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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Recreational Athletes Blog Carnival - March 24, 2009

Who's In First is proud to be a part to be hosting a Blog Carnival for recreational athletes. Every other Thursday you will find link to some of the best blog postings by and for recreational athletes.
If you want to be a part of the next carnival, please make sure to submit your blog posting in the recreational athletes category over at Blog Carnival . If approved, you will see it here in two Thursdays. All submissions must be made by Noon on Monday of that week for inclusion into that week's carnival. If you submit after the deadline, your posting will be eligible for the following carnival. So keep those submissions coming to get publicity for your blog.

Erika Collin presents 50 Awesome iPhone Apps for Runners posted at RN Central.

Kakie presents Until it Hurts, America’s Obsession with Youth Sports and How It Harms Our Kids posted at Bur Bur & Friends: Community Park, saying, "An interview with Mark Hyman, sports journalist and author of the book being released in April called “Until it hurts, America’s Obsession with Youth Sports and how it Harms our Kids.” In this book he examines the power of youth sports in our culture today and how it has reached a problematic state. We discuss his inspiration for the book and some important things he has learned along the way."

Peter OBrien presents Golf Swing Help - The Grip posted at Golf Swing Help, saying, "When you pick up a golf club your hands are the only part of your body that touch the club. For many years the hands (grip) have often been referred to as the steering wheel of the golf swing. I don"

Sigrid Landau presents Try Maltese Scuba Diving For Interesting Landscapes Amongst Other Benefits posted at A1 How To, saying, "Have you ever considered going scuba diving in Malta? Loads of people have and I’m sure more people will try it. Here’s what you might discover."

Tristan presents How Much Creatine Should I Take posted at Body And Fitness Blog, saying, "A guide to creatine monohydrate supplementation for body builders. This explains how much someone should load with, for how long and how much to continue taking for maintenance."

Peter OBrien presents Basketball Workouts: Free Throw Shooting posted at Basketball Workouts, saying, "Free throw shooting is a very important part of playing winning basketball. If you disagree then look at all the close games that are lost and then look at the losing teams free throw percentage. If they could have have only made 2 or 3 more free throws then they could have won. You hear the phrase "You have to learn how to win." Well one part of learning how to win is making your free throws. So lets talk about basketball shooting drills to improve your free throw shooting."

Steve Patterson presents Several NFL QBs are in the frying pan. posted at FryingPan Sports.

Steve Patterson presents Ohio State Basketball, Ugly Wins Count posted at BrutusReport.

run4change presents Endurance athlete fueling, hydration, and electolyte « My angle on weight loss posted at My Angle, saying, "Be the best athlete you can be with proper fueling and hydration during your long running events."

John Kezer presents First Fantasy - Ford F-150? Hell Yea! posted at First Fantasy Online.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Recreational Athletes using our carnival submission form . Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page .

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Everyday Athlete: Andy on Golf

Welcome to the second edition of the "Everyday Athlete" series where we will interview rec athletes about their favorite sports. The athletes interviewed participate in a variety of sports, across a wide spectrum of skill levels and are located all over the country. None of the athletes interviewed are professionals and mainly compete in their sports or events at nights or on the weekends. It is the purpose of this series to show that anyone can get out, play sports and keep sporting, regardless of age, athletic ability, or life activities.

If you would like to be the subject of an upcoming "Everyday Athlete" segment, please feel free to Contact Us

1. NAME: Andy

2. LOCATION: Denver, Colorado


4. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING GOLF? Since I was 8 years old. So that’s almost 30 years now.

5. IF YOU HAVE BEEN PLAYING SINCE YOU WERE A YOUTH, DO YOU HAVE MORE FUN NOW OR BACK THEN? WHY? I had a lot of fun playing when I was growing up. Playing with my family, trying to impress them with my game. A lot of “firsts” happen when you’re young and learning the game and that’s always fun (first par, first birdie, first time breaking 100 / 90 / etc.). I will say, though, that as I got older, I found more “friends” who play the game, and that’s also a lot of fun for me. Giving each other a hard time when we miss a shot, playing a match for a few bucks, getting away from everyday pressures by playing a round of golf. All that stuff makes golf really fun now. So I’d have to say it’s a tie. I had a lot of fun when I was young for certain reasons, and I have a lot of fun now for other reasons.

6. ON A SCALE OF 1-10, RATE YOUR ABILITIES. I’m a 6 handicap, and golfers always want to improve. So I’d rate myself a 7, with plenty of room for improvement.

7. HOW MANY TIMES A WEEK (OR MONTH) DO YOU PLAY? During the season, I play 9 holes once a week after work and at least one full round each weekend. So, let’s say I’m on a golf course in some capacity at least 8 times a month, not counting practice sessions.

