Category Archives: Sports Illustrated

A year later Eric LeGrand continues to inspire

I haven’t had the chance to post much lately but wanted to take a couple of minutes for this one.

Over the course of the past year I have had a few posts about Eric LeGrand and on the one year anniversary of his injury I wanted to remind everyone about donating to the “Eric LeGrand Believe Fund“.

He told his story to Sports Illustrated this week. You can go read it here. It is hard not to be inspired. Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger also had a really well written story on LeGrand this week.

Make sure you follow him on twitter as well. He tweets pretty regularly.
As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.

Barack Obama comments on Michael Vick

Barack Obama approves of Michael Vick’s return to the NFL.

I don’t know if Barack Obama originally intended to have this conversation become public but I like that he holds this position. I don’t know of many other public officials who would voluntarily come out and back Vick. Obama called Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and commended him on giving Vick a chance. The conversation was confirmed by White House Spokesman Bill Burton:

The President did place a call to Mr. Lurie to discuss plans for the use of alternative energy at Lincoln Financial Field, during which they spoke about that and other issues. He of course condemns the crimes that Michael Vick was convicted of but, as he’s said previously, he does think that individuals who have paid for their crimes should have an opportunity to contribute to society again.

I definitely approve of Vick’s return to the league. He paid his debt to society and then some. It is an amazing comeback story. It is not a stretch to say that he is the best player in the league right now. His jersey has been a hot seller once again. According to Darren Rovell of CNBC earlier in the season you could even customize a jersey for your dog with Vick’s name and number on it.

12/29/10 Edit:
Tucker Carlson is an idiot. He was guest hosting Tuesday night on Sean Hannity’s show so I guess he felt extra pressure to be a fool? Whatever his excuse his statement was absolutely ridiculous.

“I’m a Christian, I’ve made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances, but Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a heartless and cruel way. And I think, personally, he should’ve been executed for that. He wasn’t, but the idea that the President of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs?”

He went on to call Vick a “creepy rich overpaid football player.” Anyone else find it hilarious that he supports  Sarah Palin who’s a known hunter?

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter

Reebok Philadelphia Eagles Michael Vick Men's Name & Number T-Shirt MediumMens Philadelphia Eagles #7 Michael Vick Road Premier Jersey - L

Picking up Butch

Back in March of 2003 Rick Reilly wrote a column for Sports Illustrated called “Extra Credit”.

It was one of the best columns he wrote in his tenure with Sports Illustrated which lasted over 20 years. He himself acknowledged it as one of his most memorable columns.  The story was about a 54 year old man named Butch Varno from Middlebury, Vermont. Butch Varno is bound to his wheelchair because of Cerebral Palsy but for over 50 years freshman from the small college have been literally picking him up to take him to football and basketball games.

This week ESPN did another story on this.

The story has also been featured in the past on SportsCenter and CBS Evening News. In 2007 Associated Press and Boston Globe also picked up the story.If you want to help Butch Varno financially, you can do so by going here.
As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter

The Life of Reilly: The Best of Sports Illustrated's Rick ReillySports Illustrated: Hate Mail from Cheerleaders and Other Adventures from the Life of ReillySports from Hell: My Search for the World's Dumbest Competition

BREAKING NEWS: Edinson Volquez has been suspended 50 Games

If you saw my earlier post you probably did look around for any updates and an update just came from Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated.

reds pitcher edinson volquez suspended 50 games for PEDs. story up on si.com soon.

Well there you have it, it is quite a shame too because Edinson Volquez had a very big year in 2008. Jon Heyman now has posted his story.  Early reports are saying that Volquez can serve the suspension while on DL. This makes him eligible for return in June when his injury was supposed to keep him out until July. So he loses 50 games pay but he wasn’t going to play those 50 games anyways. It is a loophole but I don’t really see how they can avoid it but everyone who gets Tommy John Surgery can take PEDs now and know this.

