Every March in the United States a number of words and phrases come back into use among millions of Americans – bracket, Cinderella, Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four and March Madness.
The men's college basketball tournament – a three week playoff between 68 teams that culminates in the Final Four - has become an obsession with sports fans and non-sports fans alike.
The tournament often sees favorites lose early and surprise "Cinderellas" make deep runs. The teams may feature a future NBA player or two, but for the most part, players are 18-22 years of age and enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime experience before graduating and moving on with their lives. FULL POST
Having looked at both American Football and basketball’s plans to grow their markets beyond the U.S., my hunch is we should see an NFL team based overseas before an NBA franchise.
However, I would not be surprised if neither league actually moves a side to foreign soil, even though global expansion is viewed as essential to growing their respective businesses.
The view of the NFL as a global sport is accentuated during Super Bowl week. The clash between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos is expected to attract more than 2013’s worldwide audience of 111.3 million viewers. FULL POST
Tickets to the big games aren’t cheap these days, and since the teams you’re paying to see can’t guarantee a winning performance – or even a decent one – they try at least to give you value for money.
In the U.S. they try harder than anywhere, and as such it sometimes feels as though you’re at a pop concert, tapping along with your foot as the buckets drop and the goals fly in. Sport and music are big players in the global entertainment industry, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that they work together.
On our high-definition televisions, sports highlights are often packaged up and edited to the beats of the day, and somehow they seem even better with a soundtrack. FULL POST
With the first quarter of the NBA season behind us, a number of rookies are busy making a name for themselves in the world's top basketball league.
While many newcomers take a while to step up from college ball and develop into solid senior-level players, some make the leap with surprising ease – and it's not always the ones you'd expect to be such a success.
Here’s the best of a group of first-timers seeking to follow in the footsteps of past Rookies of the Year such as Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, Shaquille O'Neale, LeBron James and Kevin Durant. FULL POST
Coming into this season, the Indiana Pacers were naturally tabbed as one of the challengers to the Heat’s championship reign. After all, last season Indiana got to within one win of the NBA Finals before succumbing to Miami in seven games.
The Pacers’ hot start to this campaign has shown they are here to stay and will be hoping to overtake Miami in the East. Indiana won a team-record nine games in a row to begin the season and currently holds the NBA’s best record. Despite that, here are five reasons why they will not maintain this lightning pace: FULL POST
Miami is the center of an NFL media storm, and it’s not because the storied franchise is in the hunt to make their first playoff appearance since 2008.
One of the team’s offensive linemen, Richie Incognito, allegedly bullied a teammate by leaving offensive and racist voicemails on his teammate’s phone and repeating similar behavior over their time together in the last two years.
That teammate, second year offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, has since separated himself from the team, while Incognito has been suspended by the Dolphins until further notice.
Martin's legal counsel, David Cornwell, says in a statement that his client “endured harassment that went far beyond the traditional locker room hazing."
Cornwell went on to say: “Jonathan attempted to befriend the same teammates who subjected him to the abuse with the hope that doing so would end the harassment. FULL POST
Gaining territory, a tactical advantage, physical combat, winners and losers.
Sports journalism could easily be confused with the scribblings of a war correspondent, but of course there really is no comparison between a man on the ball and a man with a gun. It’s only a matter of life or death for one of them.
But in the United States, professional athletes and soldiers are increasingly sharing common ground and it’s not just because they’re all "in uniform."
The 2013-14 NBA season is finally upon us and it’s hard to recall any in recent memory that have so many sub-plots and stories gestating from coast to coast. Usually the spotlight shines on a few teams who are deemed favorites at this time of year, but this season is different.
It seems that everywhere you look, there’s a team (or player) with a point to prove in the 2013-14 campaign:
In South Beach LeBron James and company want to prove they can join the all-time greats by winning a third straight title for the Miami Heat. After all, when you say three-peat, you think of the Shaq/Kobe LA Lakers and the Jordan/Pippen Chicago Bulls. Make no mistake that James is yearning to join that elite list and seems to have the team to deliver. FULL POST
They say that "time waits for no man" – except perhaps if you’re a fan of American sports. The United States is the land of opportunity, and on the basketball courts and the playing fields here it represents an opportunity to freeze the clock and make the action last quite a bit longer.
I love most sports, and the ballgames across the pond from my native Britain are no different. But I do so wish they’d hurry up. Football – the one they play with their hands – lasts exactly 60 minutes on the clock but it takes over three hours from start to finish. Basketball is a game of four equal quarters and it should take just 48 minutes, but an average NBA contest lasts three times that – two hours and a quarter. FULL POST