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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fernando Perez faster than Seabiscuit?

Posted By on Sun, Oct 12, 2008 at 9:37 AM

Former Bull and Tampa Bay Ray Fernando Perez scored the winning run against the Red Sox in a burnin-the-midnight-oil Game 2 of the AL championships. The New York Times has a lively story recapping the five-plus hour game. Perez, who was pinch running, scored in the bottom of the 11th on a sac fly by another former Bull, BJ Upton. Perez is so fast on the bases, it prompted Rays' manager Joe Maddon to say: "...in a straight-up race, I've got him over Seabiscuit."...

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Palin makes her NHL debut

Posted By on Sat, Oct 11, 2008 at 9:41 PM

Elsewhere in the NHL tonight, Sarah Palin dropped the first puck at the Philadelphia Flyers' home opener against the New York Rangers. One wonders who thought the notorious Flyers crowd would cotton to the world's most famous hockey mom, even with Piper and Willow in tow. (Note the Obama signs in the background, by the way.) According to New York Times' Lynn Zinser on her Slapshot blog, the booing was much louder than is apparent in this video. She wrote: hen Palin came out onto the Wachovia Center ice Saturday night - greeted by resounding (almost deafening) boos from the...

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Payback! Hurricanes trounce Panthers, 6-4

Posted By on Fri, Oct 10, 2008 at 10:31 PM

Florida’s Nathan Horton brought the Cats within one, but Matt Cullen lobbed an empty-netter in from the boards and sealed the game for the Hurricanes, giving his team the payback that they badly needed. Florida single-handedly decided Carolina’s postseason fate last year, and the ‘Canes have five more games against the Panthers to do what they can in returning the favor.   The ‘Canes miraculously escaped the night without any major injuries to important players. Bryan McCabe’s status is unknown after he made an attempt at Dennis Seidenberg and hit the boards awkwardly. (Perhaps the injury bug has passed? Or,...

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LaCouture, Sutter make their mark; McCabe checks out

Posted By on Fri, Oct 10, 2008 at 9:15 PM

Former free agent try-out Dan LaCouture and 2007 draft pick Brandon Sutter wasted no time in impressing the Caniacs, combining for an even-strength tally three minutes into the third period. The goal was a stunner; Niclas Wallin  walked in alone and fired a shot directly at Vokoun. The rebound shot off his pads and directly into the trailer LaCouture, who buried the goal in the top of the net. It was LaCouture’s first goal since the 2005-2006 season, when he played for the Boston Bruins, and Sutter’s first NHL point.   And it’s not often that the one delivering the...

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"The Captain" gets his first

Posted By on Fri, Oct 10, 2008 at 8:42 PM

The announced crowd of 18, 860 nearly lost it when ‘Canes captain Rod Brind’Amour scored his first of the season, the third for the ‘Canes in this game, on a power play three and a half minutes in. Frank Kaberle, still determined to make up for his earlier gaff, notched the only assist.   Radek Dvorak ruined the party with an even-strength goal at 13:10, when Ward provided a rebound that bounced right to the Florida winger.   The ‘Canes go into the third period with a 4-3 lead. Newcomer Joni Pitkanen ripped a shot past Tomas Vokoun to close out...

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End of the 1st period: Canes climb back from dismal start, Whitney notches 200th point with the Hurricanes

Posted By on Fri, Oct 10, 2008 at 8:10 PM

If anyone, anywhere thought this was going to be a low-scoring, low-energy season opener for the Hurricanes and the Panthers, they have already been proven wrong. With 20 minutes in the books, the score is tied 2-2.   The ‘Canes came out firing, logging three great scoring attempts early in the first. Bayda whiffed on a perfect scoring chance early, right in front of the net with the Florida goaltender out of position. A few minutes later, the puck was in the Canes’ own net after Frank Kaberle missed his man and allowed David Booth to walk in unimpeded....

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Global credit crisis threatens English football

Posted By on Fri, Oct 10, 2008 at 12:23 PM

 Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United While we're all focused on the credit and stock crisis in America, soccer fans should be aware of how the equally severe crisis in Britain is creating an emergency for the Premier League. Most of the 20 teams in that expensive, prestigious league are in debt—much of it run up on dizzying player acquisitions in more optimistic times. Not only are teams in debt—including rich, powerful clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United—but their owners are often in deep trouble elsewhere. (Manchester's principal sponsor, which adorns their jersey, should be considered an indicator of trouble: AIG.)...

