Skip to content

All Hands on Deck

I used to watch pro bowling on TV all the time when it was on ABC back in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, and I was familiar with all the big-name pin-bashers of that era. But I’ve fallen out of touch with the pro game in recent years and can no longer identify most of the big names.

So imagine my surprise on Sunday afternoon when I attended a friend’s birthday party at a bar whose TV was showing ESPN’s broadcast of the PBA Tournament of Champions, which was won by a guy named Jason Belmonte. Belmonte, it turns out, is a major player on the pro tour these days — 13 PBA titles, including five majors, after Sunday’s win — but I’d never seen or heard of him before. Once I got a look at him, though, I went bonkers, grabbing everyone I knew at the bar (and several people I didn’t know) and saying, “Look, look at this guy!”

The key to Belmonte’s style is that his ball doesn’t have a thumb hole, so he only has his middle and ring fingers in the ball. I’ve see other bowlers do this — it’s a way to get more revolutions and therefore more hook on the ball — but Belmonte adds an extra wrinkle: He holds the ball with both hands and kinda slings or shovels it down the lane, sort of the bowling version of Rick Barry’s two-handed free throw. Dig:

It looks awkward and seems like it would be hard to control, but Belmonte has mastered it — he’s no novelty act. And unlike other two-finger bowlers I’ve seen, all of whom have switched to a conventional three-finger grip when attempting to pick up a spare, Belmonte sticks with the two-finger grip for his second ball.

I don’t usually like the idea of athletes having personal logos. But Belmonte’s style is so distinctive that his logo — an unmistakable silhouette of his two-handed style, which he wears on his shirt — seems warranted:

He also has the logo on his ball, but I wasn’t able to find a good photo of that.

Interestingly, Belmonte is Australian — a rarity on the PBA tour, where almost all the players are American. The only other elite non-American player I can recall is Amleto Monacelli, a Venezuelan who was arguably the best player in the world for part of the 1990s, although I imagine there have been others. Anyway: Belmonte definitely puts a new visual spin on his sport.

•  •  •  •  •

You can’t spell “The Greatest” without “U” and “A,” or something: Very surprised to hear the news yesterday that Under Armour has struck a deal with Authentic Brands Group — the operation that owns and administers all the licensing rights to Muhammad Ali’s name and image — to come out with an Ali “lifestyle apparel” product line (beginning with this T-shirt, which launched yesterday).

Obviously, Ali is one of the most compelling athletes of the 20th century. But he’s also 73-year-old testament to how contact sports can inflict traumatic brain injury — a hot topic these days. Moreover, boxing seems like too much of a legacy sport for Under Armour, which feels more like an MMA company. Then again, UA has a Bruce Lee product line, so maybe they’re not as strictly youth-oriented as I perceive them to be.

If you want to feel just a little bit ill, check Nick Woodhouse, president and chief marketing officer of Authentic Brand Group, describes the deal: “Under Armour is irreverent, disruptive, they pivot quickly and they’re explosive. Those words also speak to Ali and how he changed the game.”

Think he worked enough buzz-clichés into that sentence? , thank the lordy Ali’s heyday was before the era of douchebag lifestyle marketing.

• • • • •

Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik

Today is the NBA trade deadline! Like most NBA fans, I’ll be refreshing Reddit and Twitter and keeping my eye on the ESPN crawl all afternoon, waiting to see if any blockbusters are made. I’m so excited — it’s one of my favorite days of the basketball season, and it isn’t even about an actual game being played.

What’s your favorite non-game-related event of the sports year? I’m talking about the NFL and NBA drafts, Selection Sunday, the Heisman Trophy presentation, the baseball trade deadline, Hall of Fame inductions or announcements, the ESPYs, MVP announcements — that type of thing. What do you like about it? What do you do for it? Do you get together with others? Ever attended anything in person? Chat online with other fans? Is there any aesthetic, uniform-related aspect you enjoy about the day, if applicable?

I’m a big geek for the NBA Draft Lottery. I like the team reveals on the poster board cards, I like the drama around landing the top pick. I enjoy the pomp and circumstance, like the intros to all the team representatives sitting onstage. It’s an excellent silver lining to your team missing the playoffs.

As always, post your answers in today’s comments. Thanks.

• • • • •

T-Shirt Club reminder: The Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s March design, inspired by St. Patrick’s Day, remains available from now through next Monday. Full details here, or just go straight to the ordering page.

Raffle reminder: I’m currently raffling off the chance to design your own custom baseball bat. Full details here.