8. WHAT GOT YOU STARTED PLAYING GOLF? My aunt won the NJ state ladies amateur championship in 1980 when I was 8. I thought that was the coolest thing in the world. Plus, other kids played basketball or baseball or some other sport. I wanted to do something different. (Remember, 1980 was way before Tiger Woods, so playing golf wasn’t as cool as it is now)

9. WHAT KEEPS YOU PLAYING? The desire to get better. There’s a great quote on golf that sums it up pretty well – You can never “beat” golf, you can never “win” against golf. You can only play the game. Plus, to me, there is no better feeling than being in the zone on the golf course. Walk up to your ball, picture the shot in your mind, execute the shot. When you pull that off consistently, it feels pretty amazing.

10. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT ON THE LINKS? First time I broke 80 was a pretty big deal. First time I broke par for 9 holes was pretty amazing as well. Now I want to break par for 18 holes. That would be pretty cool.

11. HAVE YOU PLAYED WITH OR AGAINST ANYONE FAMOUS? WHO? AND WHO SHOT A BETTER SCORE? Nope, but I was a caddy for years when I lived in New Jersey and caddied for a number of celebrities including Neil Young & Joe Pesci.

12. ANY GOOD INJURY STORIES? I got pissed one time after four putting a green and slammed the head of the putter against my ankle. Hurt so bad and I fell to the ground like I’d been shot. The walk (or should I say limp) of shame back to the clubhouse was something I’ll never forget.

13. ANY CRAZY SHOTS? Lots. My favorite is actually 2 shots. On back-to-back rounds, from the same place on the 13th fairway on my home course in NJ, I holed out for eagle (a 2 on a par 4). Another favorite was an amazing shot I hit to the 8th green at Pebble Beach. Go look up the hole on Google because the simple act of hitting that green in 2 is worth a story in and of itself. What a great golf hole. Maybe my favorite hole I’ve ever played.

14. DO YOU PLAY IN AN ORGANIZED LEAGUE? WHY? I play in a league organized by my office once a week for 9 holes. I do it to keep the rust off during the golf season, and to get out and about with some work people.

15. IF YOU PLAY IN AN ORGANIZED LEAGUE, HOW DID YOU FIND THE TEAM/LEAGUE YOU ARE ON? DID YOU KNOW OTHERS IN THE LEAGUE WHEN YOU STARTED? My office has a league. Didn’t know anyone but decided to play because I was new to Denver and figured it would be a good way to meet people.

16. APPROXIMATELY HOW MUCH DOES IT COST YOU PER YEAR TO PLAY GOLF? No clue. Don’t want to think about it, to be honest. Whatever I spend, it’s definitely worth it, in my opinion. I will say that Denver has plenty of great golf options, at very affordable prices compared to other cities across the country.

17. DO YOU PLAY YEAR ROUND? IF YES, HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO PLAY IN THE WINTER MONTHS? Yes. Colorado has some mild days in the winter and Denver is warmer than many people think. So the courses are open almost year round.

18. WOULD YOU RECOMMEND PLAYING GOLF TO YOUTH LOOKING TO PICK UP A SPORT? WHY? Absolutely. Teaches discipline, manners and focus. Kids learn a lot of life lessons from the game of golf…particularly how to deal with adversity.

19. WHAT ABOUT ADULTS LOOKING FOR A NEW SPORT? WHY? Absolutely, for the same reasons as #18. Also, there’s a great line about golf and golfers – “You can learn more about someone from playing one round of golf with them than you can in 20 years of doing business together.”

20. ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE JUST STARTING TO PLAY? Pace of play is important. If you’re about to hit your 10th shot on a hole, PLEASE pick up and move along to the next tee. And if you’re just starting out, spend more time on the practice green than the driving range. Learning the short game is the best way to improve your scores fast, regardless of how you hit it from tee to green.

21. ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO ADD? Best sport in the world. I would trade my involvement in every other sport I play for golf in a heartbeat. I don’t know what I’d do if I was told I could never play golf again.

Thanks for the interview Andy! And remember, if you would like to be a feature of an "Everyday Athlete" segment, Contact Us

Keep sporting!
- Who's In First

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

V I C T O R Y ! ! ! ! !

Well…. We did it!

My rec basketball team finally won our first game of the season.

How did we do it?

Well, we had played our opponents once before this season and knew their strengths and how to defend them… or so we thought.

When we first played, our opponents couldn’t miss from the outside, so we decided to defend against the perimeter and start out in a 3-2 zone. For those new to the game, a 3-2 Zone is a zone defense where you have 3 defenders up top and two down low. We figured this would take away the wide open looks they got on us the last time we played. Well, we were right about that, but since we hadn’t ever played that particular defense before, we were exposed and they ended up passing through our D and scoring some easy lay-ups.

Around the 10 minute mark of the first half we were down by 10 and called a timeout to regroup. In our team huddle we decided that the outside shooting wasn’t what was killing us this go round, but it was their inside presence that we needed to stop. Ultimately we decided to go back to our regular 2-3 Zone, the defense we were most accustomed to playing.

