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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ASB Classic says no to Maria Sharapova


Maria Sharapova
PHIL DOYLE/Sunday News
NO RETURN OF SERVE: World No 5 Maria Sharapova will not return for Auckland's ASB Classic in January, instead playing at the Brisbane International.(copyright ESPN Asia 2011)



ASB Classic tournament director Richard Palmer is philosophical about losing this year's main drawcard, Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, to the upgraded Brisbane International next year.
The world No 5 and three-time grand slam champion has opted to tune up for January's Australian Open by playing in Brisbane, which has been upgraded to premier status by the WTA.
That means there is more prizemoney on offer in Brisbane and no restrictions on the number of top-10 players organisers can attract. The ASB Classic can only have one top-10 player and has a fifth of the prizemoney on offer across the ditch.
''She's only one player, albeit a very high profile player,'' Palmer said today.
''This year she chose to play here, next year she chose to play in Brisbane, and we wish her luck.''
Palmer said he had spoken to Sharapova's agent at Wimbledon and there was some initial interest in returning to New Zealand next year.
The 24-year-old pulled in big crowds in Auckland this year before bowing out in the quarterfinals at the hands of Greta Arn.
She reportedly pocketed a $130,000 appearance fee as well as $6500 in prizemoney.
Palmer will look at who is available and start making offers to players around the time of the US Open in early September. He was confident of attracting another top field.
''The field will be more than acceptable,'' he said.
''We're only allowed one top 10 anyway so if they all go to Brisbane we might be able to get more of the players just outside the top 10.''

Mike and Bob Bryan match tennis talent with musical passion.

 By Mirza Iqbal Baig
Mahajir City

 For a long time, Jeff Launius knew a little about his star players’ devotion to music, but was admittedly more concerned about their tennis. Whatever Bob and Mike Bryan decided to do in their free time was fine was him, so long as they continued to take the world — not to mention World TeamTennis by storm.
The brothers have certainly done the latter. When they haven’t been playing for Launius’ Kansas City Explorers over the past seven years, they’ve only risen to break countless records and become the No. 1-ranked doubles team in the world.
But Launius says he didn’t realize how passionate the brothers were about their other craft until roughly five years ago, when they wrapped up a press conference at a Ritz-Carlton in St. Louis one day and Bob spotted a baby grand piano nearby and decided to put on an impromptu show for the stunned audience.
“Bob just hopped on it and started playing,” Launius said, “and it was fantastic. Some people came out and said ‘Oh, that must be an electronic piano.’ And I’m like, ‘nope, that’s Bob Bryan playing.’ And they’re like, ‘really?’”
Really. As good as the Bryan Brothers are at tennis — and when it comes to doubles, there’s nobody better — the 33-year old twins still find the time for a side hobby. With Bob on the keyboard and bass and Mike on the guitar and drums, they started their band — appropriately named The Bryan Brothers Band — in 2009 with fellow musician David Baron.
“We’re not cool enough yet to come up with a cool name like U2,” Mike jokes.
Mike maintains a sense of humor about what he calls their “secondary passion,” but rest assured it is no laughing matter. The brothers released a CD with Baron in 2010, and Mike says they play 15-to-20 gigs a year and entertain fans with a variety of music, ranging from rock to pop. Their father, Wayne, has been known to get in on the act from time-to-time and function as the front man.
“It’s in our blood,” Mike says. “We played music when we were little and we had all these musical instruments in the living room. We always dreamed of being rock stars, though it’s probably never going to happen.”
That doesn’t keep them from trying to fulfill the musical dreams in the same way they did their tennis dreams. Growing up, they wanted to be like the Australian doubles team of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde (also known as The Woodies),who played with flair and held a number of doubles records, that is, until the Bryans came along.
Since they began their professional tennis careers in 1998, the Bryans — who are fresh off their second Wimbledon doubles title, which they collected earlier this month — have broken the Woodies’ record for most tour titles (73 to 61) and are tied for most Grand Slam titles (11).
It’s obviously taken tons of practice and hard work to achieve all of that, which — in a roundabout way — also confirms how serious they are about their music.
“We practice as much as we play tennis,” Mike said. “We put in a few hours a day, at least.”
And they’ve gotten so good that for a while now, Launius has gone out of his way to get the Bryans to perform their music here in Kansas City. They actually did a show in the Power and Light District last summer, and after they help the Explorers take on the Sacramento Capitals in a home match at 7:35 tonight, they’ll come right back to Barney Allis Plaza at 7 p.m. Friday.
Tickets for the concert cost $15, but Launius says all proceeds will go to charity. He’s unsure what the turnout will be — he says the crowd for their most recent concert on Tuesday in Sacramento was good — but one thing he will vouch for is this: if their last concert in Kansas City was any indication, fans hoping to see the best doubles team in the world perform at their second craft will come away satisfied.
“People who came out last year were amazed how good they were,” Launius said. “You will not be disappointed if you come out.”

