Category Archives: Sports

MCW Cycling Club Updated

From 2006-2010 I attended the Medical College of Wisconsin. One of the clubs that I started was the CCIG, or Cycling Club Interest Group. I’m now almost 4 years out from graduating from MCW so haven’t really kept up too much with the activities of the club. There’s a ton of great cycling in Southeastern Wisconsin so I hope students continue to utilize the resources on the club’s site, MCW Cycling Club.

I had been hosting a PHP bulletin board, but the hassles of dealing with spam made it difficult to use. I recently transitioned the message board to Google Groups. It is invite only to limit access to current or former students. The message board can be accessed here: MCW Cycling Club Google Group

Open Volleyball in the Greater Milwaukee Area

I recently moved back to the Milwaukee area after living in Des Moines, Iowa for a year. I found some great open volleyball over there. When I came back to Milwaukee I really only knew of one good place to play. After a bunch of Googling and talking to people at the open volleyball places I found, I decided to compose this list of open volleyball locations in the Greater Milwaukee area. Please feel free to let me know of others, and I’ll update this list. All of these places do have a small fee to play. At the bottom of the list are a few local fitness clubs which have open volleyball only available to its members; I’ve played at the WAC open volleyball in the past and it can be quite good.

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Racquet-breaking Outburst

Tennis player Marcos Baghdatis has become quite the Internet sensation after destroying four of his tennis rackets during a temper tantrum in his second-round loss to Stanislas Wawrinka in the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Continue reading: Manufacturer comments on Marcos Baghdatis’ racket-breaking outburst

I used to really like Marcos Baghdatis. He’s from Cyprus and came on the tennis scene in 2006 in a big way with some terrific playing in the Australian Open. He beat Andy Roddick, Ivan Ljubicic, and David Nalbandian, before finally losing to world #1 Roger Federer in the Australian Open finals. Less than two years earlier, I had gone on a 3-week class trip during college to Cyprus. So, while pulling an all-nighter with friends to watch the finals, I was really cheering for Baghdatis. I guess I can see breaking a single racquet in anger…but sitting down, pausing between each racquet, and even breaking two while they are still in their bags is just crazy.

Other tennis players also have had trouble with emotions getting in the way of playing. Here’s what McEnroe said:

In his autobiography, You Cannot Be Serious, McEnroe contested his anger was condoned by tennis officials because it was good for the sport – a sort of comic sideshow of spit and bluster. ”They had a show to put on and my presence put behinds in the seats,” he wrote. ”If I went home they lost money. The tournament directors knew it, and the linesmen knew it. I knew it. The system let me get away with more and more.”

Read more: Tennis brats: temper tantrums nothing new on court

Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood?

Rick Reilly, of the back page columnist in Sports Illustrated fame (now writing for ESPN) just wrote a great article entitled, It’s Mr. Rodgers’ neighborhood now, on Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.

You’re either a Brett Favre man or an Aaron Rodgers man. Can’t be both, same way you can’t be a Sara Lee man and a Slim-Fast man. Not physically possible.

Gotta choose. Which are you?

Rodgers men are patient. Favre men are pissed the microwave is taking so long.

Rodgers men wait for their openings. Favre men make their own openings — with benzene torches.

Rodgers men love that their hero is having the kind of season Favre never had: 31 TDs, four picks (two of those off tips) and becoming the first QB in NFL history to start the season with 10 consecutive games with passer ratings better than 100. The man is playing as if he’s popping “Unlimited” pills.

Favre men don’t want to hear about numbers, unless you’re bringing up MVPs (Favre 3, Rodgers 0) and Super Bowl appearances (Favre 2, Rodgers 1). But that’s just longevity. Rodgers men want to talk about simple, eyeball-bulging greatness: (continue reading…)

Me personally? I like both quarterbacks equally well. However, the Packers have now become Aaron Rodgers’ team. Favre was great for a long time but held out for a few seasons too long. Favre should have retired as a Packer…he’d forever be a legend in Green Bay. He still will be, but it will just take a number of years for the memories of the last few years to go away.

Publicly owned Green Bay Packers

Right before the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl I found this great article that explains how a NFL team in a city of 102,000 people manages to survive and thrive.