It worked like a charm. We were active down low, and protected the three point arc like our lives were dependent upon it.

We also were hitting all of our shots…. We just couldn’t miss. Reminiscent of how they show against us the meeting prior.

We went into halftime all knotted at 27.

But we had been there before. In almost all of our other 7 games we were either tied, leading by a small margin or losing by a small margin, so being in the game at half didn’t mean diddley to us, as we had too many times seen it disappear at the onset of the second half.

This time was different. Despite only suiting up 5 guys, with our only sub unable to go because of a walking cast due to a busted Achilles 10 weeks ago, we played an energized second half. We distributed the ball around. We hit our shots. We had an inside presence. We boxed out. We played a complete game.

The most impressive thing about our game last night, though, was the way we played as a team. Defensively we helped out when others needed help. Offensively it wasn’t one pass and a shot, but rather we found the open man, by swinging the ball around until we found an opening in the other team’s D.

So to the victors go the spoils, and in our case the spoils was that first notch on our online standings bedpost.

Ultimately, the thing we should be most proud of is that despite having the minimum 5 and despite not having won a game, we didn’t go into the game with a negative attitude. Had we walked onto the court thinking we had no shot, we would have had no shot. But we walked out proud and confident and it showed on the court.

Keep sporting!
- Who’s In First

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Detour: My Major League Theme Song

I was at the gym yesterday and a song came on my iPod that just had me rocking out. At one point I looked into the mirror and caught myself just rocking it… and I looked as dumb as Brad Pitt’s character in “Burn After Reading.

But it got me thinking…. This song had me going, but would I want to hear it 4 times a day for 81 days every summer? In other words, would I want it to be my musical intro every time I stepped up to the plate as a Major League hitter?

When I think of the All Time best theme songs, I can’t help but to only think of one guy, Larry Walker. When I first moved to Colorado, through my fourth season rooting on the Rockies, whenever Walker walked up to the plate, “Crazy Train” by Black Sabbath would echo throughout Lodo and get the fans off their seats. I can remember times when I was running a little behind and would hear Ozzy yell “ALL ABOARD” then laugh his devilish laugh, knowing full well where the Rocks were in their lineup.

No other walk up music I have heard even compares to that. Not only was the song great, but it was perfect, coupled with one of the most fearsome hitters in the league approaching the batter’s box, to put feareven in the best pitchers in the game.

So what would I choose to be my walk up music? Some players seem to pick their favorite songs, some are playful and some melodic, but if I were a Major League batter, I would take the Walkerian approach and try and gain an advantage with my song.

Quickly scanning through my iPod, I see lots of great songs… looking just at Sabbath, I could easily go with War Pigs or Iron Man, but I wouldn’t want to copy Larry Walker’s choice. It’d also be easy to go with something that I would want to listen to like Bob Marley, Frank Sinatra, G. Love or Ben Harper, but again, most of those wouldn’t give me the edge that Walker got by choosing Crazy Train.

I think that hip-hop or heavy metal would be the route I would go with, but with both of those genres you would have to be careful to make sure that your clip had kid friendly lyrics.

Assuming I would be able to start the track at any point in the song, as opposed to the just the beginning of the song, I then would need a bridge that had the impact lyrically and musically that I am looking for.

The chorus to “Rise” by the Denver-based Flobots is good in that there is some anger in the chorus, but the lyrics might not strike the kind of fear I am trying to place into the opposing pitcher’s minds.

I also wouldn’t want a song so popular I would hear it in my car on the way to the park each day. I am guessing that by the end of the season, I will be sick of the song, so I would want something that was not the latest hit from the hottest artist.
“In The Evening” by Led Zeppelin starts out with Robert Plant’s hypnotic voice, followed up by a pretty deep Jimmy Page guitar riff and John Bonham’s drums… Excellent song, but not what I am looking for.

Zeppelin does kinda do it with their “Immigrant Song.” I can envision myself walking up to the melodic guitar/bass riff. And “Kashmir” has the sound of imposing doom at the onset. The lyrics also can be likened to the rise of a ball player through the ranks:
Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream
I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been
To sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen
They talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed
I can read this as the sun beating down on the face meaning I am out on the ball field, my dreams are to be in the big leagues. Being a traveler through the levels from rookie ball to A up to AAA and then the Majors. The elders are the ball players who played before me and my skill set would be what they are waiting for to be revealed.

It is also entirely possible (and 100% accurate) that the opposing pitchers would probably not be dissecting the lyrics to my walk up music, so maybe we can scrap that altogether. Some lyrics would be heard, but for the opposing pitcher to realize that I was the one the elders were waiting on is probably a stretch.

If I wanted to be blunt with the lyrics, I could always go with “#1” from Nelly. After all, he graduated from the same high school as my mom.

