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ESPN And Facebook Start Off March With Their Own Madness

march-madness-logo

Two of our favorite companies will be teaming up to make March Madness even that much more spectacular. Facebook and ESPN will join forces to broadcast live ESPN TV coverage of 225 men’s and women’s college basketball games from the conference tournaments. Usually it’s the tournament field of an unnecessary 68 teams (64 teams was just fine) that has us all buzzing with excitment. Now diehard and average fans can collectively join in on the action and watch college basketball games live on their laptops with Facebook.

Before you were only able to watch live sporting events through ESPN3. Now though marks one of first times you will be able to watch a live major sporting event via Facebook. Watching five consecutive days of the thrilling Big East Tournament or seeing Duke and North Carolina renew their rivalry in the ACC Tournament should have fans pumped. This is something we could all get behind.

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Sports

New York Yankees Photo Shoot…In a Bathroom

arodjohn

When you think of the New York Yankees, words that usually come to mind include pride, power, tradition, arrogance, and spending. So when a bathroom is the setting of the New York Yankees latest photo shoot, something doesn’t make sense. Photo shoots are supposed to enhance one’s image. Just ask any cover girl on Sports Illustrated. I know A-Rod’s season last year went down the toilet, but you don’t have to display that image literally.

Alex Rodriguez is the Lebron James of baseball, simply because he is an easy target for jokes. Taking pictures with a camera man in a urinal doesn’t exactly help out his image. The new Yankee Stadium cost roughly $1.5 billion, yet they couldn’t find a better place to take media day photos. I find that hard to believe.

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UFC Lightweight Division And How We Got Where We Are Today

Yager-Poster this sunday

What a difference a year makes!

As 2010 came to a close, so did WEC, a Zuffa owned company that had become known for supplying the best array of “little guys” in the world of mixed martial arts. At the start of 2011 the UFC would be absorbing the WEC and the three divisions it currently held, creating two new champions and one new number-one contender.

The champions of the bantamweight 135 (lb.) and featherweight 145 (lb.) divisions, Dominick Cruz and Jose Aldo transitioned from WEC champions to the first ever UFC champions in their respective weight classes. The weight class at the top of the WEC however was 155 pounds. This called for the final WEC champion to be granted a shot at former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.

On the night of the final WEC show, (12/16/10), the proud promotions lightweight champion was freak of nature Benson Henderson. Challenger Anthony Pettis was entering the biggest fight of his career. Henderson was the favorite going into the fight already having faced the likes of Donald Cerrone and Jamie Varner. Four rounds into the classic between the two 155 pounders however, it was clear this fight was dead even. Going into the fifth round of one of the best fights in WEC history it was either man’s fight to win.

What happened next changed the face of the next fourteen months in mixed martial arts. Like in a video game, Anthony Pettis leapt off one leg and drove his other leg into the cage. Using the momentum created, Pettis pushed off kicking a defenseless Benson Henderson in the face. The ultimate highlight instantly created right before our very eyes. The crowd erupted as Pettis did his best to capitalize off the jarring springboard head kick.

In reality, the kick did not come close to finishing the champion, however the sheer elegance and surprising nature of the unbelievable move was enough to win the round, and eventually the fight. Anthony Pettis had just won a title for the first time minutes before relinquishing the same title in order to enter UFC’s lightweight division.

The stage was set in January 2011 for UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar to take on Gray Maynard. MMA fans could predict the overall narrative. Winner gets Anthony Pettis in a unification of WEC and UFC titles. Pettis would have no issue staying out of the cage for up to half a year in order to wait for the winner to heal from their most recent war. Pettis would stay out of the cage for half a year knowing UFC gold and a new worldwide fan base were within reach.

In one of the most miraculous comebacks in UFC history Frankie Edgar avoided a knockout in the first round. Gray Maynard punished him worse than any man had ever been punished without referee interferance. The logical decision of a draw would end the fight after five rounds. Frankie Edgar would keep the title but his first loss to Maynard would not be avenged. Edgar and Maynard were primed for an immediate rematch after fans and experts wanted to see it again.