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

It's official: Lulu's Bob Young is in at Carolina Railhawks

Posted By on Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 4:18 PM

The RailHawks announced today that, as expected, Lulu.com's founder Bob Young is joining the ownership group. "I am thrilled to be a part of this team," said Bob Young. "Both the Triangle area of North Carolina and the sport of soccer are growing rapidly, the combination of those two trends makes the future of the RailHawks very exciting." Mr. Young is the founder and CEO of Lulu.com, a self-publishing web-based company headquartered in Morrisville, NC. Prior to founding Lulu.com, Young co-founded Red Hat, Inc. in 1993, where he served on the board of directors with Selby Wellman who, with son...

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The Kimbo Slice blues

Posted By on Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 11:47 AM

[/caption] If you don't follow mixed martial arts fighting, you probably haven't heard of Kevin Ferguson, aka Kimbo Slice. According the hype, Ferguson-or Slice, if you prefer-was going to rule the MMA (mixed martial arts) circuit for years to come.  The buzz was enough that I noticed it, and I watch MMA only in the rare case that I have nothing better to do and there's not a thing else worth watching. But Kimbo? I noticed him. First of all, the guy is 6' 2", 240 pounds, insanely ripped and has a huge black beard.  He looks great on...

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A public spanking for St. Aug's

Posted By on Wed, Oct 8, 2008 at 8:10 AM

St. Augustine College in Raleigh failed to monitor athletes' grade-point averages, to certify transfers and to crosscheck participation information, among other violations, over the past five years. The News & Observer has a well-written story about the NCAA penalties today.  The school, which plays in the CIAA, was fined $2,500, was placed on probation for three years and forfeits 10 percent of its scholarship money in seven sports through 2011....

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Why are Italian soccer players dying from Lou Gehrig's disease?

Posted By on Wed, Oct 8, 2008 at 1:55 AM

Startling story today in The Guardian: The deaths of a growing number of Italian footballers from a rare and debilitating disease may be due to pesticides and fertilisers used in the 80s and 90s, an Italian magistrate has claimed. Fifty one professional and amateur players have now died from it, six times the average in the general population, said the Turin magistrate Raffaele Guariniello, who has run checks on every man who played in the top three divisions from the 60s to 2006. Tonight Roberto Baggio, Ruud Gullit and Franco Baresi will play a charity game in Florence organised by...

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Lulu founder Bob Young joins the RailHawks ownership group

Posted By on Wed, Oct 8, 2008 at 1:02 AM

It's been a big week for the USL-1 Carolina RailHawks soccer club. First, the announcement that team founder, GM and president Chris Economides had been bought out. Then Tuesday afternoon's announcement of the departure of coach Scott Schweitzer. Then, after several days of portentous word of major developments to be announced soon, WRAL.com's Tim Candon got the scoop on the team's new stakeholder. The headline, then the link: Bob Young, founder of the on-demand self-publishing company Lulu, has purchased an interest in the club. Young is no stranger to sports ownership: Since 2003, he has owned the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (what's up...

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

RailHawks head coach Scott Schweitzer departs

Posted By on Tue, Oct 7, 2008 at 4:04 PM

After two years coaching the USL-1 RailHawks, Scott Schweitzer's contract, which was set to expire at the end of this month, was not renewed, the team announced today. Owner Brian Wellman praised the efforts of Schweitzer, who posted a record of 24 wins, 24 losses and 24 draws in league and Cup play and professional friendlies in his two seasons that also saw one playoff appearance and a drive to the semifinals of the 2007 U.S. Open Cup. "Scotty Schweitzer will go down as one of the greatest players to ever play in the United Soccer Leagues," Wellman said. "His...

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Former UNC b-ball great Tom LaGarde joins Original Mavericks for Truth

Posted By on Tue, Oct 7, 2008 at 10:30 AM

If you were a fan of Tar Heels basketball in the 1970s, you remember Phil Ford, Walter Davis and Mitch Kupchak. You also remember 6'10" center Tom LaGarde. LaGarde, a Detroit native, played center on Dean Smith's teams in those days, and he was an All-American and a member of the 1976 Olympic team. He also played in the NBA, with the expansion Dallas Mavericks. In fact, he was an Original Maverick. Seems he's been searching his memories, trying to remember if a certain duo also wore the jersey of the Mavericks. LaGarde's career was plagued by injury, and...