“Tweezer Reprise” by Phish is another one that starts out with a strong, amazing guitar riff. Trey Anastasio simply lays it down on this track and I would get college kid cred, but again not perfect for my walk up music.

Rage Against The Machine has a 1996 album that contained “Bulls On Parade.” This song would strike fear in the pitchers FOR SURE, but I am not sure I would want to hear it 300 times in a summer.

So what would I walk up to? What a difficult decision indeed. Now it makes sense why some players walk up to lame songs… they don’t have a week and a half to devote to choosing a song.

So, if I were to decide today, I would lean towards “Rush” by Talib Kweli off 2002’s Quality. It has the upbeat tempo I am looking for and the beginning is just “Feel the rush.” I would obviously need to get a censored version of the song and cut it off before the bridge. If I can, and I am somehow called to the Majors, and you are walking up to a stadium and hear it thumping, make sure you have your glove out because the ball is sure to land outside the stadium.

What song would you use to walk up?

Keep sporting!
- Who’s In First

Thursday, March 12, 2009

To Storm or Not To Storm?

While watching SportsCenter this morning I caught the tail end of the Robert Morris - Mount Saint Mary's highlights.

In the game, Robert Morris' Dallas Green hit a game winner with 2.5 seconds remaining. Once the final second had ticked off, the Robert Morris students rushed the floor to celebrate a conference championship (and trip to the NCAA tournament) with their classmates. It was pure energy, joy and excitement. These students know that their brethren will have a tough match-up in next week's big dance, but for the time being they are on the top of the world.

Now, bringing it back to rec sports… is it ever OK to rush the floor in a recreational league game?

Instinctively I would say no. But there is a case to celebration.

First off, I don't know what your fan base is like, but at our games the gym is so empty you can hear crickets chirp. We occasionally have a fan or two, but nothing at all that would constitute a rooting section. So that means that those rushing the floor would be your teammates…. which is a different story.

Say you were in a tight match-up and one of your guys hit a shot with a second left to win the game. I don't think that your emotions would be able to be contained enough to causally stroll onto the court. I think in that case it is just fine to run out and celebrate with your teammate. Especially if that shot won you your first game of the season.

Keep in mind that you wouldn't want to be on the other end of an all out celebration, so keep it a little contained, but heading onto the floor, or if you are out there, hugging your teammate is perfectly acceptable. Again, contain it a bit, walk through the line to shake hands with your opponents, then continue the celebration on the sidelines, away from the other squad.

So while you might not have fans rushing the court and carrying you off on their shoulders, you do have permission to let your emotions get the best of you.

What are your thoughts on celebrating? Comment below.

Keep sporting!
- Who's In First

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Guest Post: Continuing the Steroid Debate by Russ

This guest post is in response to the February 27, 2009 "Friday Detour: The Other Side of the Steroid Issue"

While it warms my heart to find someone out there who feels a twinge of sympathy for "steroid era" pitchers I can't help but think that it's misdirected empathy. When MLB first started testing for PEDs most of the players who were caught were pitchers, relief pitchers specifically. In fact, half of the MLB players who have been suspended have been pitchers. Steroids and other PEDs seem to be the perfect drug for relief pitchers because they all faster recuperation. Relief pitchers need to be able to throw hard in back-to-back games and if they can't it's back down to the minors. It wouldn't surprise me if A-Rod, Bonds, and Palmiero were simply following the lead of the pitchers on their teams. There are reports of pitchers trying steroids back in the 1960's and 1970's from ex-pitching coach and former MLB Pitcher Tom House who claimed, "We were doing steroids they wouldn't give to horses. That was the '60s, when nobody knew."

When 104 players tested positive for PEDs in 2003 you can bet that the majority of them weren't superstars. The majority of those players were most likely marginally talented guys who would hover between the majors and minors for a few years before moving on to their next career as used car salesmen. Most of the players caught needed steroids to stay in the Bigs. When they were caught they disappeared which is why no one remembers the names of Juan Salas and Ryan Franklin. I don't think anyone doubts that without steroids A-Rod and Bonds are Major League talents. Hell, they might be Major League talents without 3 toes, they are that good. But these other guys aren't. They are minor league nobodies who cheated and in doing so stole jobs from guys who were clean.

And those are the people I feel sorry for. The guys who rode around on buses for years sleeping in crappy hotels and making next to nothing because they had the integrity to attempt making the Majors without the benefit of PEDs. There are probably a couple of hundred minor leaguers who didn't make it to The Show because they stayed clean. These are players you will never hear of and know nothing about. Hard-working players who might have become hustling fan favorites are instead stuck in anonymity. When a juiced up Jay Gibbons is hitting 20+ homers and stays on the roster it takes the spot of some AAA player who stayed clean. Not to mention that Mr. Gibbons earned over $15 million during his career. These nameless, faceless players are the one's I feel bad for. The one's who were screwed over in this whole mess and who will never ever get anything resembling justice. And so, when we start to feel bad for millionaires because their career stats don't measure up to their historical peers we need to reevaluate our own empathy.