The right way? The Green Bay way: Here’s how to fix professional sports in one simple lesson: Use the Packers model

And here’s a snippet from a New Yorker article: Those Non-Profit Packers

The Packers’ unique setup has created a relationship between team and community unlike any in the N.F.L. Wisconsin fans get to enjoy the team with the confidence that their owner won’t threaten to move to Los Angeles unless the team gets a new mega-dome. Volunteers work concessions, with sixty per cent of the proceeds going to local charities. Even the beer is cheaper than at a typical N.F.L. stadium. Not only has home field been sold out for two decades, but during snowstorms, the team routinely puts out calls for volunteers to help shovel and is never disappointed by the response. It doesn’t matter how beloved the Cowboys are in Dallas; if Jerry Jones ever put out a call for free labor, he’d be laughed out of town.

Badgers Beat OSU, the #1 ranked team

Probably the most exciting Badger game that I was at was in 2003 when we ended the Buckeyes 19 game winning streak (off of winning the championship the prior season). I believe they were #2 in the country at that time. Well, I wish I had been at this game because the Wisconsin Badgers just beat Ohio State again, this time with them ranked #1. First time we’ve beaten a #1 since sometime in the 80’s when we beat Michigan.

Here’s a funny Craigslist post that I found on Twitter:

A Salute to all Badgers – From a Wolverine

Greetings and Salutations to all Badger fans
Let me begin by saying that in my younger days I tended bar at an establishment within walking distance of the Big House. I always looked forward to a home game against Wisconsin, because for my money the traveling Badger fans are the best in the Big Ten (Penn State a close second). Always cordial and friendly even after journeying a considerable distance with only the hope of seeing some good football, you are always welcome here in Ann Arbor, as is your football team which is as tenacious as its mascot.

Congratulations on tonight’s vanquishing of the evil Buckeyes, who as we all know are in league with Satan. My condolences to your citizens who will have to clean up the destroyed hotel rooms and mop up the cheap beer vomit inevitably left behind by the cretinous fans of THE Ohio State University after a road loss (what’s with the “the OSU” anway…give me a break). Rest assured that they treat their own squalid trailer homes no better. I’ve always thought that a horde of Orcs would be a refreshing change from the Buckeyes, as they smell better and have a vocabulary larger than “Michigan sucks!!” I guess they say “Wisconsin Sucks!” while in Madison, but since you wear red as well they just may think you’re all OSU fans who didn’t have time to grow a mullet.

To show our appreciation, when you come here Nov. 20 to play the Maize and Blue, we have arranged a most uncommon show of courtesy: During the game, our quarterback(s) will throw the ball to your players, not just once, but several times. You can’t get more courteous than that, at least not during the game.

My high school fight song was sung to the tune of “On Wisconsin”, and I’ve always considered it to be the second best fight song in college football. I’ve also had the pleasure to visit your fair city twice in the past year, and it is indeed as lovely as I had been told, and the bratwurst as tasty could be. If I had to nitpick, I would say that you could do more to discourage your young men from growing those ill-considered whaling captain beards, (I was there once in the winter), but the folly of youth is easily excused.

Best wishes to all Badger faithful in all your endeavors, except of course the one day a year when our teams meet. I know we haven’t been giving you much of a game lately, but give it a couple of years. By that time we will have cast aside the faddish spread offense, and the legendary Michigan Man Jim Harbaugh will have returned to lead us to smash-mouth Big Ten glory once again. That day cannot come soon enough.


A Wolverine

p.s. Go Blue!

MCW Cycling Club site

I just updated the MCW Cycling Club site. Previously, it ran completely from my own hosting service. This worked okay, but required a lot of work to add new pages since I was literally doing the HTML coding by hand. My experiences using the WYSIWUG editors are that they add a bunch of code that destroys the readability. Anyway, I was looking for something simple and went ahead with transferring the data to Google Sites. In the past, Google Sites didn’t offer much ability to customize, however, a lot has now changed. After switching the CNAME to point to Google, the switch was seamless. It looks pretty good and will be much easier to update. I can even add collaborators to help me with posting club events and updating the bike routes. This will be tremendous as I will be leaving for a year. The only thing still running on my hosting package is the punBB forum. It would be terrific if there would be a way to host that within Google Sites as well.

