Don’t Have A Favorite Team: Buy According To The Logo

Posted on Selasa, 11 September 2012 | 0 komentar
Just because you are not a huge sports fan, or you do not have a favorite team, does not mean that you can not wear clothes that represent a certain organization. In fact, there are thousands of people that do not follow sports, but still find that clothes that depict different teams are stylish. If you do not have a favorite team and are searching for some new gear why not buy according to which logo you like the best? Many people do this every year. A team logo is one of the most intriguing parts of any squad. Each one is completely unique which makes for a different look on every piece of clothing. Most people that are choosing their gear based on the team logo look at color first. If your favorite color is black you may want to start looking at gear that depicts the Oakland Raiders logo. But if you like brighter colors, and are trying to spruce up your life a bit why not check out gear from the Miami Hurricanes? You may also want to choose your gear based on which logo design you like the best. If you are an animal lover you can purchase Miami Dolphins or Louisville Cardinals apparel. If you like history, try out the Washington Redskins or the Cleveland Indians. There are hundreds of different professional and college teams. Each one has their own unique logo that sets their team or university apart from the competition. Whether it is by color or logo design, each team has a distinct logo that allows people to easily identify their team. When most of these logos were being designed, there artists probably never even thought that one day their work would show up all over the world. If they had known this, they may have put some more time into the logo to make sure that it is easily marketable to a wide audience. But for the most part, each logo available has carved out a nice niche in the market place. Picking out your favorite sports logo is a great way to decide on which gear to buy. Both sports fans and non sports fans alike can enjoy the gear on which sports logos are placed. Don’t let the lack of a favorite team stop you from buying sports related clothing. Just pick out a logo that you are particularly fond of and get started!

Choking: performance anxiety in sports

Posted on Minggu, 11 Maret 2012 | 0 komentar

Picture the scenario, if you want.

You're at the big one, playing Madison Square Garden. You're in front of a sold-out crowd, thousands of people chanting your name, with half of them wanting you to choke and the other eager to see you deliver the goods. You're down to the last few seconds of the game and you can feel yourself buckling under the pressure. Then, just as you see the perfect opening you can exploit to land that right cross, take him down for the count, and grab the championship, you choke. Your performance anxiety gets the better of you and you choke. You pass on the opportunity and, for just a split second, leave yourself open. It isn't much of a window, but you're up against an experienced hitter, and he takes the shot. A split second later, you're out.

It is far from pleasant, but for some boxers, this is a harsh and real possibility. The slightest opening you afford your opponent can result in you being taken down for the count. However, boxers aren't the only ones that end up in this sort of situation. Athletes will always experience a certain degree of nervousness while playing, though the reasons may vary. For some, it is the pressure to excel and prove oneself worthy of their place in the team. For others, they have a reputation that they have to uphold. Anxiety can, really, be caused by a number of reasons.

Performance anxiety can literally cost you a championship. However, the problem isn't just a one-time thing that strikes at the most critical point of a match. performance anxiety is at its most annoying when it becomes a constant problem for the athlete while he's performing in that all-important game. It is that twitching in your nerves that causes you to miss that crucial three-point shot. It is that miscalculation in your mind that makes you strike out when your team desperately needs a home run. Performance anxiety is that single mistimed step that gets you trampled by the opposing team as you're going for a touchdown.

Of course, performance anxiety does not necessarily have to be limited to one's performance come the big game. Several of history's greatest sports superstars, from Michael Jordan to Wayne Gretzky, from Muhammad Ali to Babe Ruth, all experienced it at one point or another. For some, it is when facing off against their infamous rival, like that third bout between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frasier. For others, it is that first away game of the season, far from the support of the hometown crowd and right in the middle of what can be considered enemy territory. For some athletes, the anxiety comes when they know that people important to them are watching them in the arena, such as family or a significant other.

For many experts, it is no longer about how to prevent performance anxiety. In many ways, athletes will always be nervous about performing, even if the game is a low-pressure one. The focus right now is finding ways to help the athlete be effective despite the anxiety and fear he's feeling. There is really no way to prevent being nervous, but there are ways that coaches and players can utilize to get around the impediments presented by that anxiety. The most common way is to train the player to see his own anxiety as a challenge, using it as motivation to push him to excel despite his fears that he may not be up to the standards expected of him by the crown and his teammates.


