occasion. If you were hoping to see their classic gold and navy blue this year, you’re out of luck. A blend of gold, green and dark olive is in store for their November 12 game against Army.

4. Air Force Sharktooth helmet – We’re not sure if it’ll get worn more than once, but the Air Force Academy may have struck gold when they designed a custom helmet painted to resemble the shark’s head found on P-40 fighter planes during World War II.

Photo credit: @AFFBEQUIPMENT
5. University of Oregon – We didn’t really need to say it, but Oregon is bound to march out something outlandish and eye-catching that we haven’t seen yet or heard of. The masters of last-minute, surprise flashy uniforms, the Ducks will definitely have more than one special uniform up their sleeve in 2016.

Did your favorite team bust out some flashy college football uniforms for the 2016 season that you think trump all of ours? Sound off in the comments below and share a photo with us!

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Top 5 College Football Towns

It’s just a matter of weeks before college football sweeps the nation once again. Most of us will be catching the must-see matchups from the comfort of our living rooms, but if you’re one of the lucky few to go see a game in person, you’ll get to enjoy all the pomp and circumstance that comes with game day in a college town. Here are a few of the top college football cities to visit for the best game day experience.

1.    Ann Arbor, MI – The city the Wolverines call home has long been a mecca of college football. Not only is the stadium gigantic and always garners a raucous, passionate crowd, but the city has a great selection of local eateries and breweries that can accommodate crowds after a big win. The landscape is also ridiculously picturesque in autumn which has given Ann Arbor its “Tree Town” nickname.

2.    Baton Rouge, LA – LSU owns the night on home games. With a nearly unblemished record playing in front of their home crowd under the lights, the Tigers and their eardrum-ringing crowd are a force to be reckoned with. Soak up those early beers with the inevitable spread of Cajun food you’re going to find in a sea of tailgates, many of which have been there for years and have their own specialized tailgating gear, group name and history.

3.    Austin, TX – Home of the Longhorns, Texas’ capital is a must-see spot for college football. While the on-field product has experienced some growing pains over the past few years, the stadium atmosphere is always top notch and the surrounding area is as well. Great barbeque within walking distance, a huge selection of bars, relaxing down near Town Lake and catching some live music are just a few of the things you can do before and after the big game.

4.    Eugene, OR – Since the Ducks became a mainstay in the college football elite, their hometown has football fans flocking. A pristine, state-of-the-art stadium draws huge sellout crowds for every game, the city is nestled in a valley of over 40 breweries and great outdoor activities are just a short drive away in any direction.

5.    Blacksburg, VA – Much like Longhorn fans, those who support the maroon-and-orange-clad Hokies have had a rough go of it for the last few years when it comes to wins and losses. None of that takes away from the beautiful scenery on the Virginia Tech campus and the great football traditions. Wander through the beautiful fall colors on your way to a tailgate loaded down with hearty football grub, watch the team and cheerleaders parade into the stadium, jump up and down with 60,000+ fans to “Enter Sandman” when the Hokies enter the field and grab yourself a skull-sized turkey leg to munch on during the game. There’s nothing quite like a football game in Blacksburg on a cool, crisp night.

Whether it’s the tailgating, the stadium atmosphere or the city getting involved, these spots have proven to be some of the best college football towns in America. Got one you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below!
Tuesday, July 5, 2016

5 Great Injury Comeback Stories

An injury to an athlete can be as minor as a cut on the arm and as serious as reconstructive surgery. For people who devote their entire lives and livelihood to staying healthy and fit, the threat of injury is always a concern. We’ve all heard about the unfortunate career-ending injuries past and present, but we’re probably even more familiar with the athletes who came back from seemingly rock bottom to produce stellar performances. You may know of one that hits closer to home, but here are some of what we thought are the biggest injury comebacks in sports.

Kerri Strug vaulted the U.S. Women’s Olympic gymnastics team to new heights when she landed probably the gutsiest vault anyone has seen in Olympic history. Strug badly injured her ankle on her first vault, leaving many to believe there was no way she could land a perfect second vault to give the Americans the gold medal. Despite excruciating pain, Strug ran down the mat, executed a perfect vault and landed on one foot to seal the deal for the American team and cement her place in sports history.

Photo credit:
Bethany Hamilton loved surfing from the moment she could stand up on a board. A shark attack when she was just 13 years old left her without her left arm. In a show of courage and confidence, Hamilton was back on her board and competing just three weeks later. She’s gone on to carve herself a very successful career in professional surfing.

Drew Brees tore his labrum and partially tore his rotator cuff in his throwing arm while playing for the San Diego Chargers in 2005. After intense rehabilitation and a lot of hard work, Brees found his way to New Orleans and led the Saints to their first ever championship. He’s gone on to become one of the most successful quarterbacks in NFL history across the statistical board.