Due to injuries, the rematch was moved to October leaving Anthony Pettis waiting for 10 months to find an opponent. Pettis decided to get his feet wet in the UFC pool by debuting against fan favorite Clay Guida known for his inability to quit and non-stop motor.

What seemed like an easy win for Pettis backfired after loosing the match. Meanwhile the veteran Clay Guida moved higher up the ranks while Pettis fell behind losing his chance at a title shot.

Benson Henderson on the other hand decided to take on all opponents. First was local favorite Mark Bocek at the biggest UFC event of all time in front of over 55,000 in Toronto. After beating Bocek, Henderson next defeated Jim Miller becoming a new star for UFC audiences.

Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard finally collided for the third time on October 8th, ten months after their “Fight of the Year.” In another miraculous comeback, Edgar managed to survive an early onslaught from the much bigger Maynard, this time knocking him out in the fourth round. Edgar had finally won the war with the much larger Gray Maynard.

The question now became who would face Frankie Edgar? Anthony Pettis, the man once thought to have this distinction was now appearing in preliminary fights due to his loss to Clay Guida. Clay Guida and Benson Henderson would decide who had the honor.

The fight took place on November 12, 2011, the first ever UFC event on FOX telecast. Fans let their voices be heard through Facebook as the fight surely delivered another classic.

Benson Henderson won the decision, displaying levels of preparation that had been present ever since he received a wake-up call in the form of a kick to the face costing him the WEC championship. Eleven months later however, Benson defeated Guida and managed to get back exactly to where he would have been had he beaten Anthony Pettis in the final WEC title match. With the two Gray Maynard fights and the injuries that kept those fights from taking place in a timely fashion, Benson would have had to wait a long time to actually get that shot he earned anyway. Instead of sitting around and waiting for that to happen, by losing that initial bout with Anthony Pettis, Henderson was able to spend his 2011 doing nothing but proving himself to the UFC fans through victory after victory and more importantly, getting better.

It was more than fitting than that Anthony Pettis, who once went to bed knowing he would take on Frankie Edgar for the title once he got through Gray Maynard, would be fighting on the same card from Tokyo, Japan on February 25th 2012. Unlike his former counterpart Benson Henderson, who would be performing in the night’s main event, Pettis would be taking on the very tough Joe Lauzon. Although he would be doing so in one of the first matches on the card. On top of that, this was a card that had seven fights on it, two more than the typical five for a UFC PPV. Anthony Pettis and Benson Henderson could not have been further from one another on this deep star-studded card UFC was putting on from Japan.

And then it happened.

He did it again. With the same foot that won him the WEC title in December 2010, Anthony Pettis knocked out Joe Lauzon less than two minutes into the first round in what would be the highlight of the night.

Even with fighters like Jim Miller and Nate Diaz lurking in the wings hoping to receive the next lightweight title shot, Pettis used his opportunity to remind Joe Silva, Dana White and everyone else at the UFC why he was the one who was supposed to defend the WEC against the UFC champion. More importantly, by delivering a picture perfect knockout in a similar fashion to how he once defeated the man in the night’s main event, Anthony Pettis made one thing very clear. If Benson Henderson were to win the UFC lightweight championship, there is nobody who deserves their shot at him more than Anthony Pettis, the man who might be directly responsible for the positive changes and drastic evolution in the game of Benson Henderson.

A year after the final WEC title match was supposed to decide who would be the man to represent the company vs. the UFC champion, the man who lost that fight has just become the UFC lightweight champion.

Benson Henderson defeated Frankie Edgar by unanimous decision to become the new UFC lightweight champion.

The last man to defeat the new UFC champion is Anthony Pettis, who ironically did so in order to win what he thought would be a shot at the UFC title. Through a bunch of random circumstances and chance occurrences like Edgar v Maynard II going to a draw and the rematch getting pushed due to injuries, Benson Henderson was able to leap past Anthony Pettis by getting win after win, proving that in the world of MMA nothing is for certain, even a guaranteed title shot.

By winning the title however, Benson Henderson has done the one thing no other fighter could have done. By becoming champion, Henderson makes Anthony Pettis the obvious number one contender by association. Who better to take on the new champion than the last man to defeat him, a man who is also on a two fight win streak and won his last fight in devastating fashion? The answer is nobody.

