Summer’s Top Sports Stories

Hey everyone- I’m back, though this may be a short-lived return to blogging. I just couldn’t resist posting on today, the start of college football season. Now that fall sports are officially underway, it’s time to look back on this summer’s top sports stories.

5. Favre Fuss

The only reason that this guy is even making this list is ESPN practically shut down once the story broke that maybe Favre would be returning from “retirement” once again. Personally, I could care less- he’s not playing for my team. However, many people feel otherwise, and it is amazing to see a forty-year old as the starting quarterback for an NFL franchise.

4. College Football Upheaval

There was a lot of messing around with the football conferences this summer. For a while, it seemed like mega-conferences were about to be formed. In the end, the Pac-10 picked up two new schools and Nebraska shifted from the Big 12 to the Big 10. Some of the changes won’t go into effect for a couple more seasons, so it’ll be awhile before we fully know how college football’s landscape will change. Good luck keeping up with all the changes.

3. The Year of the Pitcher

For baseball pundits, this question may be debatable, but sports fans have to admit that pitchers have had quite a few accomplishments so far this season. There have already been five no-hitters, including not one but two perfect games. And there would’ve been three if it wasn’t for Galaragga’s nearly perfect performance. Across the league, ERA is also lower than usual. Plus, there’s this kid, Stephen Strasburg. Not sure if you’ve heard of him, but he’s sort of a phenomenon. The guy single-handedly sold out a Nationals-Pirates game. Strasburg will be missing all of next season, but for now there are plenty of talented pitchers to pick up the slack.

2. Free Agency Frenzy

July 1st set off a free agency firestorm unlike anything ever seen. With some of this generation’s greatest players up for grabs, teams did everything in their power to try and land a superstar. (I’m looking at you, Knicks.) When the dust settled, LeBron James surprised everyone by “taking his talents to South Beach” along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The moves made this offseason will help shape the course of pro basketball for the next decade, and that’s no exaggeration.

1. World Cup

If you were expecting a different event to top this list, well, I guess you didn’t read my blog early this summer. The FIFA World Cup only comes around every four years and this year’s tournament, the first to take place in Africa, was one of the most-anticipated. From all sorts of drama in the group stage to Spain being crowned champions for the first time ever, the 2010 World Cup was certainly one to remember.

5 Reasons to Cast a Ballot

Today was a good day: I early voted in the Florida primaries. This is the second time I’ve ever voted. Even though (in Florida at least) you fill out a glorified scan-tron, I still find voting to be very rewarding, especially after this summer’s internship. Young people like ourselves have notoriously low voter turnout rates, but I don’t see why we can’t be more involved with the political process. Voting is one small action that can do a whole lot of good.

5. The Blame Game. Don’t like the way your community, county, state, or country are run? One thing you can do about that is vote. If you have the right to vote and then choose not to exercise it, then you probably shouldn’t be complaining about the decisions elected officials are making. Voting gives you the opportunity to choose your representatives in government, so vote for people whose views are like yours.

4. Youth Issues. Think about hot-button issues: the war, education, the economy. These topics affect everyone, especially the youth and our future. Politicians are politicians, and they cater to their leading demographics. They are much more likely to listen to those who do vote, and if young voters are a large voting block, we’ll get plenty of attention to our needs.

3. Democracy- Duh. In the famed Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln referred to democracy as: “government of the people, by the people, for the people”. A key phrase there? By the people. Democracy doesn’t work if the citizens don’t participate.

2. History. Yesterday was the 90th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting the state and federal government from denying any citizen the right to vote based on sex. Historically, many groups of people have been disenfranchised. After all of their struggles, the least we can do is vote.

1. Current Events. Just halfway across the world, people are fighting and dying to have the right to vote and have those votes be counted. Just look at least year’s revolution in Iran after the elections. You probably know people who can’t vote because of their citizenship status or whose homelands have struggled with controversies in elections. If anything, vote for the people who don’t have a voice yet.

What do you think? Do value the right to vote? Do you vote?