• • • • •

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: The Pirates are using matte black helmets for spring training. … The Brooklyn Dodgers (who were the Robins at the time) were considering the nickname “Canaries” in 1931. … The Nationals have a few bobblehead days planned for their 10th-anniversary season, with each promotion honoring a great moment in Nats history (from Tommy Turner). … New logo for the West Virginia Black Bears, the Pirates’ short-season single-A affiliate (from Phil). … The Astros produced an awesome program in the mid-1960s. What a different era (from Cort McMurray). … Here’s a breakdown of Kansas’s uniforms from over the years (from Phil). … New uniforms for the Mount Pisgah Christian School, a high school in Atlanta (from John O’Connor). … Nicholls State wore what looks to be two different shades of grey last night (from Phil). … The NCAA has prohibited chrome softball helmets (from Phil). … At the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, Nick Douglas caught a Tom Glavine bear that was tossed from a float. “Probably the strangest thing I’ve caught at a Mardi Gras parade,” he says. “Even stranger was that it was dirty coming off the float, as if it had been on the ground and then thrown.” … Aaron Husul sends in some screenshots from 1891’s Baseball by Newton Crane, an ebook on Google Play. … MLB historian John Thorn posted a photo of the 1888 Indianapolis Hoosiers posing at the West End Grounds in Boston (from Jonathan Daniel). … Sandy Koufax talked about the Pirates and Mets’ uniforms during this 1972 NBC baseball telecast (thanks, John Philips). … Matt Ryburn was going through his 1991 Topps collection and found a few cards that we might find interesting: The White Sox in throwbacks, Curt Schilling during his Orioles stint, and ballplayers in glasses. ”¦ Fashion Week oddity: a dress made of baseballs (from Phil).

Football News: The Titans had a backwards helmet logo in the loading screen for NFL Blitz 2000. Timely realization, I know. … Beware for the easily squeamish, but Jublia, who makes a toenail fungus medication, has a football-themed ad (from Douglas Ford). … Fun While it Lasted has some new reviews of their last couple WFL Football Card Sets (from Bill Jones). … Carl Schultz came across two wonderful vintage pennants the other day. … A Canadian university is limiting the number of uniforms its team can wear (from Phil).

Hockey News: In 1979, Guy Lafleur put out a disco album. (That, by the way, is the most 1979 sentence ever written.) Here it is, along with some good album photos of him in uniform (from Mike Styczen). … College of Faith, a ministry using college sports as an evangelizing tool, uses one of the Sabres’ old alternate logos. “I guess they missed the part of the Bible that states, ‘Thou shalt not steal,'” says Andrew Jobe. … Senators goalie Andrew Hammond has a combo of the Hamburglar and Alfred E. Neuman on his mask (good spot by Matt Larsen).

Soccer News: UEFA didn’t allow Real Madrid to wear its black dragon shirts yesterday, so they wore pink alternates instead (from Phil). … The Colorado Rapids are looking for a new jersey sponsor (from Phil).

NBA News: Former Trail Blazers F Jerome Kersey, who passed away on Wednesday, was one of the relatively few NBA players to wear a captain’s “C” (from Mike Engle).

College and High School Hoops News: Arizona State retired James Harden’s number. … Georgia Regents University will wear camo on Saturday. … Couple of women’s hoops notes from Jesse Gavin: Division III schools Wartburg and Dubuque went color vs. color over the weekend, and one of the Wartburg players wore a mask. Also, the River Ridge-Scales Mound high school team has both the program’s initials and nickname on the front of its jerseys. … Fordham wore pink unis and Dayton wore camo shooting shirts in the schools’ womens basketball matchup last night (from Pat Costello). … An ESPN graphic referred to Syracuse as the Orangemen last night. The school changed the name to just the Orange in 2004 (from Tony DiRubbo).

Grab Bag: Formula One is barring drivers from changing helmet designs during the year. The rule isn’t for safety (like with the NFL’s “one helmet” rule); it’s for easier racer identification. “I am totally in favor of this, as the helmet does aid those of us watching on TV, and presumably at the track, in identifying the drivers, particularly teammates driving otherwise identically-painted machinery,” says Andrew Jobe. “It’s hard to keep track when certain drivers change up their designs every other race.” … Stanislaw Olechowski sends in an excellent curling photo, from the Curling Club on Lake Loch Leven, Kinross, Scotland, in 1959. … New logo for the city of Minneapolis (from Craig Van Someren). … Vintage memorabilia from Disney theme parks are up for auction (from Tommy Turner). … New logo for the National Watermelon Association. ”¦ Scotland’s cricket uniform has tartan-patterned sleeves (from Vasav Swaminathan).