On a related note, keep in mind that Volquez was traded for Josh Hamilton who has a well documented substance abuse history but has not been suspended since he cleaned up and returned to baseball.

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.

The Power of Twitter

Like most people I had heard of twitter here and there for about 2 years but never bothered to join. I think I have a Myspace(ashamed to admit that) that I have checked maybe 3 or 4 times since I joined. Facebook had its charm but that was lost once every little middle schooler…..and their mother…..and for that matter their mother’s mother were let in. But about 5 months ago I ended up joining twitter.

Something about Twitter captures you right from the start. It’s plain and simple….and that’s the way I like it. The way Facebook was at the start before all the little applications started crawling in. It’s a simple concept, you communicate in 140 characters at a time. It’s a breeding ground for potentially great dialogue. Ever since I joined way back on the 5th of December 2008, I went out looking for people I could engage with on politics and sports. Sure enough there are plenty of good people on there adding to a great open discourse. These people include politicians, journalists who cover said politicians and then the most important group….you and me.

Yes, twitter does that. It is a platform where athletes like Shaquille O’Neal can bypass the media and reach out to the fans. It is a platform where if I see something I don’t like on the networks of NBC I can send a message straight to the source….and more then likely get a reply back in a short time frame. I have to give major credit for the likes of David Shuster who have embraced twitter and do engage in a dialogue with the audience. There have been instances while watching the coverage I’ve noticed an error or two and sent a message straight to the anchor of the show where it was made and sure enough…got a reply acknowledging that mistake.

There are some really quality people who’s feed should be followed by all. You have reporters like Ana Marie Cox who tweet from Washington and do so in a very smart and funny manner. David Gregory and George Stephanopoulos there all the time seeking feedback and potential questions for guests on “Meet the Press” and “This Week.” Those are just a few but there are plenty of others who have embraced twitter and helped add to the dialogue there. Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post is another quality one and him (@thehyperfix) and Ana Marie Cox (@amclive)take it a step further by “live tweeting” special political events like this upcoming Prime Time Presidential News Conference. Twitter is an equal opportunity platform…from young and old billionaires to a student deep in tuition debt. I looked at this as an outlet to communicate with both wings of our political spectrum….and yes that includes journalists from both sides. So far Christina Bellantoni is the only good journalist I’ve found from a right wing outlet….anyone have any other recommendations?

The beauty of twitter is it is not just a platform where news is discussed…it has quickly become a platform where news is made. Just this past weekend Woody Johnson used Twitter to announce that the Jets had moved up in the NFL Draft to take Mark Sanchez who in turn was able to immediate express his love for New York (real or fake is your call). This past weekend the NFL, SportsCenter and columnists like Peter King were able to give instant feedback on the NFL Draft. As a side note here to further demonstrate the powers of twitter….during the draft yesterday I was communicating with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. I made a little joke about the Raiders draft strategy and just like that I get to be quoted in a Sports Illustrated column monday morning (Monday Morning Edit. Here is the column from Peter King…I am quoted on page 4). When that small plane crashed near Buffalo a month or so ago the first pictures of the crash were transmitted via twitter as it took the media some time to get to the crash site but neighbors with their cellphones were able to quickly put up pictures that were used in several media outlets.

Is there a danger that all the celebrities being on there can take away the positive impact twitter can have on our national (and international) dialogue? Sure. There are plenty of celebrities who haven’t grasped the concept but have joined just because of the hype surrounding twitter. You will see plenty of people that are followed by tens of thousands of people but who in turn follow only a handful of close friends. Memo to those people….that’s why the e-mail was invented. If you are only on twitter to talk to friends or trying to use it as a self promotion tool…you’ve missed the boat. Chances are you’ll be tuned out pretty fast by the masses. Unfortunately there are plenty of people like this. People who are only on twitter to post a link to there latest column, blog post or TV segment. These people are completely missing the boat.