Chicago Cubs Pitcher Mark Prior Re-signs

Posted on Sabtu, 10 Maret 2012 | 0 komentar

After many trips through the rumor mill, Mark Prior accepted the Chicago Cubs’ offer on January 27 to a one-year, $3.65 million contract. That is $900,000 more than the salary he would have earned under the contract he voided in November. Since Prior's definitive season in 2003 (18-6), he has cooled off somewhat, and has only managed to go 17-11 over the past two seasons. The Cubs were within five outs of reaching the World Series in 2003, due, in part, to Prior's performance. A sore elbow put him on the disabled list early last season, and when he entered the normal rotation again, he was hit on the same elbow by a scorching line drive. He finished the 2005 season going 11-7 with a 3.67 ERA over 27 games.

The Chicago Cubs’ pitcher, whose name has been mentioned as possible trade bait this off-season, said that he was not too upset at the rumors because he figured they were just that -- rumors. Rumor had it that he was going to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for outfielder Bobby Abreu, but that wasn't to be. During the holidays, he was supposed to be traded to Baltimore for shortstop Miguel Tejada. That also did not happen. "It's part of the game," Prior said. "Obviously, when somebody requests a trade, a team has to look into it. I don't really validate the rumors a whole lot unless I hear that '[general manager] Jim Hendry' says or '[team president] Andy MacPhail says' or '[manager] Dusty [Baker] says' -- otherwise, they're just rumors. It seems like there are a lot of MLB sources this year. Unless somebody calls me up and says, 'Hey, we're serious about doing this,' there's not a whole lot for me to think about because I don't have a whole lot to say."

If the fans had any say in it, Prior would never wear another uniform besides his Cubs No. 22 jersey. When the right-hander was introduced to the crowd jammed inside the Grand Ballroom at the Hilton Chicago during opening ceremonies for the 21st Cubs Convention, he was greeted with the chant, "No trade, no trade." Most Cubs fans remember that Prior's 10 strikeouts in his very first start was the most by any Cubs pitcher in over 30 years. "I've never been ticked or anything," Prior said. "I felt if anything was going to be done, somebody would've called me and said something. Otherwise, it was business as usual. I was obviously going to pitch for somebody this season, and I had to get ready."

There was also a rumor that Prior decided to void the last year of his contract because he was angry at the Cubs. That also was not true. "That was something that was written in the contract," he said of his ability to be eligible for arbitration. "That was in the negotiations five years ago. We felt it was fair at the time. It was basically the last two years [of the contract] - if I'm eligible for arbitration, I have the privilege to go to arbitration." Prior will make more money in 2006 thanks to this foresight.

"I've been spending this off season trying to iron out some things and correct some habits that I fell into because of what happened with my elbow," Prior said. "One thing I did learn, and after I've been reflecting, is how fortunate and valuable the time is when you're healthy. At any moment, anything can happen. "The other day I was home watching [NFL quarterback] Drew Brees get hurt, and I see Carson Palmer go down two plays into the game. It's a very fragile existence from that standpoint." He's well aware of the business side of baseball, too. "As far as everything I've heard, they weren't dangling me out there and trying to get rid of me," Prior said. He'd like to stay with the Cubs. "I love playing here. I have no desire to leave," he said. "I love playing in the city of Chicago; I love this town. I don't think I could've been as fortunate as I was to fall here out of college. Not too many people get the luxury of coming to a city like Chicago. It's a great city, a great town and I love being here. It's a great town to play baseball in."

Prior had become arbitration eligible when he used his option to void the final year of his original contract signed in 2001. Under the original terms, he was to make $2.75 million this year. Prior had asked for $4 million, while the Cubs countered with an offer of $3.3 million. Arbitration arrived at the $3.65 million figure. "We're certainly glad to have it done," said Cubs’ general manager Jim Hendry. "Our stance is always to try to work with the representative, John Boggs, to a conclusion of fairness to avoid the process if we can. This was something we wanted to do, and hopefully Mark will have a great 2006."

Other current Cubs arbitration-eligible players include infielder Jerry Hairston, outfielder Juan Pierre, and pitchers Will Ohman and Carlos Zambrano. Cubs’ general manager Jim Hendry and team president Andy MacPhail have never gone to arbitration with a player. Hendry said he is continuing to negotiate with the players' representatives in hopes of reaching an agreement.

Players with at least three years seniority in the Major Leagues, plus the longest active 17 percent of those with between two and three years service, are eligible for salary arbitration. Mark Prior, for example, now has three years, 131 days of Major League service time.