• • • • •

What Paul did last night: There have been a few periods in my life when I spent a lot of time poking around in abandoned buildings (including, as longtime readers may recall, a 2010 trip to check out the ruin-porn of Detroit). But for whatever reason, I’ve never done any of this type of exploration in my own city — only on the road.

But that doesn’t mean there are no abandoned buildings worth exploring here in New York. For the past three years a photographer named Will Ellis has been documenting his visits to such buildings on his website, Abandoned NYC, and now he has a new book of the same title. Last night he was giving a presentation less than a mile from my house, so I went to check him out.

The presentation was great — awesome photos, interesting stories. But the real treat was Ellis himself. I’ve known a few of these serious urban explorers over the years, and they tend to be badass anarcho-artist types. Ellis, though, comes off as sincere, unaffected, and humble — a sweet, normal guy. You could totally bring him home to meet your parents and they’d love him (although they’d probably wonder why he spends so much time inside abandoned buildings).

Anyway: Ellis’s website and book are both worth checking out, so get on that, right? Right.

Comments (135)

    I am surprised ESPN is not getting more public scrutiny for graphically using the racist name “Orangemen”. I am sure people would be all over them if it was “Redmen”. Double standard.

    John Boehner? But is it really a racial issue of the “race” in question only consists of one guy?

    One of the lists I keep is a registry of acceptable flesh tones for college mascots. OK: Purple, grey, green, blue, orange. Off-Limits: Black, white, red, yellow, brown, pink. I’m pretty sure Syracuse was in a rather touchy mood when they were prevailed on to change their “offensive” mascot.

    The argument probably went, “To call a team the Yellowmen or the Redmen is disgraceful, so Orangemen is doubly bad!”

    Orangemen isn’t racist. It’s link (and obviously gender exclusive).

    It’s funny how long they managed to skate by in a region with a relatively high Catholic populace and in a conference with a core of Catholic universities.

    “If Orangemen is anti-cathloic, I’m all for keeping it!”


    Dude. WTF?

    Also, I believe it’s spelled “catholic”

    Because most people knew it to be a reference to the school color and not an association with the Orange Order. The problem was the use of the American Indian mascot, the Saltine Warrior b

    Crap, how did I forget about *that* particular piece of identity?

    And to be clear, I was only half serious about the Orange Order business. I don’t think Syracuse has made a point of taking sides in sectarian struggles or declared allegiance to the British throne.

    I just found it amusing in context of its rivalries with schools like Georgetown and St. John’s, and its positioning itself as “New York’s College Team”.

    I believe the 11th commandment is: Thou shalt never speak of bowling on television without somehow mentioning Chris Schenkel.

    Yes. This always brings back memories of my Grandfather and I watching bowling together.

    The toe fungus ad aired during the Super Bowl. I was going to mention then (but didn’t get a screen shot) because the face is on the wrong side of the toe!!


    (and it’s lame)

    At Arena Football games around the turn of the millenium, I remember Tinactin’s sponsorship. (So I guess it worked!)

    There were no incredibly graphic ads on the Jumbotron, just fairly undetailed, exterior images incorporating, I think, a fireman sort of theme, in stopping that burning feeling.

    And there were tug-of-war contests to get half the stands chanting for “their” side, the “Tough Actin'” v. the “Tinactin”. Not a bad job of getting people to remember your slogan.

    (I have no idea if the product worked, but I don’t need it.)

    The Formula 1 “one helmet” rule is ridiculous. If they want to make it easier to identify the drivers, maybe they could actually have useful car numbers displayed on the car.

    Last season was the first where driver’s personal numbers were on the cars. This reeks of a money grab rule. If a driver incorporated an official sponsor in the helmet design, you betcha’ there would be no “problem”. Anyways, with cars careening along at close to 200 mph, who can really focus on the helmet as the driver sits so low in the car to begin with.

    Why not just mandate that the driver’s name appear at the top of the helmet visor is some standardized fort or format?
    Would such a rule render that space no longer ‘for sale’?

    QotW: My first choice for non-game sporting events starts tomorrow: the NFL Scouting Combine. Something oddly fun about watching linemen run the 40.

    Second choice: the NFL, NHL and NBA Drafts. I don’t even care about the NBA, but as the Boston Sports Guy has written, “There’s comedy, there’s high comedy, and there’s the NBA Draft.”