~ Sarah

P.S. Casting a ballot is half the battle. It’s very important to be an informed voter. Before voting, I would recommend reading your local newspaper for thorough analysis of the candidates and amendments you may be voting on. How do you keep yourself informed? How do you know you’re making the right choice?

Five People You Should Follow on Twitter

Let’s talk about Twitter. I’m sure almost everyone has heard of this social networking site where users “tweet” micro-blogs of 140 characters or less. I know, it sounds really lame at first. It’s easy to dismiss Twitter as a list of endless, mundane status updates. However, when I wrote an English paper on citizen journalism, I ended up discussing Twitter’s role in last year’s Iranian protests, known as the Twitter Revolution. My research convinced me that Twitter can actually be a great communications tool because it promotes sharing and accessibility. Think about it: everyone from world leaders to your favorite athletes are on Twitter. Here are my favorite people to “follow” on Twitter:

5. Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers21)

Seth Meyers is SNL‘s head writer and anchors “Weekend Update”, and so he’s according hilarious. Plus he’s a huge baseball and soccer fan. That makes him a double threat. Notable tweets:

“I consider myself a handsomer Diego Forlan.”

“Two World Cup games AND Kagan confirmation hearings! Best Monday ever?”

4. BP Public Relations  (@BPGlobalPR)

Okay, not an actual person, but this fake BP account satirizes the oil company’s relief efforts in the Gulf. The tweets are biting, cynical, and often hysterical. The account also posts links to actual news stories concerning the spill. BP has unsuccessfully tried to shut the account down because it was garnering plenty of media attention. (Check out this hilarious interview ABC News conducted with “BP Terry”.) Notable tweets:

“Cleanup is not hindered by “red tape.” Unless you mean the red tape we tried using. Turns out oil doesn’t stick to tape.”

“The good news: Mermaids are real. The bad news: They are now extinct. #bpcares

3. Roger Ebert (@ebertchicago)

Famed movie critic Ebert does it all on Twitter. He tweets links to his own reviews; interesting, obscure news; short social commentary, and re-tweets other posts that capture his imagine. He can be caustic, sentimental, and witty. It’s an interesting look at old-school intellectualism melding with technology. Notable tweets:

“Mullets decreed illegal in Iran. At last, something we agree on.”

“An adult does not feel free to ride a merry-go-round alone, and that is our loss.”

2. Bill Simmons (@sportsguy33)

Simmons, aka the Sports Guy, is one of my favorite sportswriters. A reoccurring theme on this list is hilarity, and Simmons doesn’t disappoint. His articles for ESPN are entertaining and thorough. His tweets also combine pop culture with sports, which explains why he has such a devoted following. It almost makes me forget his Boston bias. Notable tweets:

“I like Chris Bosh, but him holding up LeBron and Wade is like Don Cheadle standing in the way of Ocean’s 11 being made.”

“Much respect for the Germans. Well-coached, relentless, fast/skilled/tough, don’t flop, great uniforms. It’s just too bad they’re German.”

1. Jerry Bruckheimer (@BruckheimerJB)

This was a hard choice, but mega-producer Bruckheimer made some of my favorites movies (Remember the Titans, Pearl Harbor, Pirates of the Carribbean– don’t judge). He spends plenty of time on Twitter pimping out his latest projects, like Prince of Persia and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The real excitement comes when he posts “twitpics” from movie sets. Right now he’s on location in Hawaii shooting Pirates of the Carribbean: On Stranger Tides. (Please, please, please be good.) Notable tweets/twitpics:

“We have found some incredible shoot locations in Hawaii for#PiratesOfTheCaribbean On Stranger Tides

“Going to try to share many behind-the-scenes photos from Hawaii – here’s where we’ll be sitting:

As it turns out, I kind of love Twitter. I actually get a lot of my news from Twitter. I just log on and see the latest articles from my favorite news sources without having to check multiple websites. Convenient, no? If you’re still hesitant on actually “tweeting” I encourage you to sign-up anyway and follow all the companies, celebrities, and politicians you want.

For those of you who are on Twitter, who do you like following? What’s your account? Let me know in the comments! (And remember, you can always follow me here.)

~ Sarah