Photo credit:
Byron Leftwich broke his left tibia during a game against Akron University. After receiving an X-ray, Leftwich came back into the game and tried to spark a rally for the trailing Marshall Thundering Herd. While they ended up losing the game, his guts became a thing of sports lore. Many spectators remember him hobbling on one leg to make amazing throws and his lineman carrying him down the field between plays to reach the line of scrimmage.

Niki Lauda is a household name in Formula One racing, and he regularly spoke out for driver safety during his time in the sport. In 1976, the German Grand Prix was scheduled to be raced, and Lauda tried to garner support for boycotting the race due to poor safety standards on the track. Without the support, Lauda decided to drive and was involved in an accident that caused his car to burst into flames. Badly burned and having fallen into a coma, Lauda miraculously raced just six weeks later and finished fourth in the Italian Grand Prix.
Saturday, June 11, 2016

Ten Strange & Obscure Sports Facts

We’ve all memorized the iconic moments of our favorite teams. We remember where we were when they won big games, lost bigger games, became hometown heroes and more. But how’s your random sports trivia knowledge? The world of sports is rife with obscure, lesser-known facts and stats that seem impossible. Here are just a few of them that stuck out to us.

  1. Tug of War isn’t just a game made up for summer camps. From 1900–1920, it was featured in the Summer Olympics!
  2. Shaquille O’Neal missed more than a few free throws over his career. He missed 5,317, to be exact.
  3. From 1990–1998, when Michael Jordan was on the Chicago Bulls, the team never experienced a three-game losing streak.
    Photo credit:
  4. Prairie View A&M’s football team had a rough patch for a while. From 1989–1998, the football team lost 80 straight gameswhich stands as the longest consecutive losing streak in sports history.
  5. Former home-run king Roger Maris was never intentionally walked the year he hit 61 home runs. 
  6. Michael Phelps’ medal count at the Olympics puts him ahead of nearly 100 nations on the all-time list.
  7. On average, less than 18 minutes of a baseball game is actual action. That’s a lot of standing around!
  8. The 60+ home run mark has only been eclipsed eight times in the history of baseball. Sammy Sosa accounts for three of those eight times.
  9. Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain never fouled out of a game in his storied basketball career. Not once.
  10. Michael Jordan was nicknamed “Magic” in high school after Lakers great Magic Johnson. That would’ve created plenty of confusion had the nickname stuck in the pros!

Sports will always be full of big moments and exciting games, and plenty more head-scratching stats are bound to come with them. What are some of your favorite random sports facts? Let us know in the comments below!

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Best Winning Percentages in Baseball History

As of a few days ago, the Chicago Cubs became the fastest team to 40 wins in 15 years, with the last team to do it being the single-season win-record-tying Seattle Mariners of 2001. That got us wondering what some of the best winning percentages have been in baseball over the course of the league’s history.

chicago cubs 1906
Chicago in 1906
Photo credit: wikipedia
1. The 1906 Chicago Cubs – Fewer games were played back then, which inflates the winning percentage by today’s standards, but the ‘06 Cubbies finished with 116 wins and a .763 win percentage. They lost that year’s World Series.

2. The 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates – Four years earlier (when the season was even shorter) the Pittsburgh Pirates finished with 103 wins and a .741 win percentage. The World Series hadn’t become the means of crowning a champion yet, as the National and American Leagues hadn’t merged, but the ‘02 Pirates won the National League title that year.

3. The 1886 Chicago White Stockings – The boys in white finished with a .726 winning percentage and beat the St. Louis Browns to win that year’s World Series, which was a more disorganized version of the revamped tournament that came to be in 1903.

4. The 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates – The Bucs garnered a .724 winning percentage and won that year’s World Series against the Detroit Tigers.

Cleveland in 1954
Photo credit:
5. The 1954 Cleveland Indians – Winning 111 games, the Indians amassed a .721 winning percentage but fell short of glory, losing that year’s World Series to Willie Mays and the New York Giants.

There are several more high-win percentage teams in the record books, but only the 2001 Mariners and the 1998 New York Yankees have left their mark over the last 20 or so years of baseball. Parity and long, grueling seasons with games played upwards of five days per week can take its toll on players. Can the Cubs stay on pace and surpass their 1906 record-setting total of 116 games? It would definitely be a moment to remember.

What do you think will happen with the Cubs this season after such a hot start? Let us know in the comments below!

P.S. Fun fact: The 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings posted a perfect undefeated season by going 67-0. The team stretched out that record into the following year and reached 80-0. Not too shabby!