Do you have other opinions on the steroid topic? Feel free to comment below.

Dan Russell is a freelance writer and sports enthusiast based in Chicago, IL. This is his second contribution to the Who's In First Blog. If you would like to get in touch with Russ, feel free to Contact Us and we will pass along the information.

Keep sporting!
- Who's In First

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

HELP! My Team is Getting Worse

We are 70% into my rec basketball league season, and it appears my team is getting progressively worse…. and I am not sure why.

The league I play in is comprised of 6 teams, and plays 3 games each Monday. The schedule is set up so that each team plays each other twice. No tournament or anything at the end, just 10 games and the best record takes home the trophy.

With that knowledge it didn’t alarm us much when we started the season 0-5. Sure we hadn’t won a game, but 4 of those games were decided by a grand total of 12 points. TWELVE POINTS separated us from 0-5 and 4-1. Had four measly three points fallen for us (plus a free throw here and there) throughout the first half of the season and we would be sitting atop the standings and not looking up at it from the bottom of the well.

So as you can imagine, the team had lots of encouragement coming into the second half of the season. “Sure we are 0-5, but there really isn’t a team out there we should lose to.”

Well, that was what everyone was saying two games ago. Now we are tooting a different horn.

After rematches with the first two teams we lost to by a three-pointer apiece, we have fallen to 0-7, with humiliating losses by 19 and 17.

In both games we were in it or leading at half, then VOILA, we stopped scoring in the second half.

I think there are two things at play in our recent losses. First is that at the beginning of the season, when we were barely losing, we were playing relaxed and moving the ball around well. Same with the first half in our two most recent games. However now that we haven’t won and the pressure to win is mounting (if nothing else, but to save face), we are getting antsy with the ball. We go from passing the ball around the parameter in the first half of games to dribble drives or one-pass and launch. We aren’t distributing in the second halves like we are in the first, or like we were at the beginning of the season.

Secondly, we didn’t have the un-needed pressure of knowing we were trolling the bottom of the league standings.

So what now? What can we do to get that W on our league standings page?

Well, first off I think we can play more relaxed. We need to realize that, while we wish it weren’t the case, this isn’t the NBA and nobody but ourselves, our girlfriends/wives, and maybe a friend or two are seeing the scores or hearing about our mountain losses. Effectively, like every rec athlete out there, we are playing for the love of the game, to sweat a little and for the social aspect of seeing our friends regularly. So if we can remove the pressure of winning, we should play more casually, have more fun and win more games (or rather, ‘a game.’)

Secondly, we get into the habit of changing our style at half time. I count tell you how many times we have all congregated at the bench during halftime and decide to change our fundamental philosophies. We either move from zone defense to man. Or we change up how we are playing offensively from a slow, methodical style to a run and gun type of game.

None of the losses can, or should, be pinpointed on any individual. We have all had great games, but it seems like we haven’t placed two or three great individual games together on any given night. But I don’t think that is the issue. We are good enough as a team that we should be winning these games without someone having the game of their life, but for one reason or another, the ball isn’t bouncing our way.

So next week, if you are our opponent, WATCH OUT! We are going to play calm, poised and under control. We are going to go out and play the same way in the first half as we play in the second and we are not going to change our philosophies. I know for a fact, because I, for one, won’t let it happen.

Any suggestions for my squad? Leave a comment below.

Keep sporting!
- Who’s In First

Monday, March 9, 2009

Everyday Athlete: Seth on Ice Hockey

Welcome to the first edition of the "Everyday Athlete" series where we will interview rec athletes about their favorite sports. The athletes interviewed participate in a variety of sports, across a wide spectrum of skill levels and are located all over the country. None of the athletes interviewed are professionals and mainly compete in their sports or events at nights or on the weekends. It is the purpose of this series to show that anyone can get out, play sports and keep sporting, regardless of age, athletic ability, or life activities.

If you would like to be the subject of an upcoming "Everyday Athlete" segment, please feel free to Contact Us

1. NAME: Seth

2. LOCATION: Chicago, IL




6. IF YOU HAVE BEEN PLAYING SINCE YOU WERE A YOUTH, DO YOU HAVE MORE FUN NOW OR BACK THEN? WHY? It is different. Back then it was about (in a Canadian accent) learning how to skate and how to play the game. It was also more competitive, especially in High School. Now it is more about the exercise and social aspect.



9. WHAT GOT YOU STARTED PLAYING HOCKEY? I signed myself up in Kindergarten because I was proud that I knew my name, address and phone number.

10. WHAT KEEPS YOU PLAYING? It is the only sport I am good at and it has been such a big part of my life that I would hate to see go away.

11. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT ON THE ICE? Winning the State Championship in High School.

