Tag Archives | Sports

Extreme Fans Would Give Up A Body Part For Their Team To Win The World Cup

world_cup_2010_logoA survey reveals that some soccer fans are so eager to see their national team win at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa that they’d give up a body part to make it happen. I really want England to win, but I’m not sure I’d go that far … would you? Reported by Reuters:

Fifty-one percent of respondents to the tongue-in-cheek survey of 20,000 people, who live in North America but hail from countries with teams in the June 11-July 11 World Cup, said they would starve themselves for a week if that would bring victory to their national squad.

More than 40 percent offered to give up dating for a year, while seven percent said they would gladly give up their job to see their country win the title.

A further four percent were willing to give away a body part.

The survey was conducted by U.S.-based international calling firm VIP Communications Inc (www.JoinVIP.com) ahead of the South African extravaganza featuring 32 nations.

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Did Corruption Bring The World Cup To Africa?

FIFA, the soccer world’s governing body, has been accused of various corrupt practices, as has its controversial president, Sepp Blatter, who engineered the selection of South Africa for the 2010 edition of the event, which takes place every four years, like the Olympics. Rumors of bribery amongst African nations swirled at the time of Blatter’s election as FIFA president. The upcoming disinformation® documentary World Cup Soccer in Africa: Who Really Wins? also questions FIFA’s motives and whether the event will really benefit Africa. Now William Watts asks some tough questions of FIFA, at Marketwatch:

It may carry a lower profile than the International Olympic Committee, another controversial, Swiss-based international sports body. And to many Americans, Fifa, which stands for Federation Internationale de Football Association, means nothing alongside the likes of the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball.

But the overseer of international soccer captained by Joseph “Sepp” Blatter has repeatedly shaken off allegations of corruption and regional in-fighting as well as a global recession to become arguably the most powerful sports organization on the planet.

It’s all down to the World Cup — the quadrennial extravaganza that crowns the world’s soccer champion and is rivaled only by the Olympics as the most watched sporting event around the globe.

Blatter last month was able to brag that Fifa’s annual 2009 revenues passed the $1 billion level for the first time in its history, leaving the organization with a $196 million surplus…

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South Africa Imports 42 Million Condoms For World Cup Soccer

world_cup_2010_logoPerhaps taking a cue from the emergency shipment of condoms sent to Vancouver after the Olympic village exhausted supplies, soccer’s World Cup in South Africa, coming up in June, is making sure that the AIDS-ravaged nation has ample supplies, as reported in the Guardian:

Britain is to give 42m condoms to South Africa in response to a request for an extra billion as part of an HIV prevention drive before the World Cup, the government will announce today.

The request for British help in stockpiling sufficient condoms for the expected influx of thousands of football supporters in three months’ time was made during President Jacob Zuma’s recent visit to the UK to meet the Queen.

“Obviously there’s a big focus on the World Cup coming up and a huge increase in the number of people coming into South Africa,” said the international development minister, Gareth Thomas, who will announce the £1m funding today at an emergency summit in London on HIV prevention and treatment.

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Perfect Humans – Is It Really Wrong To Enhance Athletes?

Mark_mcgwire

Mark McGwire, St. Louis, 2001. Photo: Rick Dikeman (CC)

Now that the Olympics are over, science writer Quinn Norton asks if there’s contradictory rules when athletes technologically enhance their bodies. “A new injectable hormone will quickly become anathema, but seeking multiple LASIK eye surgeries to get better than 20/20 vision is a professional responsibility… Another instructive example is Tommy John surgery, an operation that replaces the ligament in the elbow that tends to suffer most in baseball pitchers. This surgery lets them pitch harder for longer, and despite being a major surgical modification, it isn’t viewed negatively.”

And here’s an even better example. “Injections of synthetic Erythropoietin to boost performance are a major no-no in sports. It’s considered blood doping. But athletes can produce EPO another way: by sleeping in a hypobaric chamber. This reduces oxygen and air pressure to what it would be somewhere 10,000-15,000 feet above sea level. The body responds by producing its own EPO — and lots of it — to get as much oxygen to the sleeping muscles as it can in the deprived environment.… Read the rest

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Brains, Brawn and Spectacle – Superbowl Boycott

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe:

Though we definitely can act it, most Americans aren’t stupid, even football proves that. It takes a decent amount of brainpower to remember statistics, history, game strategy and betting strategy. Unfortunately, it’s so much misappropriated focus. We’ll spend countless hours, dollars and energy on this one game, then we’ll spend the same on March Madness, the World Series, the Stanley Cup and varried playoffs. In between, we’ll throw an equal amount of time and talent into Hallmark holidays and celebrity awards shows.

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Super Bowl To Feature Pro-Life Ads

AFP reports that the Super Bowl on Sunday will include commercials from venomous conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family. The spots star Heisman Trophy-winning college quarterback Tim Tebow discussing the amorality of abortion.

CBS is supposed to have a ban on advocacy commercials during the Super Bowl. The below ad, produced by the United Church of Christ, was previously rejected for its message of tolerance of gays…but in tough economic times, you take all the ad money you can get.

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Florida Residents Near Super Bowl Stadium Told to Watch Out for The Who’s Pete Townshend

Jose Lambiet writes in the Palm Beach Post:

The homes and schools close to Dolphins Stadium are receiving “sex offender advisory” postcards this week warning residents to watch out for The Who’s Pete Townshend, who’ll be performing at halftime of Super Bowl XLIV.

By next week, 1,500 homes will have received the postcard, sent by the Brevard County-based Protect Our Children. The non-profit acts as a community watchdog when it comes to sex offenders and sends similar cards to Melbourne residents where known pedophiles live.

Townshend, 63, was arrested in England in a 2003 roundup of alleged pedophiles accused of cruising online sites for photos of child sex. Townshend said he was just doing research for a book at the time. He wasn’t convicted of anything but was placed on that country’s list of sexual offenders for five years.

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‘Space Diver’ to Attempt First Supersonic Freefall

Charles Q Choi writes in New Scientist:

Supersonic FreefallA “space diver” will try to smash the nearly 50-year-old record for the highest jump this year, becoming the first person to go supersonic in freefall. The stunt could help engineers design escape systems for space flights.

On 16 August 1960, US Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger made history by jumping out of a balloon at an altitude of some 31,333 metres. “I stood up and said a prayer and stepped off,” he recalled.

Since then, many have tried to break that record but none have succeeded — New Jersey native Nick Piantanida actually died trying in 1965. Now Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner has announced he will make the attempt, with help from Kittinger and sponsorship from the energy drink company Red Bull.

Baumgartner, who became the first person to cross the English Channel in freefall in 2003, will be lofted to a height of 36, 575 metres in a helium balloon.

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Kim Jong-il Bans World Cup Coverage – Unless North Korea Wins

From The Telegraph:

The Supreme Leader has ordered state-run television not to broadcast live games, and to only screen highlights of North Korea’s victories.

The ruling means that 99 per cent of the country’s 29 million population will not be able to find out who wins the competition unless the 350-1, outsiders win it.

Games between other nations will be banned from the airwaves, while any highlights of North Korea’s matches will be heavily edited to ensure that they look like the better team.

All advertising in the stadiums will also be blurred out – along with opposition fans, The Sun newspaper reported.

Mike Breen, author of highly-respected book Kim Jong-il: North Korea’s Dear Leader, said: “Like everything else there, the regime will have complete control over the World Cup.

[Read more at The Telegraph]… Read the rest

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