How does arbitration work? Players and teams exchange figures, and if no agreement is reached between the two, the case is referred to an arbitrator. Pierre, 28, whom the Cubs acquired from the Florida Marlins for three Minor League pitchers, made $3.7 million in 2005. He is coming off a season in which he hit .276 with two homers, 47 RBIs and 57 stolen bases in 162 games. The center fielder asked for $6.5 million, while the Cubs offered $5 million.

Cubs’ pitcher Zambrano earned $3.76 million last season and led the Cubs in wins with 14. He established career highs in starts (33), innings pitched (223 1/3) and strikeouts (202). Zambrano asked for $7.2 million, while the Cubs countered with an offer of $6 million. In his first season with the Cubs, Hairston, 29, made $1.8 million last season. He batted .261, hit four homers, 25 doubles and had 30 RBI. Hairston requested $2.6 million in 2006, while the Cubs offered $1.95 million. Ohman, 28, is seeking $775,000, while the Cubs offered $500,000. Ohman, who has three years, 40 days of Major League service time, made $320,000 in 2005 in his return to the big leagues. The left-hander, who has spent much time on the disabled list because of three elbow surgeries, was 2-2 with a 2.91 ERA in 69 games.


Chicago Bears 2006 Preview

Posted on Jumat, 09 Maret 2012 | 0 komentar

The Chicago Bears had a great season in 2005. They finished 11-6 and went to the playoffs. Their one problem was scoring. Many in the media have touted the Bears as the NFC North champions. Are they correct? Let’s take a look at the 2006 Chicago Bears. Fortunately for them, their division is not that tough.

Key Moves

One major move by the Bears was the addition of Brian Griese. The offense was up and down last season. Griese will be fighting for a job. He comes in as a backup, but if Grossman fails to impress, Griese could take the reins. Their defense loses a good player in Jerry Azumah. Despite being only 28, he had to call it quits. His body got the best of him.

Quarterbacks

One of the issues last season was the health of Rex Grossman. He’s expected to be healthy this season. Grossman could help the Bears offense soar. The signing of Brian Griese gives the Bears a solid backup. Even is Grossman goes down, they won’t experience a horrendous drop. Neither quarterback is upper echelon. The Bears QB situation is just above average.

Running Backs

The Bears are sitting pretty in the running game. Thomas Jones should have another great year. They also have Cedric Benson in the wings. The running game of the Bears is the offense’s strong point. Throw in the tough blocking Bryan Johnson and you have a ground attack that will eat up yards. Thomas Jones had 1,335 yards last season. As nice as that is, Cedric Benson is expected to be better when he’s ready.

Receivers

The receiving core is a bit lackluster. Sure, there’s Muhsin Muhammad, but he’s not getting any younger. Aside from Muhammad, there’s not too much to be excited about—yet. The young Bears receivers do have talent and could blossom into solid contributors on the field. Right now, the receiving core is just average.

Defense and Special Teams

Last season it was all about the defense. The Bears defense constantly made critical plays and kept their team in the game. The 2006 Bears defense is above average again. The best component of the defense is the linebacker unit. They are off the charts. The weak part of the defense is the secondary. Losing Jerry Azumah didn’t help any. The Bears did pick up cornerbacks Ricky Manning and Dante Wesley. The secondary will have to step it up in 2006. The special teams unit has its ups and downs. Punter Brad Maynard needs to have a better season. The Bears hope that Robbie Gould, kicker, was not just a one year wonder. On the plus side, the Bears did add a couple return men that could be home run type of guys.

2006 Prediction

It’s possible that the Bears win their division, because the division is weak. However, I believe they will be an 8-8 team. The schedule is not too tough, but it’s not the walk in the park it was in 2005. In 2005, the Bears had a 2-4 record against really good teams. This is why they faltered in the playoffs. They were not as good as their record indicated. In 2006, they have 8 games that look to be pretty tough, 2 that are middle ground and 6 that are against lower tier teams.


Chess Over the Years

Posted on Kamis, 08 Maret 2012 | 0 komentar

Over the years, chess spread throughout the world and enjoyed massive waves of popularity. Undoubtedly, reality is reflected in the idea that chess originated either as an aid or substitute for warfare. This stemmed from the notion that chess was invented as a war game and so, that is the manner in which it should executed. In fact in order to be knighted, it helped if you played a good game of chess.

And finally, a mention should be made of pawns; those so adequately named pieces which are even denied the status of chess 'men'. Pawns were sacrificial pieces.

