May 31st, 2012
11:51 AM ET

Should pole dancing join the Olympic party?

Does pole dancing really differ from existing Olympic disciplines? (Getty Images)
Does pole dancing really differ from existing Olympic disciplines? (Getty Images)

Yes, I’ll admit it. I have been known to pole dance. And yes, there are pictures to prove it. No, you’re not seeing them. And I can assure you I didn’t take my clothes off.

But I will say that an afternoon meant to be a bit of fun was one of the most painful and bruise inducing of my life.

I am allegedly quite fit (in the running, exercise sense, before you accuse me of getting ahead of myself). But before you could say "Peter Stringfellow" – the longtime UK strip-club entrepreneur – that pole had me waving my white flag of surrender, even before I’d managed to climb to half mast. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Olympics
May 30th, 2012
12:18 PM ET

How can football tackle match fixing?

Italy has been gripped by a match-fixing scandal which has disrupted the national team ahead of Euro 2012. (Getty Images)
Italy has been gripped by a match-fixing scandal which has disrupted the national team ahead of Euro 2012. (Getty Images)

You know why I never watched wrestling, even when I was a kid? I knew it was fixed. You could tell the guys in the ring were acting, not competing. Even when my friends idolized the likes of Rick Flair or Hulk Hogan, I just couldn’t get into it.

I thought the whole thing was silly. Without true and pure competition, wrestling had no interest to me whatsoever.

Why should I bring this up right now? Because in my mind, after what happened this week in Italy, it is clear that the future of football is at stake. Either something is done to clean up the sport, or fans will simply stop caring about what is still known as “the beautiful game.” FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
May 24th, 2012
04:31 PM ET

Should Formula One be so unpredictable?

Sebastian Vettel's fans have had only one race win to celebrate this year ahead of the Monaco GP. (Getty Images)
Sebastian Vettel's fans have had only one race win to celebrate this year ahead of the Monaco GP. (Getty Images)

(Editor's note: Ed Foster is the associate editor of Motor Sport magazine. He is also an F1 pundit for CNN's World Sport show.)

Five winners from the first five races? What’s happened to Formula One? We’re used to seeing a young German dominate, but he’s only won one race this year.

It has happened before, but it's very rare. In fact you have to go back to 1983, when five drivers from five different teams won the first five races.

Alain Prost broke that streak at Spa in Belgium, with his second victory of the season, but almost 30 years later there is no guarantee that the 2012 trend will not continue this weekend in Monaco. FULL POST

May 22nd, 2012
04:39 PM ET

Who are European football's 'Most Valuable Players?'

Juventus, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund all celebrated titles this season. (Getty Images)
Juventus, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund all celebrated titles this season. (Getty Images)

I have finally been able to catch my breath after what was a dramatic Champions League final weekend in Munich, which capped off an exciting finish to the European club campaign.

Before we all get into Euro 2012 mode, I wanted to look back at the season that was and pick out the star performers. Below is my list of the most valuable players in each of the top four leagues. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
May 20th, 2012
12:03 PM ET

Fading Chelsea bury Bayern's dream

Bayern Munich fans were left disappointed after their team dominated the match. (Getty Images)
Bayern Munich fans were left disappointed after their team dominated the match. (Getty Images)

I've never seen so many people make so little noise. For an hour, after Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in a penalty shootout to win UEFA's Champions League, a silent throng of 40,000 red-shirted fans stumbled past me, faces fixed with an expression of stunned misery.

They weren't leaving the Allianz Arena, where the final was played, but Munich's Olympic stadium. Bayern's former home had sold out, even though the only football action on display there was on a giant screen.

From outside it sounded like a real match was going on inside and, for long periods, there were thunderous roars of approval as the local team dominated their English opponents. And that explains the shock; the empty stares as the Bayern faithful walked home wondering how on earth their team had lost. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
May 14th, 2012
02:36 PM ET

Did Manchester City win the title – or did United lose it?

Roberto Mancini celebrates Manchester City's title triumph, but should it have been more emphatic? (Getty Images)
Roberto Mancini celebrates Manchester City's title triumph, but should it have been more emphatic? (Getty Images)

First of all, congratulations to Manchester City on clinching a first English title in 44 years.

However, I have to say I was expecting Roberto Mancini’s team to win the Premier League in a more convincing manner than with a last-gasp 3-2 win against Queens Park Rangers, who were battling to avoid relegation from England’s top division.

I am not going to lie, I tipped City’s neighbors Manchester United for the the league all season long. After United pulled eight points clear of City last month, I did not expect Alex Ferguson’s team to throw it away by losing against Wigan and drawing 4-4 with Everton. Honestly, I think United lost the title more than City won it. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
May 11th, 2012
12:02 PM ET

Can Ferrari fight back in F1 title race?

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso hopes for more improvements in Barcelona. (Getty Images)
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso hopes for more improvements in Barcelona. (Getty Images)

(Editor's note: Ed Foster is the associate editor of Motor Sport magazine. He is also an F1 pundit for CNN's World Sport show.)

As the Formula One circus makes its way to Catalunya for the first of the European rounds this weekend, Ferrari finds itself hoping, desperately, that it has made a step forward.

The teams have just finished their first in-season test since 2008, and after three days spent at Mugello everyone has their eyes on the Italian cars. Can Ferrari turn its season around with just one test? Probably not, is the quick answer.

Between the beginning of 2000 and the end of 2004, Ferrari was utterly dominant in Formula One. So dominant, in fact, that thanks to its drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello it notched up 57 wins in 85 races (48 of which were courtesy of Germany's seven-time world champion). FULL POST

May 8th, 2012
10:53 PM ET

Conte returns glory days to The Old Lady

Coach Antonio Conte has returned the good times to Juventus, the 'Old Lady' of Turin. (Getty Images)
Coach Antonio Conte has returned the good times to Juventus, the 'Old Lady' of Turin. (Getty Images)

The Old Lady is back. This past weekend Juventus won the Serie A title with a match to spare and ended a long and winding road to recovery after their dramatic fall from grace.

What could be seen as a flashback to the years when the Turin club dominated Italian football should rather be looked upon as a glimpse into what the future of "Calcio" could be. What Juve have done is take football in Italy to the next level, both on and off the pitch, and they should get a lot of credit for it.

You could compare the club’s renaissance to that of a phoenix. When Juventus were stripped of two league titles and relegated to Serie B in 2006, their soul was dead. However, seven years later, it has been reborn and the team’s impressive achievement this season should be praised. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
May 2nd, 2012
06:14 PM ET

Why the English should give new coach Hodgson a chance

Roy Hodgson has already come under intense media scrutiny as England's new manager. (Getty Images)
Roy Hodgson has already come under intense media scrutiny as England's new manager. (Getty Images)

It’s all change in England. There seems to have been a shift in the balance of power in the Premier League, and the country’s Football Association has appointed a new national team manager.

While the first phenomenon has been brewing for a while, with Manchester City’s shadow growing larger and larger over rivals Manchester United, the decision to go for Roy Hodgson as the man to replace Fabio Capello has surprised and disappointed a lot of people in England.

I have to say I am not one of them. I actually think the 64-year-old is a good appointment. He is vastly experienced and has a better pedigree than all of the other candidates who were reportedly considered for the job. The only criticism I can find regarding the decision is how long it took to make. Surely the limited time he will have to prepare for Euro 2012 means the team's chances of success at the tournament will be affected.  FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football