Category Archives: the sports book

the sports book

15 Christmas gift ideas for the sports lover in your life

Or the cookout guide “Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto” could blow their stack — in a good way.

Take a look at the gallery above for more sports-themed gift ideas.

. Story highlightsThe NFL and NCAA are selling “ugly Christmas sweaters”Tailgating fanatics might enjoy the gift of a barbecue guide

Sports retailers have taken the ugly Christmas sweater to heart and are selling winter-themed knits adorned with college and pro team logos.

For the bookish fan, the coffee-table reference guide “Super Bowl Gold: 50 Years of the Big Game” offers a game-by-game retrospective alongside Sports Illustrated’s dramatic images of the most prestigious event in football.

If your loved one could take or leave the game, but tailgating is more their bag, football-shaped cookie cutters would make a good stocking stuffer

The History Of Racquetball – InfoBarrel

Joe came up with the sport at the Greenwhich YMCA in a handball court. In 1973 Robert left the IRA and formed two other racquetball associations none of which have became as prominent as the IRA. Sobek continued promoting the sport which was easy for most to pickup since over 40,000 handball courts exist across America.

Today Racquetball has not been growing like it was in the 1970s and 1980s but the fan base stays strong with an estimated 5.6 million players.. Soon afterwards in 1969 Robert W. Eventually the IRA became the American Amateur Racquetball Association which changed its name again in the late 1990s to the United States Racquetball Association. Open championships in Memphis, Tennessee is one of the few tournaments that gets air time.

Racquetball was originally created by a man named Joe Sobek. Joe named this sport, ‘Paddle Rackets’ which eventually was renamed ‘Racquetball’ by professional tennis player Bob McInerny . Racquetball is not televised very frequently as it is difficult to film and keep track of the ball moving at high speeds. These associations are the International Racquetball Tournament, the Women’s Professional Racquetball Organization and the Legends Tour. Finally, in 2003, the USRA changed their name for the final time to mimic other Olympic sports associations and coined themselves United States Racquetball (USAR).

There are currently three associations that handle professional games.

In 1952 Joe founded the IPRA, The International Paddler’s Racquets Association. When Racquetball is televised, the U.S. Sobek played both tennis as well as handball but was looking for an extremely fast paced sport that mostly anybody could easily pickup without a large learning curve for the rules. Solidified the rules and created the very first official rule book. Kendler created the IRA, The International Racquetball Association

Book of the Month: ‘The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at all Costs’ by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle

In comparison, doctors

dealing with the cyclists were forward-thinking and intelligent. There is also an over-riding sense that the book is an attempt by

Hamilton to repair his own reputation, after he tested positive in 2004. Then

came the hammer blow: the publication of ‘The Secret Race’, an explosive book

written by Armstrong’s former team-mate, Tyler Hamilton. His

compelling tales lay bare the extent of Armstrong’s drug-taking in graphic

detail. As Hamilton put it, ‘Lance believed in his bones that

if he worked hard, he was entitled to win every single race.’ Such was his

determination to be the best, Armstrong was always afraid that ‘someone else

was going to outthink, outwork and outstrategize him.’ With this being the

case, the intensity in training sharply increased, as did the level of clever

planning in the lead up to well-renowned races. Nowhere was this more apparent

than the 1999 Tour de France. Yes or no. Moreover, the

testing system was archaic. If you were careful and paid attention, you could

dope and be 99% certain that you would not get caught.’ This was because

testers would only visit cyclists between 7am and 10pm, providing a nine hour

time frame to take anything that would quickly leave the system.

The book expertly grapples with the life-changing dilemma faced

by every cyclist: to dope or not to dope. Wary of the measures taken by his rivals, he encouraged Hamilton and

Livingston to accompany him to Spain for the first of what was to become

another readily used technique in the cycling world: blood transfusions. Remarkably, a test to detect EPO was only developed

in 2000 (it had been commonly used since the late 80s).

For his millions of devoted supporters, Lance Armstrong was

an iconic figure. Most obviously, Hamilton

recounts the time Armstrong had a blood transfusion while lying on the floor of

his team bus. The powerful evidence submitted in this

compelling book, though, is enough to quash Armstrong’s claims once and for

all. For instance,

Hamilton refers to the ‘micro-dosing’ techniques (smaller doses of EPO injected

directly into the vein which left the body quicker) employed by Michele

Ferrari, a close confidant of Armstrong. The cancer survivor, who roared back to win an unequalled

seven Tour de France races was revered as one of the greatest sportsmen to have

lived. Second year, realisation. I was caught, but 99 other

times, I wasn’t.’

Even after enjoying victory, Armstrong was hungry for more


All this begs the obvious question: how did cyclists such as

Armstrong beat the drug tests? The answer, as Hamilton explains, was that it

was remarkably straight forward: ‘In fact, they weren’t drug tests…they were

more like discipline tests.

. The

first time Hamilton had blood pumped into his body he felt a profound effect:

‘when you have more red blood cells, your body doesn’t obey the same rules…you

go harder than you think you can.’ Such was the impact it had, riders went to

desperate measures to carry out a transfusion.

It was at this early stage of his career that Lance

Armstrong joined Hamilton’s Postal Team.

But now his reputation is in tatters. Last month, Armstrong

dropped the drug charges filed against him by the US Anti-Doping Agency. Hamilton’s first-hand

account, written in collaboration with author Daniel Coyle, is an extraordinary

insight into the murky and deceitful world of professional cycling.

Bernhard Kohl, who finished 3rd in the 2008 Tour

de France, summed up the chaotic nature of the testing system when he said that

‘I was tested 100 times with drugs in my body. According to Hamilton, there is trend

that occurs in the cycling word: ‘first year, neo-pro, excited to be there,

young pup hopeful.

Now he had become part of the ‘brotherhood’, Hamilton

underwent a carefully controlled drug programme to try and obtain the optimum

volume percentage of red blood cells in the body (without exceeding the

forbidden 50%). The ultra-competitive Texan was intent

on winning at all costs. With Armstrong on a ‘different level’ to the rest of the field,

he stormed to his first yellow jersey. In or out.’ As with the vast majority of cyclists of the

time, Hamilton elected to ‘join the brotherhood’ as he feared that a failure to

ride faster could spell the end of his career.

So, why did Hamilton tell the story? Why lift the lid on his

former team-mate? Having lived through the drug-ridden culture of cycling,

Hamilton could no longer bare the web of lies he was caught up in and so

decided to reveal the truth to help both himself and his tainted sport move

forward. Hamilton, therefore, took ‘red eggs’ (testosterone) for

recovery once every week or two, and was injected with EPO (a blood booster) at

races from team doctors. Third year, clarity – the fork in

the road. Here, Armstrong paid a Frenchman, Philippe, to

‘follow the Tour on his motorcycle carrying a thermos full of EPO and a prepaid

cell phone.’ In between particularly gruelling stages, Armstrong called

Philippe and he would ‘zip through the Tour’s traffic and make a drop-off.’ The

leading members of the Postal Team, namely Armstrong, Hamilton and Kevin

Livingston would then inject themselves with EPO before hastily getting rid of

the evidence.

But while Hamilton has now faced up to his past mistakes,

Armstrong continues to live a lie