Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mark Cuban to Fund Basketball Flopping Study

We have all seen it countless times in the NBA when a player is barely touched and sometimes not touched at all flop to the floor to entice a foul call from referees. Although I believe the players and referees are both responsible for this act and often times these extra phantom calls have an impact on the final score of a game or even the point spread. Well now Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is funding a $100,000 bio mechanics study on flopping in basketball. Southern Methodist University (SMU) will carry out the 18-month long study to determine if video and other records can differentiate between a true collision or if it was a flop. Former NBA coach and current analyst Stan Van Gundy recently said the NBA could end flopping and stated in the June 10, 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated, "If left to their own, veteran referees would simply quit giving those guys calls even if they did get fouled....The problem is the league wants the foul called." And what purpose would the league want with ridiculous foul calls that slow up the action other than control of the game. Control that could potentially fix outcomes. Although we will have to wait another 18 months, this study should bring to light some interesting findings. I think Soccer should do a similar study if the findings are worthwhile.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Are Major Sponsors in on the Fix too?

I am a little early with my weekly feature this week but this news just dropped today and ties into the NBA finals going on now which could be closed out tonight with a win by the San Antonio Spurs. CBS Sports found some interesting news about Nike, the Miami Heat and the 2012-2013 NBA champions. Apparently Nike has already crowned the Miami Heat 2012-2013 NBA champions even though they are down three games to two going into game six tonight. Pictures released by show the new low-top LeBron X shoes have inscribed '2-Time Champion' inside one shoe and '11-12, 12-13' inside the other shoe. So what happens if the Spurs win? Would Nike really waste all that money on pre-production or a possible recall? It's not like those cheap championship shirts and hats that get printed for both finalists of major sports, these are expensive basketball shoes that can be produced anytime after the finals are over. So back to my title, are major sponsors in on the fix too and know the outcomes of major sporting events? Let's go Spurs!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Should TRT be Allowed for Combat Sports Athletes?

Testosterone Replacement Treatment (TRT) has been a hot topic in combat sports over the last couple of years and recently resurfaced again in MMA news. If doctors find it is necessary for a variety of reasons and closely monitored then it is currently legal via exemption but many believe this is cheating and creates an unfair advantage for the athlete using TRT. Most recently in the news was Vitor Belfort who uses TRT and his impressive physique and amazing spinning heel kick knockout of Luke Rockhold at UFC on FX 8 on May 18th in Brazil. Belfort looked like he had been in his best shape in quite a few years and being 36 in the fight game some had to ponder the effects of his TRT use. Click here to read a recent interview by Fighters Only Magazine with Marcio Tannure, the medical director of the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission and the UFC in Brazil who authorized Vitor Belfort's TRT. What do you think, should combat sports athletes be allowed to use TRT if deemed ok by a doctor and commission representative?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Final Four NHL Teams Coincidence or Fixed?

Did anyone else notice that the final four NHL teams vying for the 2013 Stanley Cup are also the last four teams to win the cup? The past four winners were the Los Angeles Kings in 2012, the Boston Bruins in 2011, the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 and the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009. True, these are some of the top and favored teams from the start but is this a strange coincidence or was this manipulated to keep ratings up after a lockout shortened season? The previous lockout cancelled the full 2004-2005 season and it was disastrous for the NHL. A similar disaster was averted even though the season was shortened but good news for the NHL, Playoff ratings are up.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Former Tennis Star Jimmy Connors Wagered on Himself to Win Wimbledon

Former Tennis star Jimmy Connors released his memoir 'The Outsider' last week which touches on his roller coaster career in Tennis and his personal life. Some interesting topics that are touched on is Connors competitiveness along with his gambling habits. He stated that he placed big wagers on himself to win Wimbledon at a London betting house. This is oddly familiar territory like Pete Rose and baseball. I have not read this book yet or know if this is answered in the book so questions remain if he bet on Tennis often, was he always betting on himself and was he always betting on himself to win? Will we see the International Tennis Federation take any action even though Connors is already in the International Tennis Hall of Fame or will history be left in the past?