Dana White has mentioned that Pettis vs. Henderson II seems too perfect to pass up. With the timing working out perfectly, it makes more sense to book that fight right away than to wait and see who wins the Jim Miller vs. Nate Diaz fight on FOX on May 5th. If Frankie Edgar had retained his title however, there is almost no chance the UFC would even be considering Pettis as the next contender for the belt. Funny how things work out sometimes.

Ever since the kick heard round the world took place on the final WEC show in December 2010, Benson Henderson and Anthony Pettis have been connected by that moment, that highlight and that fight. Who knows if Benson Henderson would have been the fighter he is today. The fighter that was able to beat the unbeatable Frankie Edgar, if he had defeated Anthony Pettis on that day.

History shows that the victory over Henderson did not prepare Pettis for UFC competition, namely Clay Guida. The loss however, drove Henderson to become the fighter that defeated Bocek, defeated Miller, defeated Guida and now has defeated Frankie Edgar to become UFC Champion. The loss to Clay Guida however has turned Anthony Pettis into a better fighter, a fighter who now knows just how good he needs to be. Two fights and one impressive knockout later and Anthony Pettis not only seems like a guy who could defeat a UFC champion, but he is a guy that we have seen defeat the man who currently holds the belt. After the fantastic show the UFC put on this past weekend in the land of the rising sun, it sure seems like Anthony Pettis vs. Benson Henderson II might be on the horizon.

What a difference a year makes…

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Sports

Basketball’s 2012 USA Olympic Uniforms

USAteam


This summer marks the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The men’s basketball team will once again try to dominate the tournament by bringing home the gold medal. Representing one’s country is a distinct honor with the best athletes deserving none other than the best basketball jerseys.

Nike released photos via Twitter of the new look uniforms, and with the new trend in environmentally friendliness, the uniforms are made from 96% recycled polyester. According to Gizmodo, each jersey top is made with 22 recycled plastic bottles. The team shorts weigh only 5 ounces and are comprised of %100 recycled polyester.

usa shoes

As of now the USA Roster features 20 superstars with one more round of cuts coming towards the end of the NBA regular season. Here is the latest breakdown of players currently on the team and more photos of the new look jerseys.

Guards:

Chauncey Billups (Los Angeles Clippers)

Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers)

Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)

Eric Gordon (New Orleans Hornets)

Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls)

Dwayne Wade (Miami Heat)

Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Deron Williams (New Jersey Nets)

Forwards:

Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)

Lebron James (Miami Heat)

Chris Bosh (Miami Heat)

Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies)

Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers)

Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves)

Lamar Odom (Dallas Mavericks)

Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers)

LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers)

Centers:

Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic)

Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks)

 

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The Tampa Bay Rays Just Named Dubstep DJ Kitty Their Mascot

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 dj kitty

Remember Dubstep DJ Kitty, the internet video that stopped going viral almost two years ago? He’s back, but this time it’s not just a remix video. Someone at Tampa Bay Rays headquarters actually decided that they couldn’t come up with a better idea and that DJ Kitty was officially their new mascot. You know, because he was wearing that adorable Rays jersey in the video, so of course it makes sense.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boAf3pyjm6U[/youtube]

The Rays, one of Baseball’s younger teams, might be trying to appeal to the younger fans of Florida while their ex-New Yorker, Yankee fan parents die off. A state that only exists so Americans don’t have to wear coats is not as capable of developing a geo-targeted following as the Mets might have been in the early 60’s. The Rays almost won a World Series a few years back and people still wouldn’t pay the $20 to catch a game.

dj kitty

Management’s solution: “Pull something or other off that new fangled internet business. How bout that cat wearing The Rays jersey? Only two-years old? Perfect!” Not perfect Mr. executive.  Two years in internet time is practically a millennia. But that’s ok. We’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re trying to just do right by the kiddies. Besides, who couldn’t love a Cat wearing a Rays hat and gold chains. And some Dubstep.