For feedback email at: blog.pakihungama@gmail.com

Gray's photo will continue to hang at tennis center

There will be some new faces on the wall at Hamilton Park Tennis Center this year, but one repeat look will be Taylor Gray, who won the Girls 14 singles title on Wednesday in the Wichita Falls City Tournament.
Gray's picture has been up all year for taking the Girls 12s title in 2010, when she was second in 14s.
Gray defeated Kasey Coker 6-1, 6-1 in Wednesday's final. She later won a doubles title with Peyton Trebisky in 14s, too.
Gracie Reynolds took over as the Girls 12 champ with a 6-3, 2-6, 10-6 win over Casie Curry in the final.
In the boys divisions, William Saied took 18s with a 3-6, 6-4, 10-7 victory over Andrew Long; Isaac Ball wrapped up 12s with a third straight-set win; and Tyler Farson beat Andrew Tegtmeyer to take 14s.
Maggie Ross won Girls 18s on Tuesday after winning 16s in 2010.
Keith Terrell probably won't get a picture on the wall, that's for the juniors, but he repeated as the Men's Open champion with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Shane Trebisky.
CITY TOURNAMENT RESULTSResults from the Wichita Falls City Tennis Tournament at Hamilton Park Tennis Center:GIRLS 12 SINGLESFinals — Gracie Reynolds d. Casie Curry 6-3, 2-6, 10-6GIRLS 14 SINGLESFinals — Taylor Gray d. Kasey Coker 6-1, 6-1.
Consolation — Hillery d. Todd 8-4.GIRLS 14 DOUBLES(round robin) Trebisky-Gray d. Hillery-Thacker 6-0, 6-1; Trebisky-Gray d. Shepley-Todd 6-0, 6-0 (Trebisky-Gray win title).GIRLS 18 SINGLESFinal — Maggie Ros d. McKenzie Montellano 6-0, 6-0.WOMEN'S B SINGLES(round robin) Debbie Mayfield d. Jacki Leitheiser 6-4, 6-0.OPEN MIXED DOUBLESSemifinals — Trebisky-Trebisky d. Schultz-Wilemon 6-4, 7-6; Luxton-Luxton d. Humpert-Lewis 6-4, 6-1.BOYS 18 SINGLESFinals — William Saied d. Andrew Long 3-6, 6-4, 10-7.MEN'S OPEN SINGLESSemifinals — Shane Trebisky d. Eric Simmons 6-3, 6-4; Keith Terrell d. Murphy Davis 6-4, 6-0.
Finals — Terrell d. Trebisky 6-4, 6-0.MEN'S 25 DOUBLESFinals — Murdocks d. Featherstons.ADULT B MIXEDFinals — Garcia-VanDeVyvere d. Hendrickson-Wainscott 6-0, 6-1.BOYS 12 SINGLES(round robin) Isaac Ball d. Brett Farson 6-3, 6-4 (Ball wins title; Sean Valverde second).BOYS 14 SINGLES(round robin) Tyler Farson d. Andrew Tegtmeyer 6-2, 6-2 (Farson wins title; Tegtmeyer second).

