Rounds and Quarters

Monday, August 30, 2010

Female Athletes and their Luxurious Earnings

They say that this is a man's world. This statement is so obvious actually. We often see men as the famous people, the rich and the powerful. Seldom we see women who are achieving what this males do. Maybe that's why there are chauvinistic male in the universe,eh. Some men see themselves as the center of this world.

On the other hand, there are also women who we can consider as rich, famous and powerful. And take note they are not wearing corporate uniforms but sportswear uniforms.

Who are they?
According to, these are the top 10 highest paid female athletes:

10. Lorena Ochoa

A Mexican professional golfer. She was an active player on the U.S.-based LPGA Tour from 2003 to 2010, and was the number one ranked female golfer in the world for over three years, from April 2007 to May 2010. As the first Mexican golfer (of either gender) to be ranked number one in the world, she is considered the best Mexican golfer of all time. Ochoa took up golf at the age of five, won her first state event at the age of six, and her first national event at seven.However on April 20, 2010, Ochoa released a statement indicating her intent to retire from professional golf.
Income: $5 million

9. Paula Creamer

An American professional golfer who plays on the U.S.-based Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour. As a professional, she has won 11 tournaments, including 9 LPGA Tour events. Creamer has been as high as number 2 in the Women's World Golf Rankings. She is the current U.S. Open champion, and is undefeated in three years of singles play in the Solheim Cup. As an amateur, Creamer won numerous junior golf titles, including 11 American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) tournaments. Creamer joined the LPGA Tour in the 2005 season, and her victory in that year's Sybase Classic made her the LPGA's second-youngest event winner.
Income: $5.2 million

8. Jelena Janković

A former World No. 1 Serbian professional tennis player. She was runner up at the 2008 US Open and is currently ranked World No. 5.She was ranked World No. 1 for seventeen consecutive weeks until she was overtaken by Serena Williams on February 2, 2009. She was the year-end World No. 1 in 2008, the second player in the history of the WTA tour to do this without winning a Grand Slam title, after Kim Clijsters.
Income: $5.3 million

7. Ana Ivanovic

A former World No.1 Serbian tennis player. As of August 23, 2010, she is ranked World No. 41 on the WTA rankings. She won the 2008 French Open and was the runner-up in singles at the 2007 French Open and the 200 but at the beginning of 2006, she switched to rival Adidas. Ivanovic then signed a lifetime contract with Adidas, she will wear three-stripe products for the rest of her career. Ivanovic will then become an Ambassador for Adidas upon retirement from competitive tennis, she is believed to be the youngest athlete, male or female, to sign a contract that long.
Income: $7.2 million

6. Annika Sörenstam

A Swedish professional golfer whose achievements rank her as one of the most successful golfers in history. Before "stepping away" from competitive golf at the end of the 2008 season, she won 90 international tournaments as a professional, making her the female golfer with the most wins to her name. She has won 72 official LPGA tournaments including ten majors and 18 other tournaments internationally, and she tops the LPGA's career money list with earnings of over $22 million—over $8 million ahead of her nearest rival. Since 2006 Sörenstam has held dual American and Swedish citizenship.
Income: $8 million

5. Kim Yu-na

She is the 2010 Olympic champion in ladies singles, the 2009 World champion, the 2009 Four Continents champion, a three-time (2006–2007, 2007–2008, 2009–2010) Grand Prix Final champion, the 2006 World Junior champion, the 2005–2006 Junior Grand Prix Final champion, a four-time (2002–2005) South Korean Senior national champion and the 2001 South Korean Junior national champion.As of August 2010, she is ranked 1st in the world by the International Skating Union (ISU). She is the current record holder for ladies in the short program,the free skating and the combined total under the ISU Judging System. Also she was the first female skater to surpass the 200-point mark under the ISU Judging System. She has never placed off the podium in her entire career.
Income: $9.7 million