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Kicking N Streaming Interview w/ 5-0 MMA Fighter Marianna Kheyfets

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kicking

Happy Day After Valentines Day everybody! While YOUR girl kicks your wallets’ ass through candies, flowers and extravagant dinner dates I am joined by a girl who continues to kick ass inside the cage with her fifth victory last friday night for XFC on HDNet, The Crushen Russian MARIANNA KHEYFETS! The first official fighter of ShotofYager.com and Kicking N Streaming, Marianna continues to proudly represent us here as well as everyone back in her home state of CT. by running through every opponent thrown at her.

marianna kheyfet

She defeated Heather Clark via referee stoppage due to a brutal eye injury and just announced that her next fight will be at Mohegan Sun Casino in CT. for the Bellator Fighting Championship where she has been signed to a one-fight deal. Marianna drops by to talk about last week’s fight, the controversial finish, how she is preparing for Munah Holland on 3/30/12, her thoughts are on Ronda Rousey and Meisha Tate and a whole lot more! Follow Marianna on twitter @MariannaKMMA

Check out KickingNStreaming.com to hear tons of other great MMA interviews with UFC stars like Jake Shields, Thiago Alves, Kenny Florian and Court McGee! Follow me on twitter @SHOTOFYAGER

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Sports

The 20 Best Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Covers Of All time

paulina

Kate Upton is the latest bombshell to make it onto the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit addition. She was well deserving of this distinction and anybody else would have been extremely disappointing. So, we felt it was only appropriate to take a look down memory lane at the hottest 20 girls to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Kate Upton (2012)

Could we really start this gallery without first showing Kate Upton? She’s the latest addition to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit sorority. Quite possibly the hottest.

Irina Shayk (2011)

Irina Shayk was born in Russia so I am sure she can down shots of Vodka like a champ. I’m getting antsy just thinking about it.

Brooklyn Decker (2010)

Andy Roddick is unlucky to play tennis in an era that involves greats like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. On the other hand, he is super lucky to have super model wife Brooklyn Decker by his side.

Marisa Miller (2008)

Taken on the beach in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Marisa Miller is anything but a virgin. We hope.

Beyonce (2007)

Ok so Beyonce techincally isn’t a model, but was anyone really complaining when they saw photos of the one time Destiny’s Child star in smokin hot bathing suits.

Carolyn Murphy (2005)

Carolyn Murphy, an American supermodel born in Florida is everything you could want in a blonde bombshell.

Veronica Varekova (2004)

The 40th anniversary of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit featured Czech model Veronica Varekova posing topless. Her stare could melt a glacier.

Petra Nemcova (2003)

2003 was headlined by beauty queen Petra Nemcova who dazzled the cameras in her red swimsuit.

Yamila Diaz-Rahi (2002)

Speaking of red, Muy caliente is about the only Spanish I know thanks in large part to the red hot supermodel Yamila Diaz-Rahi posing in Mexico.

Elsa Benitez (2001)

Goddesses of the Mediterranean is an understatement. Elsa Benitez in her orange bikini and on all fours could make a grown-ass man drool.

Rebecca Romijn (1999)

Once married to the Full-House actor John Stamos, Rebecca Romijn remains one of the hottest actress ever to be the face ofvSports Illustrated.

Hedi Klum (1998)

In 1998 Hedi Klum was the best thing out of Germany since the Benz. At age 38 she is still a MILF and still the best thing out of Germany. Other than Dirk Nowitzki.

Tyra Banks (1997)

The Bahamas was the sight that hosted Tyra Banks and her photo gallery in 1997. Tyra’s lost a couple of steps since then, but hard not to look at this cover and think of any word but WOW.

Daniela Pestova (1995)

We were torn between which Daniela Pestova photo shoot to use. The iconic images taken in Bermuda of 1995 narrowly squeaked by her beautiful poses taken in the year 2000.

Ashley Montana (1991)

Ashley Montana (no relation to Joe Montana) did have a brief stint with John F. Kennedy Jr. and uou can see why, after looking at her 1991 cover shot, looking as gorgeous as ever in a white one piece bathing suit.

Kathy Ireland (1989)

The best selling Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue was the 25th anniversary special featuring Kathy Ireland on the cover in 1989.