Campbell native played 13 seasons in pros

Ralph Goldston, 82
Staff report
COLUMBUS
Ralph Goldston, a football star at Campbell Memorial and Youngstown State who helped integrate the Philadelphia Eagles in the early 1950s, has died. He was 82.
Goldston graduated in 1947 from Campbell Memorial, where he was one of the finest players for legendary coach John Knapick. He went to Indiana University, lettering one season, before returning to Youngstown State.
He was an 11th-round draft pick in 1952 of the Philadelphia Eagles, and he, along with Don Stevens of Illinois, were the first two African-Americans on the Eagles’ roster.
“I didn’t know about any color line,” Goldston said in 2005 interview with CSNPhilly.com. “I didn’t find out that I was the first [black player] until I was there for awhile. It wasn’t a big deal. Don and I were treated the same as the other rookies.”
According to Goldston, it was only an issue when the team traveled. In several cities, he said, he and Stevens were forced to stay in a different hotel. He said the arrangement had its advantages. “All it meant,” he said, “was Don and I didn’t have a curfew.”
Goldston played three years in the NFL — he missed the entire 1953 season with a broken leg he suffered in an exhibition game — before going to the Canadian Football League, where he played 10 seasons and won two Grey Cups with the Hamilton Tiger Cats in 1957 and 1963.
Joe Malmisur played for East High, which had a great rivalry with Campbell in those days.
“The East High-Campbell Memorial game wasn’t a game; it was a war,” said Malmisur. “We competed like crazy against each other and actually played together in the 1946 WKBN North-South All-Star game.
“In 1946, the Red Devils had a tremendous record and we had already knocked off New Castle in the season opener, so we weren’t exactly chopped liver. In a hard fought game for both teams, we were able to knock them off but it was a real battle and Ralph, as usual, was a big part the Red Devils’ offense.”
After retiring as an active player, Goldston spent 30 years as a college coach (Harvard and Colorado) and finally a scout for the Seattle Seahawks.
“Ralph was one of the toughest, most competitive athletes that the Mahoning Valley has ever produced,” said Ken Brayer, who graduated from Campbell Memorial in 1956. “He was always appreciative of the opportunity that Coach Knapick gave him at Campbell Memorial and Dike Beede at Youngstown College. He coached at Harvard and to this day they still talk of his many Goldstonisms that were echoed on the practice field.”
Retired Youngstown State police officer Jim Gray was a childhood friend of Goldston. He remembered Goldston for his encouragement of young people.
“As kids, our backyards butted up against each other and for 76 years we had what I considered a marvelous friendship,” said Gray. “You will read a lot about Ralph’s athletic accomplishments and rightfully so. However, there are many, many young men today living a wonderful life because he cared enough to help get them into college. He wanted to make sure that they received an education in order to become a productive member of society when they graduated. Quite frankly, his advice always seemed to be right on the money.”
Campbell Memorial compiled a 19-5-5 record in Goldston’s three varsity seasons. Three of his most well-known touchdowns came in victories against Chaney, Struthers and Steubenville. He had a 63-yard touchdown run in the aforementioned WBKN all-star game in 1946.
“Being a Campbell native and Memorial High grad, you were always reminded of the football exploits of a handful of Red Devils stars and Ralph Goldston was always on the short list of his alma mater’s all-time greats,” said former Youngstown State sports information director Greg Gulas. “He also starred for the Penguins under Dike Beede and was their second ever professional football player.
“What I admired most about Ralph was that he always told it like it was. He never sugar coated anything and he didn’t care if it offended you. Ralph was a trailblazer who remained passionate about his Mahoning Valley roots.”
Paul McFadden, the Chief Development Officer at Youngstown State who also played for the Eagles, remembered Goldston as “a pioneer in our [YSU] football program.”
“He was a very visible mentor during my playing days. He always had a word of encouragement for you, but was also quick to point out any flaws if we expected to improve our game,” McFadden said.
He is survived by his wife, Sarah, one son, Ralph Jr., three daughters, Ursula, Beverly and Monique, and five grandchildren. The funeral will take place on Saturday at Sterling McCullough Williams Funeral Home, 632 Belmont Ave.