This brings me to the negatives of twitter. Just like blogs it gives anyone….and I mean anyone a platform to reach an infinite about of people. This obviously can be a really bad thing as people who want to spread lies and hatred have an easy venue to do that from. Just search the term “nobama” on twitter and see how many ignorant and racist people walk amongst us. While there is little you can do about extremists like those people the problem becomes more major when a journalist uses not only their column but twitter as well to spread lies. The problem becomes even bigger when said journalists choose to just “block” the people who question their reporting rather then actually sticking around to discuss their report (and I do use that term lightly). Amanda Carpenter of Washington Times and the O’Reilly Factor has been front and center of this debate for the past week to ten days. This all started with her absolutely bias coverage of the so called tax day “Tea Party”. People like me called her out on her biased coverage which was based around comparing this “tea party” to the Boston Tea Party when the two weren’t remotely related. People like me pressed her on why she made no mention of the anti-Obama attitudes at these events. Attitude that I discussed in an earlier post. I never did get a reply from her and quickly found myself “blocked” by her thus her updates no longer appear on my main page and I can’t send a message out to her. The same thing happened to a few other people today when they pointed out glaring mistakes in her columns….and sure enough they got blocked by her. A little while later she made a post saying:

Just a note: anyone who writes obscene/pornographic things about me, or converses with people who do, will be blocked from my Twitter feed.

Either she’s lying right there or has one hell of way to define obscene. What a coward. What a copout. When you don’t have facts to back you up…hide behind your column and use a weak excuse. Here is a link to every mention of or message to Amanda Carpenter I’ve made on twitter. Someone find something obscene or pornographic. Still looking? You’re not going to find anything. Same thing happened to two people I regularly talk politics with on twitter mediagadfly (and all his mentions of Amanda Carpenter)and @teresakopec (and all her mentions of Amanda Carpenter)Mediagadfly just posted a nice blog entry on this Amanda Carpenter journalism tactic and the cheap editing job she (or someone at the Washington Times) did today. What makes the whole Amanda Carpenter story is that just this week she tried to arrange a “tweet up”. What was she expecting there? She is aware that people who disagree with her will show up too right? Does she know you can’t “block” someone in real life? Does she know that you have to actually respond to someone when they come to you with facts?

And I won’t even begin to talk about the hate spreading machines that are Michelle Malkin and Karl Rove….that post might end up being longer then most novels.

Real quickly to wrap this up as it is 2:30 AM….embrace twitter for what it is. Come engage in a dialogue. Don’t try to use it as a marketing tool….embrace the simplistic nature of it. You can reach me on twitter @sahyder1, via e-mail at sahyder1@gmail.com or just leave a comment here.

Would you walk away from $135 Million

So according to Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, Johan Santana was pretty close to returning to the Twins for one more year.

Santana, through his agent, Peter Greenberg, had informed the Mets earlier in the day that he wanted $140 million over six years. The Mets were holding firm at $135 million. Santana flew from his Florida home to New York and joined negotiations in Wilpon’s office at about 2 p.m. At 4:55 p.m. — five minutes before the Major League Baseball-mandated deadline — Santana told Wilpon that he was leaving and was prepared to pitch one more year for Minnesota before becoming a free agent. Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, general manager Omar Minaya and vice president Tony Bernazard were among those in attendance.

“I told you I wasn’t backing off my number,” Santana told Fred Wilpon. “I appreciate your offer, but I’m passing on it.”

Wilpon replied, “I’ve been in business a long time. That’s a lot of money to walk away from.”

“No disrespect to you,” Santana said. “But I deserve it. I’ll just go back and pitch and I’ll get it later. Alex Rodriguez is the highest paid player in the game. I’m the best pitcher. I’m not even asking for that [Rodriguez] kind of money.”

Santana was about to walk out of the room when Wilpon and Greenberg agreed to ask Major League Baseball to extend their negotiating window by two hours. The two sides eventually agreed to split the $5 million difference, settling at $137.5 million. The deal also includes Cy Young Award bonuses that could trigger an option year. One of the sources said Santana told Minaya, “You get my clause, I’ll get my Cy Young.”

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