    Re: the Guy Lafleur item, former NHL player and coach Jim Schoenfeld released an eponymous album (mostly covers) in the early ’70s, although it didn’t feature him in uniform. In fact, the one original song of his on that album, “Before,” has become a bit of a cult classic, albeit more for its haunting, otherworldly atmosphere than for its vapid sentimentality (particularly hilarious given his on-ice personality as an enforcer). Well worth a listen:

    Rick Dudley beat Lafleur by a couple of years as he released his self-financed indie ’45 in ’74-75 with two songs on it – Natural Man and I Don’t Want To Cry.

    It’s very ’70s AM radio stuff, but it appears all records of these two songs have been yanked from the Internet.

    QotW: For me this is easy, my favorite sporting events in all of sports are the NFL Draft and Combine. I love more than any championship game or anything else related to sports. I tell my college football fans friends that I only care about college football if you are a red shirt sophomore or a true junior because that means you can be drafted by my team. I watch every second of both events and my wife things I am nuts but she does leave me alone to watch them undisturbed (I am a lucky man in that regard). Plus this is the time of year were new uniforms and logos are reviled or confirmed so more things to enjoy about the Combine and Draft.

    I’d have thought there would be rules in bowling about having to make use of the holes in the ball (or at least have the obligatory three), unless physically unable, in order to level the playing field. It seems Belmonte’s style – with its added movement on the ball – is the bowling equivalent of a spitball. Does the lack of thumb hole add to this movement? Hmmmm…

    Interesting point…as someone who once was an advanced bowler, I know that when holes are drilled in the ball, it creates weight imbalances that can cause the ball to hook more or less. That is because there is a weight block under the label. I believe there are limits to how much top weight or side weight a ball can have once drilled. With no holes, how do they legislate that?

    There are rules and Belmo does drill a thumb hole…here’s a great article on Belmo’s latest win with a pic of his equipment…link

    “thank the lordy Ali’s heyday was before the era of douchebag lifestyle marketing.”

    Ha! Thanks Paul, that’s good stuff. Tho methinks Ali would have been in the driver’s seat calling the shots instead of the flipside we have today.

    All of Scotland national-team sportery can stop now and just adopt that cricket jersey, or its sport-appropriate equivalent, across the board. That’s just about the most Scotlandy of all possible Scotland shirts.

    New Minneapolis logo: Much better, but still not very good. There was nothing wrong, really, with the sailboat emblem in the old logo, but the typography was distinctly terrible for a city kind of known for its design and creative work. Much improved typography in the new logo, but the new sailboat emblem is even less connected to anything about the city’s identity than the old one. Plus, it appears to be sailing through grass. At least the old sailboat emblem connected by implication to the Twin Cities.

    I’m an easy touch for ruin porn. Does anybody live more than a mile from one or two things in an advanced state of decay?

    Too bad there is not a WPA-type program to clear some of these ruins and construct something useful like affordable housing.

    I think it is interesting that “Canaries” is an anagram of “Canarsie” which is in Brooklyn. Do you think that had anything to do with it?

    If you read the article…
    Inspiration was provided by the fact that Max Carey was taking over as the new manager. An English professor at the University of Southern California produced:

    “philological reasons why the Robins should be re-nicknamed the ‘Canaries.’ According to this gentleman, Max Carey’s original name–Carnarius–springs from the same Latin root as ‘canary.’”

    The October 9, 1931 Sporting News was serious about “Canaries,” noting the fact that “(it) sounds well, and the Brooklyn boys might even become Golden Canaries, if the proper attention were given to the choice of colors for their uniforms.”

    QotW: It’s not every year, but I love the drawing for the World Cup where nations find out what group they’re assigned to. Twitter just lights up with people going crazy when their country winds up in a tough or easy group. It never works out as we expect, but there’s always a moment where people start pronouncing the winner based solely on the group draw.

    I loved how so many people pronounced the U.S. dead as soon as the draw came out. I’m like, “Wait, we’re scared of Portugal?”

    Not as widely followed as the World Cup draw, but more frequent cousins are the Champions League group stage draw and the knockout stage draw. It’s always *your* team that gets screwed and your rivals who get the cupcakes.

    I remember watching Belmonte during his rookie campaign during the 08-09 season. I bowled a bit in high school, but was never the greatest. But my friends and I would literally seek out ESPN’s coverage of Belmonte because of his awesome style. It was crazy he could bowl that way.

    Glad you got to discover this trailblazer, and glad someone else was as excited as I was when I discovered him a few years back.

    QotW: Baseball Hall of Fame announcement, and the few days beforehand. Especially now that I’ve actually seen most candidates for most or all of their careers. Comes at just the right time, too, sort of the winter solstice when it seems like it’s been forever since the World Series and Spring Training still seems forever away.