12. HAVE YOU PLAYED WITH OR AGAINST ANYONE FAMOUS? WHO? AND WHO WON THE GAME? I have played against some ex-Blackhawks in my league – nobody famous. I have also played in a couple charity games with some more famous ex-Blackhawks.

13. ANY GOOD INJURY STORIES? I have broken both wrists. I have injured more people than have injured me. At the age of 13, when kids are allowed to ‘check', I was one to grow quicker than others and subsequently sent a few people to the hospital without any intent to injure. I once had the parents of kids on an opposing team threaten me as I walked off the ice. My dad quickly took care of that situation.

14. DO YOU PLAY WITH AN ORGANIZED TEAM OR GENERALLY PLAY PICK UP? I play on an organized team. From time to time I will play in rat time or pick up games.

15. IF YOU PLAY WITH AN ORGANIZED TEAM, HOW DID YOU FIND THE TEAM YOU ARE ON? DID YOU KNOW OTHERS ON THE TEAM WHEN YOU STARTED? I joined both of my teams through people I played with or against in High School.

16. APPROXIMATELY HOW MUCH DOES IT COST YOU PER YEAR TO PLAY HOCKEY? Wow. Including equipment, sticks, tape and league fees, about $1,000.

17. DO YOU PLAY YEAR ROUND OR JUST IN THE WINTER? Year-round with a one-month break in between seasons.


19. ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE JUST STARTING TO PLAY? The younger you start the better you will be.

Thanks for the interview Seth! And remember, if you would like to be a feature of an "Everyday Athlete" segment, Contact Us

Keep sporting!
- Who's In First

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Special Saturday Edition: Best Big 12 Coaching Jobs

Yesterday I had the unfortunate “privilege” to be listening to the senile, old men that broadcast locally on ESPN Radio midday’s during the work week. Their topic of conversation, for one reason or another, was the rank, nationally, of the Arizona Wildcats basketball coaching position. They ranked it in the 10-15 range of college coaching jobs and then proceeded to go through different big name coaches around the country and pondered whether they would leave their jobs for the UofA position.

It did get me thinking of how I would rank the different coaching vacancies around the country. My specifications are to take the program as it is now, and what it can be into account. In order to make it fair, I will take into account that all openings are vacant and use a general “coach” as the basis. This coach has no regional or University bias, and will only look at the viability of the position.

I will start in the Big 12, since I live in Big 12 country (Denver) and graduated from a Big 12 school (Mizzou). Here is how the Big 12 hoops jobs rank in order

1. Kansas – If you can win the national championship, lose your five starters and come back to win your fifth straight conference championship, you have a winning program. KU has the most wins in Big 12 history and is a perennial national powerhouse. No question about this one.

2. Oklahoma – OU is another perennial powerhouse out of the Big 12. They aren’t as prominent as KU, but they have a long history of fielding greats teams, competing for the league title and making a run deep into March.

3. Missouri – Biased selection? Maybe. But Mizzou is certainly one of the best jobs in the Big 12. When Norm Stewart retired in 1999, Mizzou had some of the top names in the country applying for their vacancy. They had quite a downturn under the next regime, but have supplanted themselves again amongst the top jobs in the conference.

4. Texas – The biggest school in the biggest state draws more than just a few eyes its way. Even if they only recruit within their borders, UT can put a formidable squad on the floor year in and year out.

5. Oklahoma State – Eddie Sutton and Henry Iba are both legendary coaches who established a good reputation in Stillwater. That continues today.

6. Iowa State – The past decade has showed that the Cyclones can both be on top of the conference and also feed on the bottom. It is so hit-or-miss in Ames that ISU barely cracks the top half of this list.

7. Texas A&M – The Aggies have the benefit of their Texas roots, but the disadvantage of having their rival in Austin take center stage in the state.

8. Kansas State – K-State’s biggest issue is in their inability to recruit anyone of substance from what should be their recruiting area. The problem? Their in-state rivals in Lawrence. During Bob Huggins’ brief tenure in the Little Apple he was able to bring some of the best athletes in the country to Manhattan, but consider that an anomaly.

9. Texas Tech – See Texas A&M.

10. Baylor – The fact that Baylor isn’t last on this list says something about what the current administration has done to re-coup their image. Like the other Texas schools, Baylor’s advantage is a deep recruiting bed but also the ability to sell parents on Baylor’s academic reputation.

11. Colorado – Since my grandfather-in-law played basketball for CU in the early 40s, CU has had one relevant team, and that was due to the signing of Denver-born, future NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups. There just isn’t enough talent in the Rocky Mountain region to bring kids to Boulder.

12. Nebraska – I hate the argument that you cannot field a good basketball team at a football school, because there are multiple examples of that not being true, but if you surveyed a group of 100 random Nebraskans, 99 wouldn’t know that the ‘Huskers had a basketball team.