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Monday, October 6, 2008

’Canes end preseason on a high note, but lose Walker for month and a half

Posted By on Mon, Oct 6, 2008 at 3:51 PM

The Hurricanes completed a home-and-home sweep of the Nashville Predators Sunday afternoon to close out their preseason schedule, tying it up 3-3 and soothing panicky fans who were worried that Carolina’s two pathetic-looking losses to Washington – 4-1 and 5-2, respectively – were a sign of things to come. The ’Canes dropped their first three games, but once they got a team on the ice that will more closely resemble the one on opening night, they started to pull it together. Eric Staal found his way onto the score sheet without overexerting himself: Two of his three goals were empty-netters....

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

RailHawks' owner and GM Economides departs club

Posted By on Sun, Oct 5, 2008 at 9:13 PM

We're not sure what this means, but Jarrett at Triangle Soccer Fanatics has the story: Chris Economides, co-founder of the USL-1 soccer team, is leaving the club. Co-owner Brian Wellman announced that Triangle Professional Sports, LLC has bought out Economides' ownership stake.  Economides, who is a member of the USL Hall of Fame, previously managed the Rochester Raging Rhinos before establishing the RailHawks in 2006....

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The New York Times [hearts] Fernando Perez

Posted By on Sun, Oct 5, 2008 at 2:35 PM

It didn't take long for the Times to catch up with hometown hero Fernando Perez, a season-long highlight (see video) for the Durham Bulls who is now on the Tampa Bay post-season roster.   Writer Alan Schwarz describes the New Jersey native and Columbia University grad as a Hermann Hesse fan who has "wit as quick as his lightning legs."  Perez has been an unusual fit on every team—Rays manager Joe Maddon claims he wanted him to raise the team's average SAT score....

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'Heels end Huskies' undefeated season

Posted By on Sun, Oct 5, 2008 at 1:10 AM

  When I moved to North Carolina a year ago, I was surprised to find such avid football fans in Chapel Hill. I knew the team had some success in the past, but I’d never thought of it as a storied program, and I guess I always assumed that basketball consumed the interest of most UNC fans. But I’ll be damned if Tar Heel fans don’t turn out for every home game like their team was in the championship hunt – and if the program’s recent trajectory has been any indication, maybe they will be, soon enough. They’ve certainly been...

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Boston College 38, N.C. State 31: Never give up, or whatever

Posted By on Sat, Oct 4, 2008 at 6:24 PM

I skipped the post-game press conference after N.C. State’s 38-31 loss to Boston College Saturday afternoon in Raleigh because I could assume most of what would be (and what was, in fact) said: “Tough loss. We’re getting better. We’re inconsistent but playing hard. Someone has to lose, too bad it was us.” Boring: Sometimes, I think athletes—more than the musicians I normally cover, or the politicians that are currently on everyone’s mind—are the world’s best at hiding behind vagaries and generalizations. More often than not, they dissemble through null speech, telling us only a sliver of the surface of the...

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ex-Bulls join Tampa’s post-season roster; Rays win Game 1 behind two Longoria homers

Posted By on Thu, Oct 2, 2008 at 6:25 PM

The Tampa Bay Rays got off to a fast start in Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Chicago White Sox, behind two record-setting home runs by rookie phenom Evan Longoria. The Rays prevailed, 6-4. Longoria, who began this season in Durham (albeit briefly), became the first rookie to hit two home runs in his first two post-season at-bats. The only other, non-rookie, player to accomplish the feat? Minnesota's Gary Gaetti, who is now the Bulls' batting coach....

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’Hawks’ Nuñez finalist for USL-1 honor

Posted By on Thu, Oct 2, 2008 at 3:23 PM

Martin Nuñez, the RailHawks’ flashy, diminutive 21-year-old midfielder, is a finalist for USL-1's rookie of the year award, the team announced this afternoon. Nuñez is a finalist along with Osvaldo Alonso of the Charleston Battery and Vicente Arze of the Vancouver Whitecaps. All league award winners will be announced at the USL First Division Championship banquet.  Playing mostly on the left side, Nuñez was second on the team in goals, with five—including this Maradona-like effort. He also tallied two assists....

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This was a great read until we got to the World Cup part (who knows or cares, this is America) …

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