    The Brooklyn Canaries thing is so fascinating. It’s strange that they didn’t have an official name throughout much of their existence. Can you imagine that today? You just start a team and call them whatever prevails among the fans or sportswriters. That would be insanity.

    I don’t know…I think a name that comes from the fans could be a good thing. You might be right about the sportswriters, though.

    I know a lot of teams have had Name The Team contest throughout the years, but some of the ones I’ve noticed went like this: Owner/management offers the name they want, along with three really crappy alternatives. Fans vote, and of course they’ll take the one the owner wants. It may be good PR but it isn’t real.

    Expansion teams should consider going nameless. Think of the buildup as the fans form a consensus for a nickname. Teams could milk that for a while as they wait for their players to reach a competitive level.

    I would fear that once you break the assumption that a team has to have a nickname more or less the moment it begins to operate as a publicly visible business, how long until it occurs to owners to sell naming rights to the team itself? Days? Hours? The first expansion team to try to organic name thing might end up as the Las Vegas Silver Sox, but the second and all subsequent teams to do this will just wind up as the Charlotte Duke Energy Dukes.

    Yeah, but much as I love the sport, MLS isn’t really a top-level league in America. I’m not worried about the Red Bulls precedent affecting the Big Four leagues any more than if a minor-league hockey team did the same.

    They were the B’ars before they were the Bears. They took the Bears name for two reasons:

    1) Sports reporters in New York City called the club the Bears of Penn’s Woods on a few occasions when they played in Madison Square Garden during their amateur days.

    2) The B’ars name was considered too commercial by most standards of the time.


    I am a big fan of the WWE Hall of Fame Inductions. The montages and speeches send goosebumps through my body. I wish there was a free standing museum with their ring gear. It’s sad to say that most of those guys don’t own that stuff anymore because they probably sold a lot to get by.

    WWE still has a lot of stuff stored away in a warehouse. They’ve been supposedly working on a physical Hall of Fame for some time. Reportedly, it’s going to be in Orlando (home of developmental territory NXT) somewhere at Universal Studios Florida and be more of an attraction than a historical museum. This seems to be in line with at least the NFL Hall of Fame (I link to call it the Pro Football Hall of Fame.) and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, both of which I’ve been to and seem to be more or less tourist attractions than museums. I’m going to the Hockey Hall of Fame in June, wonder where that one will fall under.

    That would be very cool. I’d love to see stuff they have stored away. Any Hall of Fame or museum is pretty much a tourist attraction anyway. I’m ok with that. It takes money to make anything happen.

    I enjoyed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    QotW: The NBA Draft Lottery and Draft- it is especially enjoyable when you are a Bulls fan during the early 90’s and you get to revel in other teams’ miseries and false hopes. Also, the Olympics Opening Ceremony- it is very awe-inspiring. Beijing was one of the best TV events ever.

    I like the NBA draft. Went to a fan draft party once, and attended a media draft day event. Don’t know if I’d go anywhere now to watch it now, but it’s fun to watch on TV or online.

    Not a big fan of the lottery though.

    Also dig the Olympic opening/closing ceremonies.

    Other than those, I pretty much just want to watch the games.

    The Baby Bulls Era was fine with me. The problem with Chicago’s local media coverage is that they’re very patronizing (hence the infantisizing nickname). No one wants to acknowledge that it was Paxson’s micromanaging that screwed that whole era up- not the players.

    Re: Sandy Koufax comments

    I don’t remember much from 1972…but I do remember Bob Murphy always making a big deal about the new double-knit uniforms on Met radio broadcasts.

    “Jublia, who makes a toenail fungus medication…”

    link is the name of the medication. Valeant Pharmaceuticals (at page bottom) is the manufacturer. As you can see, Valeant also promotes Jublia with boxing-themed advertising.


    I don’t know if this counts as a non-game event since it happens right after a game, but I always appreciate the end-of-season lap of honor in soccer. You do it whether you win the league or finish in relegation zone, the players take a lap around the field, usually with kids in tow, applauding the fans.

    In an age where mega-clubs are increasingly detached from their own cities, it’s a tradition that makes it feel like the players and supporters are part of one community.

    Oh, and championship parades. There’s always some level of goofiness and probably some drunkenness.

    QotW – NFL Draft. We have parties for that, if for no other reason than to have the guys over.

    #2 – NFL Free Agency day. I’m glued to the TV in my office and get worked up over nothing I can control.