Keep sporting!
- Who’s In First

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Detour: American League Predictions

Welcome again to the Friday Detour. The weekly entry that diverts away from recreational sports to discuss happenings in other areas of the sporting world. Several Fridays ago, I posted my 2009 National League predictions, and now am following up with my 2009 American League predictions. Lots has happened in the AL this off-season, and most of it has revolved around the New York Yankees. From the $500M signings, to the A-Rod circus, this off-season has been anything but dull.

With that said, below are my preseason predictions for the American League.
Disagree with any of my selections? Post a comment below!


Generally thought of as a two team division, the Tampa Bays Rays took the baseball world by surprise last year by winning this pennant. With loads of talent, and bottomless pocketbooks, I don't foresee the Rays hanging another banner from the rafters this year.

Boston Red Sox – Boston has the pitching, fielding and hitting to again be a World Series contender.

Tampa Bay Rays – The young nucleus returns in Tampa, but will lose a few more games this year and narrowly miss the Wild Card.

New York Yankees – Until a month ago, the biggest question for the Yanks was whether their half-billion dollar acquisitions could vault them above the Rays and Sox. Now the biggest question is A-Rod's hip. An injured A-Rod gives the Yanks no shot at the division.

Baltimore Orioles – Baltimore is another solid team, but you need to be more than just solid to win the AL East.

Toronto Blue Jays – See Baltimore.


Cleveland was supposed to run away with the division last year, but ended up .500. This year they will make a play for the pennant.

Cleveland Indians– The Indians disappointed fans last year after a 97 win 2008. In a hard fought battle, they will bring the fans what they were hoping for last year.

Detroit Tigers – The odds on favorite to win the AL Central in 2008, the Tigers finished 14 games under .500. This year will be different.

Chicago White Sox – Obama's team narrowly won the pennant last year, but this year it is back to .500 ball.

Minnesota Twins – The Twins are always contenders, and this year will be no different, as they will be come in fourth in the division yet only be 8 games out of first.

Kansas City Royals – The Royals need help everywhere.


The Angles won the division by 21 games last year. They will have a more difficult run of it this year, but still capture the division.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim– The Angles were and are the class of the division.

Oakland Athletics – Jason Giambi and Matt Holiday will ad more punch to the A's line-up but not quite enough to win the division.

Texas Rangers – The Rsngers need help and might get it next year.

Seattle Mariners – Ken Griffey Jr will ensure that Seattle will not match their 101 losses of 2008. They will end up with 91 losses.

AL MVP: Magglio Ordonez – Put up great numbers last year, and with Detroit competitive again, he will garner more press.

AL Cy Young: Roy Halladay – The native Coloradoan is just un-hittable.

Wild Card – Detroit Tigers

Playoffs Predictions
ALDS: BoSox over Tigers
ALDS: Indians over Angels

ALCS: Indians over BoSox

Have your own thoughts on the standings or award winners, post them below?

Keep sporting!
- Who's In First

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Recreational Athletes Blog Carnival - March 5, 2009

Who's In First is proud to be a part to be hosting a Blog Carnival for recreational athletes. Every other Thursday you will find link to some of the best blog postings by and for recreational athletes.

If you want to be a part of the next carnival, please make sure to submit your blog posting in the recreational athletes category over at Blog Carnival . If approved, you will see it here in two Thursdays. All submissions must be made by Noon on Monday of that week for inclusion into that week's carnival. If you submit after the deadline, your posting will be eligible for the following carnival. So keep those submissions coming to get publicity for your blog.

The Fairway Golf Slicer presents How to Swing a Golf Club and Other Favorite Golf Pictures posted at How to Swing a Golf Club , saying, "We wanted to start you off with a golf swing animation that is worth watching for a few moments. It shows good professional swing technique, and you do not have to buy a golf swing training video to appreciate this good technique."

Chris presents Read This Before You Invent a New Martial Arts Style posted at Martial Development , saying, "Creating your own MMA style: is it harmless creative expression, or dangerous folly?"

Pocabella presents Core Conditioning: The Enemy of the Walrus posted at Walrus to Warrior .

Cyndi presents Anxiety/Stress Relief techniques posted at Evolution Ezine?Evolution Ezine - Collect your free mind power and self growth gifts , saying, "Stress relief techniques that anyone can implement in the moment to counteract the physical response to stress and anxiety. These techniques are simple and work quickly with amazing results."

Gary R. presents RV versus Tent Camping posted at Camping Tips , saying, "Drive through any campground and you'll quickly see that camping equipment runs the gamut from $20 pup tents to $400,000 motor homes, complete with satellite TVs and Astroturf."

Jimson Lee presents NIKEPLUS - Why Nike is Winning the Shoe War posted at Speedendurance.com , saying, "A close look at Nike and their dominance."

Margaret Garcia presents MVP Franchises: 5 Informative Lists of the Most Valuable Sports Teams & Deals posted at Bankling .

Steve Faber presents Belly Fat Loser » The Ab Diet – the Lucky 13 Foods posted at Belly Fat Loser , saying, "These power packed foods will rip up your abs and boost your on-field performance."