Bronco on last year's Utah-BYU football game

Of all the things that BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall said at media day, perhaps the one that caused the biggest stir was that he believes his team was better than Utah's team last year.
Seconds after he said it, I tweeted it out on my @drewjay Twitter feed, and inquiries started pouring in.
A lot of people wanted to know the context of Mendenhall's statement, which is sure to raise the ire of Utah fans.
Here it is:
Tribune columnist Kurt Kragthorpe got in the first question when Mendenhall sat down with print reporters immediately after the opening session in Studio C at the BYU broadcast building.
Kragthorpe wanted to know how Mendenhall will judge whether a season is successful or not, now that BYU is independent.
His reply:
"A lot of the same way I have been judging our seasons before. I think as a coach, you have an idea of what your team is capable of. And you know when they play if they are getting close to that or not, whether you win or not.
"Our game against Utah, for example, a year ago, I thought we played a good football game. I wasn't convinced the better team won. But I thought we played a good game. So that's just a small example.
"And now going independent, and some of the coaching changes that have happened, have not been in relation to wins. It could be argued that it has been one of the [best] winning stretches in BYU's history. But when I think about our program, and unreached potential, that's really what I measure us against. Are we as a staff and players performing at a level that truly reaches what we are capable of? And I think that's the best gauge. Easy as a coach, and easy in the setting we are in now to only be tied to wins and losses. But it is a reality. I will only keep my job if that happens. But I have actually felt better after a few losses, with how we played, than after a few wins.
"And so I am going to try to maintain that perspective as much as possible."

So there you have it.

'NCAA Football 12' is on the Path to Glory

Huzzah! Video game football season is upon us, friends.

Facts

COMING SOON

Tuesday:
"Just Dance Summer Party"
[Nintendo Wii, Rating Pending]

July 26:
"Sims 3 Town Life Stuff"
[PC, Rating Pending]

Aug. 2:
"Bleach: Soul Resurreccion"
[PS3, Rating Pending]

Sept. 6:
"Resistance 3"
[PS3, Mature]

Sept. 13:
"NHL 12"
[Xbox 360, PS3, Rating Pending]

Sept. 13:
"Harvest Moon: Tale of Two Towns"
[Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Everyone]

Sept. 13:
"Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove"
[Nintendo 3DS, Rating Pending]
It's time to fire up the grill and invite some buddies over for a spirited weekend of "NCAA Football 12" (360, PS3; rated Everyone) competition.
Just kidding! You're out of propane and don't have any buddies.
It's actually time to sit in a dark room the next few months and obsess over some awful team in Dynasty mode as your neglected lawn threatens to consume the house, leading the neighbors to think you're dead (or foreclosed upon). Real passion knows no boundaries.
I'm ashamed to admit this, but I broke a decade-long tradition and skipped last year's edition of "NCAA Football." It was time for a break.
After logging approximately eleventy billion hours with the franchise since college I decided to take a step back and reassess how I spend my disposable income and increasingly rare free time. I thought about it long and hard for a good 20 seconds or so ... and then played "World of Warcraft" for the rest of the afternoon.
But my year-long absence from "NCAA Football" made the heart grow fonder, and now I'm ready for coach to put me back in the game.
The selling points for "NCAA Football 12" include the "Road to Glory" mode, in which you start as a high school prospect, play through your senior season, and try to get recruited by top schools. Once on campus you'll have to perform well on game days to keep your position as a starter.

Google Hates Professional Sports

Google is making fun of Sports lover by including ridiculous keywords in search box suggestion.

Seven Sports Franchises That Lost At Least $50 Million In Value In The Past Year

dillon gee mets
Manchester United has once again been named the most valuable sports team in the world by Forbes yearly list, adding $30 million to its value since last year. But not all of the valuable sports franchises were as lucky as Manchester United, in fact, 24 out of the 50 actually lost value in the past year.
With people spending less and ticket prices getting higher, a lot of these teams can't put people in the seats. It also doesn't help if one of the partners in your franchise ran the world's largest ponzi scheme.

NBA Jam Creator Leaves EA Sports for Zynga

Mark Turmell, the creator of the NBA Jam series that saw a revival last year on modern consoles, has left EA Sports for the social games developer Zynga, Kotaku has learned.
Turmell's is the latest in a string of notable departures from EA Tiburon, one of two EA Sports studios and the production site of titles such as Madden and NCAA Football. Past departures have included Madden NFL's executive producer and creative director, and the former general manager of EA Tiburon.
Though most closely associated with the NBA Jam series, which he created in 1993, Turmell, as senior creative director, had been working on it in addition to other projects within EA Sports since joining the label in 2009.
His hiring stoked rumors of a return of NFL Blitz, for which he also was the lead designer in his time at Midway. Electronic Arts bought the Blitz property when Midway was liquidated. EA has refused to comment on any rumors about Blitz's return, so it's unknown how or if Turmell's departure would affect such a game.
An EA Sports spokesman confirmed Turmell's departure. "We appreciate Mark's contribution to Tiburon and EA Sports and wish him well in future endeavors," he told Kotaku in a statement.
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