    I do not envy the GM’s on either one of these days but as a fan…

    QotW: Transfer Deadline Day, World Cup and FA Cup draws, hockey and baseball trade deadlines.

    QotW: Pitchers & catcher report. Makes me feel like, no matter how cold it is or how much snow is on the ground, spring and summer are just around the corner.

    The Titans had a backwards helmet logo in the loading screen for NFL Blitz 2000.

    Which version of the game is that? I’ve got Blitz 2000 on PC, and the entire loading screen is different. The Titans helmet is fine, but their in-game uniforms are wrong, with the helmet and pants both being metallic silver instead of white.

    I found it on YouTube, so it could either be a cabinet arcade version of the game, or a foreign edition.

    I mentioned this to Phil yesterday on Twitter after I saw Al Jazerra America retweet it from someone else, but if people here didn’t already think that Nike does a lot of douchebaggery, you should see what they’re doing for link Granted, the month is almost over at this point, but it’s still worth mentioning. Anything to make money.

    I’m not sure how Nike “celebrating” (honoring?) BHM is any different than anything else they do. Not quite sure what your objection is to this.

    If it’s just to Nike being Nike, OK fine, but I don’t have a problem with them wanting to make a sneaker for BHM. I don’t see how this is any more douchebagish than anything else they’ve done.

    I also dislike athletes having personal logos, mainly because they are usually wind up being some lazy design where the player’s initials are merged together, and then the number is “cleverly” worked in there somehow.

    QOTW: Can’t believe it’s this far in the day and no one’s replied “New uniform unveilings, of course!”

    Why would I get excited? I know I am just going to be sad & disappointed.

    I am actually dreading the Browns unveiling.


    QotW: if it has to be every year, then UEFA Champions League Group Stage Draw; but the biggest non-game day event is the World Cup Draw (every four years). Both create a buzz and anticipation that lead up to the event, almost a year’s worth for the World Cup.

    1. The Guy Lafleur album – once I submitted the item to Paul I realized I hadn’t checked eBay. One impulse click later, a near-mint version on its way to my house. I’ll put up some better photos when it arrives!

    2. What is the deal with toenail fungus ads? Who else remembers the WORST corporate ad mascot of all time, Digger the Dermatophyte???


    QoTW: For me it is the NHL Trade Deadline.

    A few weeks ago the Question of the Week had to do with old sports facilities. I mentioned my high school, Eastside High School, had what we called the “Old Gym” from the 1930’s that we still used for various functions including Middle School basketball and volleyball games. It is something straight out of the movie Hoosiers. The Varsity and JV use the gym at the new high school. Well, it just so happened that just this week my high school held what they called a “Throwback Night” where the Varsity and JV played their games in the old gym. Unfortunately, they missed a great opportunity for throwback uniforms, but it’s a small school with a small budget. Anyway, there are a few still photos and some highlights where you can see the old gym and get the general idea of the look of the gym.



    I love how he throws open the toenail like it’s the hood of a car. Good Lord… must there be a mascot for everything? We’ve got nail fungus creatures, anthropomorphic pill bottles and the Mucinex Booger-man. I’m just praying the Immodium and Tampax folks don’t get any ideas.

    Re: Belmonte. I’ve seen this guy bowl on ESPN on Saturday or Sunday afternoons for some time now. It is a very weird style but he does well with it. So about a year ago I’m in my bowling league, and there is a kid in high school bowling a few lanes down using the same exact technique and was doing quite well with it.

    As for the bowling with two fingers, (middle & ring, which I do except with a normal delivery) I’ve been told the rule is that you must either have fingers in the holes, or the hole must be covered during your wind up. Because of the way I hold the ball during wind up my palm covers the thumb hole.

    That was awesome. Thanks for sharing that.

    And thanks for today’s article, Paul. I hadn’t heard of Belmonte either. I miss bowling.

    I used to be quite into the NFL draft. But as with everything apparently, the NFL had to bloat the event to the extent I just can’t even anymore.
    Still definitely check who got selected by whom, but do nothing to go out of my way to watch it anymore. Who’s got time for that??

    The only other thing I can think of is the World Cup draw. But again, I just follow that on Facebook, as someone will post all of the draws, I don’t watch the actual presentation (speaking of bloat).


    Qotw: For me, it’s the NFL draft. All optimism, new beginnings, etc. As a Jets fan, that’s all we have… also, it particularly fun to see Jets fans booing the first pick, regardless of who it is. If they picked Christ reincarnated fans would complain about the team picking someone who hasn’t walked the earth in thousands of years.

