Category Archives: Uncategorized

Combat Juggling 2012 Highlights

Today I’d like to share with you the highlights for the 2012 (and 2011) Combat Juggling Finals. I apologize for the delay. With both the NBA finals that I’m not covering and the approaching NHL playoffs I’m also not covering, I was busy living in a world where I didn’t know Combat Juggling existed. I’m still not 100% sure it exists. It seems real enough. There are weirder sports out there. It has a Wikipedia page.

Moving forward, assuming this is real. As Senior Combat Juggling Correspondent  ANY and ALL Combat Juggling news or coverage that comes across my desk will immediately be shared with you.

Once again, assuming this is real.


By Hoa Nguyen. Senior Combat Juggling Correspondent
Follow Hoa on Twitter at @hoabert
You can contact Hoa at

It’s time for professional sports to get serious about psychological drugs.

Scientific American just published a review of recent scientific studies examining the relationship between music and athletic performance.

The key quote: In a 2012 review of the research, Costas Karageorghis of Brunel University in London, one of the world’s leading experts on the psychology of exercise music, wrote that one could think of music as “a type of legal performance-enhancing drug.”

Anyone who’s listened to an iPod at the gym has knows this, but it’s time for professional sports to wake up and address it.

There can no longer be any doubt: listening to music helps people perform better than they would if they just listened to the sounds of nature or the gym. Birds are natural. The sound of feet hitting the pavement is natural (though the sounds of shoes may be unnatural). Men grunting and dropping weights on the floor of the gym is natural. Electric guitars? Not natural. Drum boxes? Not at all natural. Lady Gaga? Not remotely natural.

Stereo equipment? What farm did it come from? iPods? Show me what tree those grow on.

It’s time we face the facts: athletes who listen to recorded music during their workouts are benefiting from artificial, unnatural performance enhancements. They are cheating. The are destroying the integrity of the game, destroying themselves, and destroying the fragile social fabric that binds this nation together.

And it must be stopped. Athletes set an example for our children. And when top athletes “get pumped up” be listening to Lady Gaga, or Justin Bieber, or gangsta rap, what do we think our children will do? They’ll listen to it. And they might become a Belieber and who wants that for their child? Moreover, they’ll perform better in the gym, lifting more, running further, paying less attention to pain, their bodies’ natural way of avoiding injury.

The solution must come from the top.

USA Track and Field has already banned runners from listening to music during races. Are the major sports leagues going to let themselves be led by Track and Field? Or, will the NFL, MLB, and NBA step up and do what’s right, for themselves, for their players, and for America?

Playing music when a batter walks out to box? The science doesn’t lie: this is an artificial performance enhancement.

Just because athletes don’t take it in pill form, or rub it on their skin, or inject it, doesn’t make it less artificial. It’s going straight through their ears into their brain – the fastest intake method conceivable.

Major League Baseball has been rocked by steroid scandals in the past. It should take this opportunity to step up and lead. Ban music at games, and impose serious penalties on athletes who cheat by listening to music in the gym.

By Josh Orum
You can contact Josh at

Quick Slant: Seattle Takes Round 1 in the 2013 Battle for the NFC West

By Kevin York

Photo Credit: (Andy King/AP)

Photo Credit: (Andy King/AP)

Slant: Seahawks trade for Percy Harvin & Ravens trade Anquan Boldin to 49ers


We knew the NFC West was going to be a slugfest this year between San Francisco and Seattle. In the last week both teams made moves to upgrade their receiving corps with Seattle trading for Vikings receiver Percy Harvin and then San Francisco quickly countering by trading for Baltimore receiver Anquan Boldin. I actually like both moves, but the Seahawks made the much stronger play.

Percy Harvin is not just a receiver, he’s an offense. He can line up in the slot, at running back, at the wing, even at tight end. Don’t forget he can also return punts and kicks. Oh yeah, and he’s only 24. Anquan Boldin is a solid receiver, but at 32, provides diminishing returns at this stage of his career. Don’t get me wrong, he’s certainly a step up over Randy “I’m the greatest wide receiver ever” Moss, but I question just how much impact he’ll have on this Niners team. He’s not a blazing deep threat (which they could use) and he’s not that Wes Welker-type slot guy (which they also could use). He reminds me of an older, slower Michael Crabtree.

I don’t want to get too deep into what each team gave up to get Harvin and Boldin, but I think the deals were fair. In this year’s draft, at the position they’re picking, I don’t see the Seahawks getting anything near the ability or impact of Percy Harvin in the first round. It was a deal worth making. And for San Francisco, a sixth round pick for Boldin? He’s worth more than that. Good value for them. Too often when ‘experts’ analyze deals like this they get too caught up on potential, especially for teams giving away draft picks. Look at the reality. The now. The 2013 draft is weak unless you need an offensive or defensive lineman or a linebacker.

In Harvin, the Seahawks now have a bona fide number one receiver to pair with a number of other offensive weapons – stud running back Marshawn Lynch, developing quarterback Russell Wilson, underrated receivers Golden Tate and Sydney Rice, and tight end Zach Miller. Combine that with what’s possibly the best defense in football (yes, better than San Francisco whose secondary let in down a lot toward the end of the season) and I have to say, they have a leg up on the Niners at this point. The battle for the NFC West will be fun to watch this year. Your move, San Francisco…

By Kevin York
Follow Kevin on Twitter at @kevin_york
You can contact Kevin at