Tag Archive | "russia"

The rings

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Winter Olympics Offered Escape

Posted on 01 March 2014 by Tom Federline

Where did the games go? Where is my release from everyday pressures and this relentless winter? Where is “lazy-one-eyed” Bob? I am in Olympic withdrawal. For a little over 2 weeks the Sochi – Winter Olympics offered a welcome relief to the doldrums of an undesirable rough weather February in B-town. Coverage on the two stations was predominantly stellar. Sometimes the primetime dragged on with personal stories and “Travel Channel” type coverage of vacationing in Russia, but that’s what is on the slate at that time of evening. Besides those 3-1/2 hours of primetime it seemed as if there was coverage almost 24 hours a day. Whether it was live, taped delay or rebroadcast, the Sochi Olympics became a favorite tune-in for this guy.

I enjoyed turning on the television and viewing fairly obscure sports presented at their highest level. Precisioned athletic maneuvers reflecting natural ability, combined with years of devoted practice and time. Final standings being decided by seconds, tenths of a second and even hundreds of a second. Case in point, sum total of (4) bobsled/luge or skeleton runs being decided by those increments. “Oh, there’s a little bump there, that’s going to cost them!” 60-80 mph on a sled? Are you kidding me?

With the allowance of these athletes being compensated for their efforts, the past few Olympic games have taken on a slightly more intensive approach. Now as you know, where there is money, there is the potential for “The Fix.” But for the most part, there appeared to be stricter enforcement and fairer award of points on the sports which included judgmental scoring. FYI – USA Medal payoff (which is minute compared to endorsements, sponsorship, etc.) – Gold $25,000, Silver 15,000, Bronze – $10,000. Some of these medal payouts in other countries were much more impressive.

Yes, these athletes are dedicated to their sport. Yes, these athletes have reached a level that the other 99% of us, only dream of obtaining. And yes, there is compensation for those efforts. Kudos for the Olympic committee for opening it up. It was rewarding enough for me just to witness the passion these athletes had for their sport. How many times did you hear, “What an experience this is” – “I am so happy for my teammates, my fellow competitors, my family, my son, my daughter…”, “Finally, it all came together!”, “Gave it my best shot, just wasn’t meant to be, etc. etc.” Truthful, honest, pure heartfelt spur of the moment reaction. Just how it’s supposed to be.

Disappointments were few: USA Hockey teams, USA speed skating. Opening Ceremony with the ring malfunction. Any on your plate?
Annoyances were apparent: I still do not get what qualifications are required for representing a country. Well I do – and that would be – “show me the money”. But I just don’t buy it. What was with that South Korean Russian speed skater (Victor Li Wan Ahn Romanovski?). Come on now, that one put me over the edge. Then there’s the figure skating scams. Here’s a hypothetical, but nonetheless – “Now introducing the skating couple from Suvlakia – he was born in Germany, she was born in Canada, they train in Colorado Springs. What the …..heck? Remember, I’m old school. If you are at the Olympics representing a country you were born there, you train there, you pay taxes there and you live there.

The positives far out weighed the negatives. So many highlights, here are a few of mine: 1. How about that USA/Russia hockey game with the 8 inning shoot-out? 2. USA Ski team – all of them. 3. The first gold medal of the Olympics going to the slope “dude”, Sage Katzenburg. Did you see his runs? Did you see the footage when he had a “Go-Pro” with him and shot himself on a practice run – so cool. 4. Bobsled, luge, skeleton any time of day. 5. Curling, yes, the Curling, “Mongo Ice Shuffle-Pucks”. I should have driven down to Laurel 8 years ago and signed up when I first got fired up about it. 6. Ashley Wagner figure skating to “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” – (Pink Floyd) 7. And finally the cross-country skiing, skiathlon, biathlon, Nordic-combined events. Just great video, great setting and even better commentary. Yes, I was hooked by the combo team of Al Trautwig (deadpan) and Chad Salmela (over-zealous insight and knowledge). Those two captivated me that first Saturday. Anybody who can stop me in my tracks due and pull me in because of their delivery of a sporting event, is tops in my book. Hit me up with your “Top Moments”.

Bottom line – I needed some time to “Take it Easy” – (The Eagles) and coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics provided that outlet. I didn’t even get into ancillary coverage on other channels or the commercials (WalMart – RUSH (Working Man). Sounds like another blog. Teaser – Did you see any of Billy Bushs’ mini-clips on Access Hollywood? I saw 2: 1. Johnny Weir surf fishing on the shores of the Black Sea in a mink and “Rick Owens” green high heeled boots. and 2. Billy and Scott Hamilton at a spa. Priceless. Thanks you NBC and Sochi Winter Olympics for the change of pace.