    Ditto on that. In addition to the main event, the NFL draft day is also the day where most big NFL trades occur and when many of the new uni elements get their debut.

    QOTW: My dad has long referred to the NCAA Basketball Tournament’s Selection Sunday as a “holy day of obligation,” and he brought me up to think of it the same way. Even after I grew up and moved out on my own, my dad and I have continued a tradition of watching the show “together.”

    Nowadays, we’ll watch the broadcast in our respective living rooms, college-ruled notepad and pen in hand to fill in roughly sketched brackets as the teams and match-ups are announced. We’ll call each other during or immediately after the selection show and start making our off-the-cuff predictions.

    My favorite Selection Sunday came in 2004. The Air Force Academy won the Mountain West for its first-ever conference championship in program history but lost in the first round of the conference tournament. Despite a glossy 22-6 overall record, the Falcons were considered a bubble team for the NCAA Tournament.

    My dad and I watched the selection show at a sports bar in northern Colorado Springs where the Air Force team gathered to learn their tournament fate. The event drew a large crowd, who gave the players a standing ovation as they filed in to watch the selection show.

    It was a big deal in Colorado Springs, with a couple of the local news stations sending camera crews to cover the event. I was among a few fans interviewed for a feature on Air Force’s Selection Sunday prospects.

    Tensions ran high as three-quarters of the bracket had been revealed without Air Force’s name being called. Finally, Air Force was announced as a #11 seed in one of the last announcements. The entire bar erupted in wild cheers, more boisterous than many championship celebrations I’ve seen. A long-suffering loyal fan sitting near me was in tears. I turned to give him a high five and he pulled me in for a back-slapping bear hug like long-lost friends who’d been in the war together.

    Air Force lost their first tournament game to North Carolina. After a few more good years that included another one-and-done NCAA appearance, the Falcons descended back into college basketball obscurity. But I will never forget how much just hearing their team’s name announced meant to that assembly of players and fans that one day over a decade ago.

    I used to look forward to going to the Philadelphia NHL team Wives Fight for Lives Carnival…a fun afternoon out supporting charity.
    I attended for several years, but once I moved outside of the city (and my interest in hockey waned) I stopped going.

    QoTW: In no specific order (and the first two I’m sure are on most folks lists).

    1. NCAA basketball (mens) tournament bracket announcement
    2. NCAA basketball (women) tournament bracket announcement
    3. NCAA hockey tournament braket announcement for the “Frozen Four”

    I also tend to keep an eye out on MLB and NHL trade deadline day.

    One man’s take on getting The Game to be color-on-color.

    I would love to have this happen. I am tired of one or both teams wearing uniforms “honoring” past teams. Just wear your home uniforms, which are both classics regardless of your or my affiliation, and call it a day.

    Which looks better?

    This: link

    or This: link (not in color but you get the point)

    Good responses, everyone. It’s great that sports provides these little pleasures on days where, basically, nothing is going on.

    With Andre Miller heading to Sacramento, he’ll have worn a crapload of uniform combinations over his career.

    Here’s what I know he’s worn:
    * LA Clippers home white/road red
    * Denver Nuggets home white/road powder blue/alternate navy blue/alternate gold/ABA throwback/Christmas alternate
    * Philadelphia 76ers home white/road black/alternate red/throwback white
    * Portland Trailblazers home white/road black/alternate red/Rip City alternate
    * Washington Wizards home white/road red/alternate navy/Christmas alternate

    That’s 20, and he’ll likely add at least three more in Sacramento.

    He was with the Cavs during their black, orange & light blue era…both the awful and the not so bad versions. So that’s at least four more uniforms.

    Oh, I forgot about the Cavs. Though if I’m not mistaken, he got there in 1999, right after they switched from the godawful black and blue duds.

    I volunteer with youth bowling at my local center, and Belmonte’s two handed style is taking over. Its more than just revolutions. The top hand is used for guidance, so the bottom hand can be used for lift and greater ball speed. Unlike most who attempt the one-handed, no thumb style, the two-handers can overpower drier lane conditions.

    QOTD’s an easy one – the FA Cup draw, especially in the later rounds. OK, so it happens multiple times, once per round, but the excitement and anticipation of seeing whether lower-league clubs getting matched up with Premier League giants gets me every time.

    “College of Faith, a ministry using college sports as an evangelizing tool, link. ‘I guess they missed the part of the Bible that states, “Thou shalt not steal,”‘ says Andrew Jobe.”