While chess might have originated as a war game, it was seen as a game of nobility and education in Europe in the 1500s. It can be seen that from actions in Europe around the year 1500 that chess had become strongly ingrained in western society. Within European Aristocracy, the concept behind chess became a royal court rather than a battlefield. However, the game's popularity was helped by its social cache: a chess set was often associated with wealth, knowledge, and power. As a result it became fashionable for aristocrats to have live-in chess masters. In fact during difficult times in Protestant Europe there were massive attacks on "ungodly pursuits," but chess was often defended while other pastimes were denied.

As a result chess has long been considered the ultimate test of intellectual activity. Some feel that because of its difficulty and boorishness, chess diminished in its traditional appeal. However, most will agree that the chess community has traditionally been more enlightened than the larger society.

Mass production of chess sets helped introduce chess to the lower class. The low cost to produce the Staunton set allowed the masses to purchase sets and helped to again popularize the game of chess. But chess is more than just a game of skill. Chess stood a turn in education as teachers noted that students' behavior improved upon learning chess. How far beyond chess such aptitude can be expanded is the next big question.

One that is still argued today. Playing chess by computer began in the early 1950s, nearly as soon as computers became available. The rules of play early intrigued computer scientists-MIT wrote the first chess program in 1957. Some programmers believe that work on computer chess led to important software techniques still in use today. The worldwide fascination for chess has been astonishing. It has been said that there is more literature devoted to chess than for all other games combined. Today, chess is played world wide with international appeal.


Chess Is All About Strategy And Tactics

Posted on Rabu, 07 Maret 2012 | 1 komentar

Chess is all about strategy and tactics. Each chess player commands an army of 16. In beginning players bring out their forces to prepare for combat. Players maneuver to carry out attacks and counterattacks. At the end of the game there are fewer pawns and pieces left on the board. This is when it's safe for the king to come out and take part in the battle. Here are some tips to improve your chess game.

1. Planning. Is important that you plan your attack. Your opponent will have an easy time defending themselves if you attack here in one move and do something totally different in the next. All the pieces must work together to be effective. Think of your chess men as a team and you are the coach. They must work together using their strengths and weaknesses to support each other.

2. Know the values that you place on your pieces. Consider carefully any time that you think about giving up one of your pieces to your opponent.

3. Pay attention to what your opponent is doing. Every time your opponent moves stop and think about what their strategy might be. Are there any threats that you should be on the watch out for? Is one of your men in danger? The only to successfully defend yourself is to understand what your opponent is doing.

4. Develop quickly and well. Timing is very important in chess. If your men are ready for action and to move quickly you'll be able to control the course of the game.

5. Keep your king safe at all times. The object of the game is to capture the king. Your opponent is seeking to hunt down and capture your king. Make sure you have a plan to protect your king.

6. Always make the best possible move. You should ask yourself some questions before making a move. Will this move improve my position by increasing the effectiveness of my piece? Does this move help to defend against my opponents threats?

7. If it is pawn, consider how you can keep it protected from attack.

8. If it is another piece that you're moving consider whether the enemy can drive it away.

9. The alert. Once you've reached a good strong position in the game it is important that you do not relax. This is a common mistake. You must always be watching for your opponents threats.

10. Know when to trade pieces. The best time to trade pieces is when you can capture a piece worth more than the one you're giving up.

11. Consider the end of the game. Always remember that every move you make can affect your chances in the end game.

12. Control the center. The player that controls the four squares in the center of the board will have the advantage in the game.

If you practice and consider these tips you'll improve your chess game.


Chess - Its Origins And Development

Posted on Selasa, 06 Maret 2012 | 0 komentar

Chess is one of the world's great board games. For centuries chess players around the world have been mesmerized by its challenges, and its great masters have been revered as superstars of a different order -- superstars with brains.

** Origins and background of chess

Like many of our popular board games, such as checkers (draughts) and backgammon, chess originated sometime in the first millenium AD, somewhere along the Silk Road that ran between Europe, Egypt, India and the Orient. Most historians trace its origins back to northern India or Afganistan sometime around 600 AD.

As one might expect, there is a good deal of controversy among chess historians about both the date and place of the origin of chess. While some place its origins in China, the most common theory is that the version of chess we are familiar with evolved from a game played in northern India called ashtapada. This game used an 8x8 board (like ours), but had 4 players, and moves were determined by the throw of dice.