Check out the new site: MCW Cycling Club

Running with route mapping for iPhone

So I haven’t been updating this blog much, but I’ll begin again soon once I’m less busy. My update for today is that I’ve begun carrying my iPhone with me during runs. Not to listen to music, but for mapping my routes using the builtin GPS. I’ve tried iMapMyRun and RunKeeper so far. Both have free and paid versions for the iPhone. (I’m carrying the iPhone in my hand, which isn’t exactly the greatest solution compared to having it attached to my arm). I had used mapmyride (same company and website) before to look for bike rides in the area. It used to be really nice for biking because you could look for routes or create your own and then print out the maps with turn cue sheets. It worked great. However, it has now gotten quite commercial and lost a lot of the initial ease of use and charm that the original site had. It has, though, grown into a much larger fitness community. Many of the good features now are only available with a monthly subscription. And the free version includes a ton of advertising. RunKeeper looks much simplier, but is just as powerful. It doesn’t yet have cue sheets (most likely because it started off just for running). On the activities page you get a google maps view of the route; below that you get a graph showing a overlay of how speed varied with elevation over the course of the route. And below that there is a section for notes and mileage splits with elevation gained or lost. Both apps allow “live” tweets during the run, however only imapmyrun allows you to customize these tweets from within the app. RunKeeper will tweet automatically for you but you cannot yet add your own comments or include the pace. It does, though, provide a shortened URL link to your RunKeeper public profile (see below), which displays the route and other info that you choose to make public.

Link to MapMyRun route.

Link to RunKeeper route.

I think I’m going to stay with RunKeeper because of how well the app works and because of the simplicity of the website.

Twitter: Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel

So I don’t completely understand the idea of letting people know your exact status all the time (primarily because it must take a ton of time to keep it updated), but in this case, the concept is really cool. (Also, to keep your Twitter page, you would most definitely need an iPhone, Blackberry, or another capable phone in order to do the updates when away from the computer.)

From yesterday. Why the 28 in the back is a good idea. on TwitPic

Lance Armstrong and Astana manager Johan Bruyneel are on Twitter! It is a pretty sweet way to stay updated on their training. The photo above was their Twitter page. I look forward to following their updates. Go Lance!

Original Tour de France

As you know, the Tour de France began in 1903 as some sort of wild-hair publicity scheme for the sports daily L’Auto, a paper that eventually evolved into what is now L’Equipe. The race differed remarkably from the one we know and love today. The original Tour could probably best be described as a synthesis of a modern stage race, that exercise in sleep deprivation known as the Race Across America (RAAM) and a mountain bike race, held under original NORBA rules.

Like the Tour, it was a stage race. Like RAAM, the first Tour was an individual sport, with no cooperation between riders allowed. Like an old NORBA race, riders were completely on their own, required to provide their own support and mechanical assistance.

The 1903 Tour de France was 2468 kilometers (editor: 1534 miles), but involved only six stages. These things were monsters, ranging from the shortest ? Stage 4’s 268km (editor: 167 miles) run from Toulouse to Bordeaux ? to the longest, Stage 6 from Nantes to Paris at 471km (editor: 293 miles). (Obviously, the Tour’s tradition of turning the final stage into a victory parade for the overall leader hadn’t yet taken hold.) Instead of one or two formal rest days as we now see, the 1903 Tour’s stages were separated by gaps of several days. The 1903 Tour began in Paris in July 1 and ended in Paris on July 19.

You can see from the finishing times that things must have been quite different than they are today. Frenchman Maurice Garin won the first Tour, with an impressive time of 94 hours, 33 minutes and 14 seconds. Lucien Pothier finished second, two hours and 49 minutes behind the winner. If you think that’s a substantial time gap, keep in mind that there was a whopping 63-hour gap between the first and 20th-place finishers. They’d obviously not come up with the concept of a time cut, either, leaving attrition to make those calls. Indeed, of the 60 starters, only 21 finished.

Continue reading: Velonews | The Explainer – Disqualified!