D.I.Y.
Fedman

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Top 10 Baseball Distactions

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Top 10 Baseball Distactions

Posted on 17 February 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Angelo Santana vs. Hank Lundy (Friday 10:45pm from Cleveland live on Showtime); Golf: WGC Accenture Match Play Championship (Wednesday 12pm Thursday & Friday 2pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 12pm live on Golf Channel 2pm live on CBS), Honda LPGA Thailand (Thursday & Friday 9am Saturday 2pm Sunday 1:30pm from Chonburi, Thailand on Golf Channel); Tennis: ATP Tour Delray Beach Open (Tuesday-Thursday 12:30pm Friday 6:30pm Saturday 8:30pm from Delray Beach, FL live on Tennis Channel); Women’s College Basketball: Florida State @ Maryland (Thursday 8:30pm from Comcast Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Maryland @ Georgia Tech (Sunday 4pm from Atlanta live on ESPN2); MISL: Pennsylvania Roar @ Baltimore Blast (Friday 7:05pm from Baltimore Arena live on YouTube), Syracuse Silver Knights @ Baltimore Blast (Saturday 6:05pm from Baltimore Arena live on YouTube), Baltimore Blast @ Rochester Lancers (Sunday 3pm from Rochester, NY live on YouTube)

10. Baltimore Winter Restaurant Week (Tuesday-Sunday throughout Charm City); Christian Finnegan (Friday & Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Sebastian Maniscalco (Friday-Sunday DC Improv); 3 Days to Kill” and “Pompeii” out in theaters (Friday)

Christian Finnegan is GREAT. You may remember him as Chad from “The Mad Real World” on Chappelle’s Show…

He’s skinny now. He’s still funny.

9. Kings of Leon/Gary Clark Jr. (Friday 8pm Verizon Center), Justin Timberlake (Monday 8pm Verizon Center); Lady Antebellum (Friday 7pm Patriot Center); The Bridge (Saturday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Joe Nichols (Friday 9pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Young The Giant (Sunday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Black Joe Lewis (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club), G. Love & Special Sauce (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club); Bob Weir & Ratdog (Tuesday 6:30pm Lincoln Theatre); Josh Turner (Friday 8pm Strathmore); Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons (Saturday 8pm France-Merrick Performing Arts Center); Tim Reynolds and TR3 (Saturday 8:30pm The Hamilton); Lake Street Dive “Bad Self Portraits” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Every time you forget how freaking great KOL are they do something to quickly remind you.

You could never forget how freaking great GCJ is. NEVER.

I dare you to name five things better than Justin Timberlake’s Pusher Love Girl.

Cris Jacobs is a great Baltimorean.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 10 February 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Tennis-ATP Tour U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships (Friday 8pm Saturday 6pm Sunday 4pm from Memphis live on Tennis Channel); Women’s College Basketball: Maryland @ Duke (Monday 7pm from Durham, NC live on ESPN2); Soccer: Russia @ Team USA Women (Wednesday 7:30pm from Atlanta live on USSoccer.com)

10. Top Shelf Comedy Tour feat. Bruce Bruce/Earthquake/Gary Owen (Saturday 8pm Baltimore Arena); Ralphie May (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Katt Williams (Saturday & Sunday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Godfrey (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Sex At The Zoo (Friday 6pm Maryland Zoo); Cecily Strong/Mike O’Brien (Sunday 8pm Stevenson University); Baltimore Winter Restaurant Week (Friday-Monday throughout Charm City); RoboCop (Wednesday) and “About Last Night (Friday) out in theaters

I apparently made a mistake and included Cecily Strong last week instead of this week. “Oh no, more Cecily Strong in T10BD? That’s terrible” said no one in response.

O’Brien has actually had some nice highlights in his first year as a player as well.

9. Kanye West (Friday 8pm Baltimore Arena); JJ Grey & Mofro (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live); Johnny Winter Band (Saturday 8pm Sunday 7pm Rams Head on Stage); Rebelution (Thursday 9pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Umprhey’s McGee (Saturday & Sunday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Dru Hill (Thursday 8pm Howard Theatre); Delta Rae (Saturday 7pm 9:30 Club); Eddie From Ohio (Friday-Sunday 7:30pm Birchmere); Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings (Tuesday 7pm Lincoln Theatre), Jennifer Nettles (Friday 7pm Lincoln Theatre), Bob Weir & Ratdog (Monday 6:30pm Lincoln Theatre); Lake Street Drive (Wednesday 7pm The Hamilton); Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds (Saturday 7:30pm Carroll Arts Center); Eric Church “The Outsiders” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Dru Hill was so much more important to my childhood than I should ever admit.

Delta Rae is freaking wonderful. Here’s a night I saw them at Rams Head Live and FELL IN STINKING LOVE.