Peter Jones presents Dinosaur Mountain Mega-Traverse: The Avs Wall Problem posted at Rocky Mountain Raider: Telemark Skiing, Bouldering, and Trail Running in Colorado .

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Recreational Athletes using our carnival submission form . Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page .

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Will Your Plaque Hang In The Rec Sports Hall Of Fame?

Wednesdays are usually devoted to Webday Lists, but as I was driving this morning an interesting topic rushed through my head as I was listening to Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio.

Mike and Mike were rehashing a conversation they had during their first year of broadcasting together where Golic said he would rather visit the Toy Hall of Fame than read Catcher In The Rye. Greeney took the other side of the coin.

Toy Hall of Fame… interesting. If there can be a Toy Hall of Fame, why can’t there be a Rec Sports Hall of Fame. And if there were a Rec Sports Hall of Fame, would you be enshrined?

That is certainly a weighted question and makes you think about your amateur sports “career.” Did you do enough in any sport, or in a combination of sports, to warrant a plaque in the most sacred sanctuary of Rec Athletes?

In most sports acceptance into the respective Hall is a lot easier to quantify. How many home runs or wins did the player have? How many goals, touchdowns or baskets did they score? Did they steal enough bases or balls? Did they throw enough touchdowns, make enough free throws or throw enough strikes?

In rec sports, the answer isn’t so apparent. Generally in rec sports you know how many points you may have scored on a given day or how many balls you hit over the fence in that double-header, but usually those stats aren’t kept anywhere permanently, and are mostly forgotten by the time the next season rolls around.

So in order to figure out if you are Hall worthy, you must qualify your body of work. Did you manage a team of miscreants and uncoordinated buffoons to the league championship? Did you hit the game winning shot to seal the championship? (People remember those types of things.) Did you harass some of your lazier friends to get off the couch and play outdoors, prompting them to lose weight?

If you were to poll your teammates as to who the best player on your team is, or the most influential, would they unanimously say that it was you?

So while pro sports have their statistics to help the sportswriters and “experts” select their very best, rec athletes don’t have that luxury or need.

What rec athletes have is the ability to look outside the stats to pick their ultra elite.

Are you Hall worthy?

Keep sporting!
- Who’s In First

Monday, March 2, 2009

Qualifications: Softball Manager

You have probably heard that times are tough these days and a result is that people are getting laid off left and right. Most large corporations are on hiring freezes and those that are hiring are seeing increased numbers of applicants.

So if you are one of the unlucky few, what can you do to make yourself stand out form the crowd? What if you are just trying for an internal promotion from a “worker bee” to someone in management?

What on your resume demonstrates your ability to manage others? What if you are the manager of your beer-league softball team? Should you include that?

Anyone who has ever managed a group of friends knows that there is more involved than simply signing the team up and showing up for games.

General responsibilities include conveying messages from the league office, making sure you have a full squad on game days, finding subs if not, collecting money for league fees and so on.

Essentially these are the same responsibilities that a manager at an office or retail store would have. Managers at retail stores usually, at a minimum, have to make sure the corporate message is conveyed to their subordinates, making sure they are fully staffed at the appropriate times, finding replacements for those that are on vacation or sick, and negotiating salaries.

Softball managers also have to occasionally diffuse arguments that happen between players. They have to make difficult decisions on where to place people in the batting order, and also in the field. But, even more difficult than a supervisor-employee relationship, softball managers generally have to do it with their friends.

Ask any softball manager out there how they feel when they have to tell their good friend that they are batting last, or that they have been replaced in the field for the new guy. Not an easy task, and in this relationship, their friends will feel a lot more slighted and will more likely argue, than a subordinate who had their hours cut, or moved to a less desirable shift.

So is it so far out of line to list your managerial skills on the field as a qualification on your resume? Yes and no.

It is probably too much to actually put it in print on your CV; however it might not be too far out of line to mention it when on the actual interview. A recommendation is to test out the interviewer at some point during the interview in order to see what their level of knowledge on rec sports is. Maybe if they ask how your day is, you can say something like, “it is great that I have this opportunity to speak with you about this fabulous position and then later tonight play for the championship in my softball league.” If they reply in a way that you get a sense they will understand your responsibilities, then tell them about your team. If it seems like it would be a deterrent more than a benefit to mention, you might want to keep it bottled up until after you have secured the position.

If it is an internal promotion and you have a good working relationship with the interviewer, maybe they even know about your exploits on the field, you can mention it in passing (“I am excited because after this interview the team I manage plays the first place team in our league, and the sub I found is a real ringer”).

So while it is not recommended to put your rec sports managerial position on your resume, it can, in the right setting, help your cause to show that you do have the wherewithal to organize a team, be it on the field or in the office.

Have you had this experience? How did you handle it? Post any comments in the Comments section below.

Keep sporting!
- Who’s In First