    I’m skeptical about whether the College of Faith has ever actually used that Sabres logo for any of its official branding. It doesn’t appear anywhere on its link, where another couple of logos are prominently featured. And the only place the logo shows up in a link of the team’s name is in the exact same photo that is part of link on the College of Faith, which is likely where Andrew spotted it in the first place. Interesting that none of the other images in the story show that logo.

    You’ll notice in the photo, the logo itself is in a frame as if it was meant to be displayed in an office or something. It also has the “TM” symbol in the lower right hand corner, as if somebody grabbed an image off the internet and tinkered with it by adding a wordmark at the top. I wonder if this was a DIY that somebody made for a member of the College of Faith coaching staff for personal use (in which case it would probably not constitute trademark infringement or “stealing”).

    Heck….if you count the hat with the shirt and pants, my alma mater looked to have 3 different shades of gray on. link

    My guess is that the gray pants are their normal away pants while the gray jerseys were meant to be worn at home over white pants (school colors are red and gray).

    QOTW: My favorite is the NBA Draft Lottery. There’s so much fun to the whole event including seeing who is representing each team.

    The 1993 Lottery is my favorite. I remember being at my dad’s store and trying to watch lottery on 6″ TV in the back office. First card came up and it was supposed to be Orlando but instead it was Detroit. Problem was the screen was so small I couldn’t tell the difference and the sound was going in and out. It was a crazy moment when I finally figured out that Orlando had jumped into the top 3.

    I also loved the 2003 lottery when it got down to final 2 between Cavs and Grizzlies. Grizzlies had #1 protected pick but Cavs end up with their hometown LeBron and Pistons suddenly get the #2 pick. I remember thinking how crazy it will be to add Carmelo to an already solid Pistons team.

    As a Lakers fan, 2015 lottery will either be my new favorite lottery or biggest nightmare if they drop to 6 and lose the pick.

    If I’m remembering right, the Draft Lottery used to just be at halftime of an NBA playoff game, which I thought was pretty cool. Now it’s its own stand alone prime time show.

    QOTW: Lately, I’ve also loved July 1 for the first day of NBA free agency. Ever since The Decision and seeing big stars like Bosh and LeBron changing teams, NBA free agency has been a frantic week every year.

    Yep, July 1 is when the big moves happen. There’s something cool about seeing a star player posing with an unfamiliar jersey.

    NBA players also sign much earlier in the free agency period than MLB and NFL players do, so I agree that July 1 (sometimes even just after midnight that day) is a fun time.

    Guessing Deeyoung has an eager publicist working for them.

    That’s a whole lot of clicks for uninspired pixel-pushing and borrowed interest.


    Really surprised no one has said this, but my favorite non-sports sports event is the opening ceremony for the Olympics. The fanfare, artistry, uniforms, background stories, excitement on the faces of athletes who revel the ceremony because they probably won’t win a medal, etc. I think it’s an awesome spectacle.

    I also really like the NFL draft, but almost never watch it. I’ll listen on the radio in the background or follow on ESPN/Twitter while watching something else. There’s so much build up before the draft and excitement around the 3-4 key players that could end up being the next superstars for your favorite team.

    QOTW: Good call on the Olympics opening ceremony. I love seeing the athletes walk out and the number of athletes for each country.

    Finding it curious that today’s lede arguably invites the exact same question that the lede from exactly one year ago asked outright: does the activity featured even qualify as a sport?

    Interested in which number Garnett will choose now that he is headed back to MN. 5 is taken. 2 and 21 seem to be available.

    I don’t see how he wouldn’t take 21, for the same reason LeBron took 23 when he went back to Cleveland.

    Dudam, #2 is retired for Malik Sealy RIP, why Garnett took that number in Brooklyn. Boston retired every single damn number under the sun. 21 is Garnett’s number, especially in Minnesota where it’s basically been in pre-retirement mothballs. No suspense at all.


    I love the day pitchers and catchers report for spring training. Even though it’s so cold outside here in Cleveland it always makes me feel like summer’s around the corner and baseball season is almost here.


    My favourites are the “best and fairest” medal presentations for the various Australian rules football leagues in Australia. They are so old-fashioned – players of each club sit at a table, while the umpires votes (yes, the umpires give votes for the best players in each game) are read out. With three players getting votes for each game, this takes about 2 hours to do the whole season., and at the end, the player who wins the most votes presented with the best and fairest medal.
    It is dull and boring, yet in an era when things in sports are constantly and needlessly changed, it is comforting to see that the presentation has not changed very much in 30-40 years.

    Here is the complete 2014 Brownlow Medal awards night for the Australian Football League, if you want to see the whole thing for yourself. It is in four parts:





Comments are closed.