You might not be familiar with Lake Street Dive. But perhaps you’ve seen this wonderful video.

I saw Sister Sparrow in Brooklyn during Super Bowl week. They played Led Zeppelin IV in its’ entirety. I’m certainly glad they did.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 04 February 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Pitt @ Maryland (Thursday 7pm Comcast Center), Clemson @ Maryland (Sunday 2pm Comcast Center); Soccer: MISL-Baltimore Blast @ St. Louis Ambush (Thursday 8:35pm from St. Charles, MO live on YouTube), Baltimore Blast @ Missouri Comets (Sunday 4:10pm from Independence, MO live on YouTube); Russia @ Team USA Women (Saturday 3:30pm from Boca Raton, FL live on ussoccer.com)

10. Timonium Motorcycle Show (Friday-Sunday Timonium Fairgrounds); Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling (Thursday 8pm Baltimore Comedy Factory); Jim Norton (Thursday-Saturday DC Improv); Motor Trend International Auto Show (Thursday-Sunday Baltimore Convention Center); Cecily Strong (Sunday 8pm Stevenson University); Dallas Buyers’ Club” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); The Monuments Men” and “The Lego Movie” out in theaters (Friday)

Everyone is saying The LEGO Movie is awesome. As awesome as this LEGO version of M&T Bank Stadium?

Also…Cecily Strong rules.

9. Steve Earle (Monday 7:30pm Rams Head on Stage); Karmin (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Railroad Earth (Friday & Saturday 7pm 9:30 Club); Travis Tritt (Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere), Vanessa Carlton (Thursday 7:30pm Birchmere), Arlo Guthrie (Friday & Saturday 7:30pm Birchmere), Jeffrey Osborne (Sunday 7:30pm Birchmere); The Wild Feathers/Saints of Valory (Tuesday 7pm U Street Music Hall); Bobby McFerrin/Chick Corea (Saturday 8pm Clarence Smith Center); Lauryn Hill (Sunday 8pm Lincoln Theatre), Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings (Monday 6:30pm Lincoln Theatre); John Butler Trio “Flesh & Blood” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

The Wild Feathers are the most important on this or any list.

Saints of Valory ain’t too bad either.

Lauryn Hill is amazing. But may it be known: I still have not forgiven her mother’s character from Sister Act 2.

I dig John Butler Trio. I’d kinda like to claim them for America if that’s still an option.

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My best 2012 Baltimore sports story is Jessica Long…and yours will be too!

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My best 2012 Baltimore sports story is Jessica Long…and yours will be too!

Posted on 31 December 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

Perhaps you already know parts of the story of local swimming sensation Jessica Long. Maybe you’ve seen her on the evening news or you’ve seen her honored locally or even nationally on the ESPY’s or as the 2006 James Sullivan Award winner.

As a journalist here for 29 years, I’ve had the privilege of knowing some special athletes and people around sports. The Baltimore connections and heroes are among some of the greatest names in the sports universe from Johnny Unitas and Brooks Robinson to Ray Lewis and Cal Ripken not mention from Michael Phelps back to Babe Ruth. But the story of Jessica Long is better than any of them because of what she doesn’t have.

Jessica Long doesn’t have legs.

While all eyes and focus were on Baltimore’s worldwide star Michael Phelps this summer during the Olympic Games from London, another local swimmer & world-class competitor was waiting in the wings to make her third splash in the Paralympic Games, which followed the Closing Ceremonies in England.

Jessica Long first gained local and national attention as a 12-year old at the 2004 Athens games and now has been through the Beijing and London games and is emerging as a model, spokesperson and inspiration to people all over the world. Oh, and she’s turns 21 in February but her eyes have seen the world in a big way and this past year and this unfolding story I’m about to tell is incredible, heart-warming and still doesn’t have an ending – happy or otherwise.

Then again, almost everything surrounding Jessica Long always seems to turn out with an immense level of happiness and smiles all around. This blog will end with a video of her surrounded by Ray Lewis, Ray Rice, John Harbaugh draped with her Paralympic gold medals and you’ll see her mantra for the coach in regard to the Baltimore Ravens’ playoff run:

“Pressure is a privilege,” she says.

*        *       *

The Paralympics Games attract an all-too-small fraction of the attention of the sports and media spotlight so it’s up to people like me in places like Baltimore to tell you about my favorite sports story of 2012 and hope to inspire you as we enter 2013.

My favorite Baltimore sports story of 2012 is about Jessica Long and you’ll soon find out why.

This story is lengthy because it needs to be and contains various links and pictures that I personally hope you check out and read as you begin another year. Your 2013 will probably begin with two legs so think about the courage of Jessica Long and her amazing narrative

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