Elle Macpherson (1988)

1988 was the third year in a row that supermodel Elle Macpherson was featured on the front page taking photos on the shores of Thailand.

Paulina Porizkova (1985)

1984 was when the world was introduced to hotty Paulina Porizkova. In 1985 she reappeared on the cover showing off her body in the land down under.

Christie Brinkley (1980)

Billy Joel’s one time Uptown Girl was on the cover for 3 straight years. Christie Brinkley could easily be in our gallery three straight times but we wanted to spread the love and choose her 1980 cover shoot.

Babette March (1964)

We had to give a shout out to the original cover girl who started it all. Babette March in 1964 was the first girl to start one of the best traditions known to mankind.

 

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Philadelphia Wings Put Their Twitter Handles On Jerseys

wingstwitter

wingstwitter

Our generation, simply put, is defined by social media. Everyday millions of new people are using forms of social media to stay connected with their friends, family, and co- workers. So, it was only a matter of time before a professional sports team took Twitter to a whole new level.  The Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League  debuted their brand new social jerseys last night, featuring Twitter handles on the back of jerseys instead of last names. By the way, Philadelphia won the game but who honestly cares? The real story is that Twitter is a marketing tool that sports team are willing to experiement with if it means reaching a larger fan base.

This is a pretty ingenious concept, bringing national attention to a sport that doesn’t receive much coverage. Most sports owners would rather see their star athletes limit the use of Twitter (See Rob Gronkowski and porn star Bibi Jones), but here you have an entire organization embracing Twitter and even forcing their players to have accounts. Imagine if other sports started copying the Philadelphia Wings, forcing players to have an active Twitter handle. You thought the Patriots hated Chad Ochocinco before? Think about the backlash when his back says @Ochocinco. How about seeing @KingJames take the court (Who calls themselves a King with 0 rings?) or Cincinnati Reds’ 2nd baseman @DatDudeBP run out onto the field.

We are probably still a long way from witnessing this in our more mainstream sporting events. For now fans will continue to use Twitter as a way to debate the likes of Tim Tebow or the latest nickname for overnight sensation Jeremy Lin (personal favorite: Super Lintendo). The big teams can never deny however that using Twitter accounts on merchandise would clearly create more revenue and more engagement. At the end of the day, this attracts a broader fan base which is a marketer or professional owner’s dream. I have a feeling this will not be the last time we see Twitter handles on the back of player jerseys.

 

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Everybody Hoops: Podcast w/ Scott Yager and Brian Dernulc

amare

yager

Welcome to Everybody Hoops! Our podcast dedicated to the best indoor sport in the world, basketball! I am joined by our good friend Brian Dernulc to discuss everything in the world of hoops from college all the way to the pros! Check out EverybodyHoops.com for past episodes!

On todays episode…

Brian and I break down the NBA ALL STAR starters for both conferences and discuss who should and shouldn’t be there. We talk about who should make it as a reserve and who has impressed us thus far. Then we break down the top 25 college basketball teams and determine whether they are pretenders or contenders. We share our thoughts on Kevin’s Love Stomp, the Knicks’ troubles, why there aren’t a lot of Syracuse bandwagon fans and who Missouri wants to play in the tournament. We even chat a little bit about that small football game that took place on Sunday, knowing that our listeners are likely starving for more Superbowl analysis.

Follow me on twitter @SHOTOFYAGER

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This Is Why Gisele Bundchen Isn’t Paid To Speak (Video)

tom-brady-gets-consolation-hug-from-gisele-bundchen-after-super-bowl-loss

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIkIjI6r6i0[/youtube]

I apologize in advance to New England fans who may not want to add fuel to the fire of last night’s heart breaking loss. To the rest of the country who hasn’t already seen this hysterical video, Tom Brady’s Supermodel wife  lashed out at Giants fans. This 30-second video was honestly better than any 30-second commercial NBC premiered last night. Gisele Bundchen blames the New England Patriots loss on Tom Brady’s cast of receivers saying, “My husband can not fucking throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can’t believe they dropped the ball so many times.” Here it for yourself and enjoy.

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