As some historians point out, the unique features of ashtapada, and its successor called chataranga, were deeply embedded in Indian culture of the time. The fact that it was a "four-handed" war game was consistent with the division of the country into many kingdoms. And the use of dice to determine moves was a reflection of the importance of Karma in Indian religious thought.

** Evolution into modern chess

The gradual appearance of different types of Indian military forces in the Indian board game known as chataranga -- elephants, chariots, cavalry and infantry -- was consistent with the transition of the game from a relatively simple "race" game to that of a war game.

In a race game players do not capture or extinguish their opponents. If a player lands on the same square as an opponent, the opponent would simply have to go back to the beginning and start over.

But when the principle of capture or extinction was accepted -- where the captured opponent's piece is taken off the board -- this involves a different game concept -- a different "mind set". And it was then just a matter of time before different types of military forces, with different powers and values would be introduced.

This transition from race game to war game is important. But perhaps the most significant evolutionary step -- and the one most difficult to explain -- was the elimination of the dice as the means of determining moves. As Yuri Averbakh, a Russian chess historian, points out, this was not something that would happen "naturally" within a pure Indian context.

As he says, "To change the Indian war game into chess it was necessary to throw away the dice. Unlike the previous stages which were typical for the evolutional way of the game`s development and were not contrary to the customs of the Indians and their religious beliefs, giving up dice was a radical, a revolutionary step forward that not only changed the game itself but also its philosophy. In fact, that step meant the withdrawal from the principle of Karma - the basic principle of the Indian philosophy. Now the result depended entirely on the players' will, on their choice. They became complete masters of their destiny."

According to Averbakh this would not have happened without the influence of Greece upon northern India. This influence stretched back to Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC and developed even further within what historians call the Indo-Greek Kingdom. This was a large area including much of Afganistan and northern India which was conquered by the Greco-Bactrian kind Demetrius in 180 BC.

This kingdom lasted for about 200 years in which time the region underwent a profound synthesis of Greek and Indian religion, culture, languages and symbols. As Wikipedia says, "The Indo-Greek kings seem to have achieved a level of cultural syncretism with no equivalent in history, the consequences of which are still felt today."

The Greek influence was felt for hundreds of years after the demise of the Indo-Greek Kingdom. According to Averbakh it was this Greek influence that "helpd the Indians to make the final step for chess to appear." In particular, he mentions that Greeks brought with them the war game petteia. Although it was a simpler game, it had two of the features that chess would eventually gain -- players could "kill" each other, and there were no dice. "It was the player himself who decided where and which pieces should move. He had complete freedom of choice."

** Chess in the Kushan Kingdom

Another writer goes even further in placing the origins of modern chess in the Afganistan/Northern India region, but places that development much earlier than 600 AD. Gerhard Josten, in his article "Chess - A Living Fossil" claims that modern chess is an amalgam of a number of different games. We know this, Josten claims, because of its completely unique feature of having three different types of characters:

1. A relatively immoble center piece -- the King -- the capture of which is the object of the game.
2. A number of pieces that can make varying long moves -- moves that cover more than one space.
3. A number of pieces that can only make short moves -- moves that cover only one space.

Josten claims these different pieces originated in different games, and were amalgamated in what we know as modern chess. He claims type 1 pieces originated in Chinese games, type 2 pieces originated in Mesopotamian divination rites -- in particular, the Babylonian astrolabe, and type 3 pieces originated in Indian race games.

According to Josten, chess did not spring fully developed into existence in 600 AD but evolved over the first two or three centuries of the first millenium -- in particular between 50 BC and 200 AD. This development took place in a number of places -- India, China, and all along the Silk Road to Europe -- and each of the areas would have influenced the others.

But the most likely place where it all came together was the Kushan Empire, the eventual successor to the old Indo-Greek Kingdom. This was the central Asian area encompassing much of northern India, Pakistan, and Afganistan.

As we saw with the Indo-Greek Empire, this area stood at the crossroads of Europe, India and the Orient, and was deeply influenced by Greek culture. Most importantly, the Kushans were cultural, religious and linguistic synergists. They took elements from various cultures and forged these elements into something new and different.

This, according to Josten, is exactly what happened to the game of chess in the early centuries of the first millenium. It is also why we have so few hard facts about this influential period. As he says,

"Following the gradual disintegration of the Kushan Empire, the neighbouring conquering states each claimed to be the intellectual authors of chess, with no mention of the losers of the battles, the Kushans.... The fall of the Kushan Empire may thus be the main reason why so many facts have been lost and so many unbelievable legends have arisen around the genesis of chess..."


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