4. Danica Sue Patrick

An American auto racing driver, currently competing in the IndyCar Series, the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards, and the NASCAR Nationwide Series, as well as a model and advertising spokeswoman. Patrick was named the Rookie of the Year for both the 2005 Indianapolis 500 and the 2005 IndyCar Series season. With her win in the 2008 Indy Japan 300, Patrick became the first woman to win an Indy car race. Patrick currently drives the #7 Honda/Dallara for Andretti Autosport. In 2010, Patrick began racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, driving the #7 Chevrolet Impala for JR Motorsports part-time. She also has an equity stake in her #7 team. She placed 3rd in the 2009 Indianapolis 500, which was both a personal best for her at the track and the highest finish by a woman in the event's history.
Income: $12 million

3. Venus Ebony Starr Williams

An American professional tennis player who is currently ranked World No. 4 in singles and World No. 1 in doubles. She has been ranked World No. 1 in singles by the Women's Tennis Association on three separate occasions. She became the World No. 1 for the first time on February 25, 2002. Williams is the reigning champion in women's doubles at the Australian Open, the French Open, and the US Open. Her 21 Grand Slam titles ties her for twelfth on the all time list and is more than any other active female player except for her sister Serena Williams: seven in singles, twelve in women's doubles, and two in mixed doubles. Her seven Grand Slam singles titles ties her with four other women for twelfth on the all-time list. Williams has won three Olympic gold medals, one in singles and two in women's doubles. She has won more Olympic gold medals than any other female tennis player.
Income: $15.4 million

2. Serena Jameka Williams

An American professional tennis player who is currently ranked World No. 1 in singles and No. 2 in doubles with sister Venus Williams(12/8/10). The Women's Tennis Association has ranked her World No. 1 in singles on five separate occasions. She regained this ranking for the fifth time on November 2, 2009. She became the World No. 1 for the first time on July 8, 2002. On July 3, 2010, she became 6th on the all-time greatest champions list.She is the most recent player, male or female, to have held all four Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously and only the fifth woman in history to do so. She has won more Grand Slam titles in singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles than any other active female player.
Income: $20.2 million

1. Maria Yuryevna Sharapova

A former World No. 1 Russian professional tennis player. Sharapova has won 22 WTA singles titles, 3 WTA doubles titles and 3 Grand Slam singles titles, including 2004 Wimbledon, 2006 US Open and 2008 Australian Open. She became the World No. 1 for the first time on Aug 22, 2005. She is currently ranked World No. 17.Sharapova's public profile extends beyond tennis, as she has been featured in a number of modeling assignments, including a feature in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Also she has been featured in many advertisements including Nike, Prince, Canon and many more, also being the face of many fashion houses, primarily Cole Haan. Sharapova was the most searched-for athlete on Yahoo! in both 2005 and 2008. ince February 2007, she has been a United Nations Development Project Goodwill Ambassador, concerned specifically with the Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme.
Income: $24.5 million

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Legacy of the Bloodgate Scandal

"I would prefer even to fail with honor than win by cheating. "

Bad news is that many athletes in sportswear uniforms will prefer to win by cheating than to loss with honor. Perfect example is the "bloodgate scandal" which Tom Williams, an English rugby union player who plays for Harlequins became well known. He normally plays at either full-back or on the wing. However his fame was brought by cheating.

What happened?

During the 2008–09 Heineken Cup quarter final against Leinster, Williams faked a blood injury to allow a tactical substitution to reintroduce Nick Evans leading to the bloodgate scandal.

What is "Bloodgate Scandal"?

It was so called because of the use of fake blood capsules, and has been seen by some as one of the biggest scandals in rugby since professionalisation in the mid 1990s, indeed even as an argument against the professional ethics.

The Result
This resulted in a 12 month ban for Williams, (reduced to four months on appeal), a three year ban for former director of rugby Dean Richards and a two year ban for physiotherapist Steph Brennan from the ERC as well as a £260,000 fine for the club.

I definitely agree. This scandal up till now menace the sports world. Cheating in sports marks not just the athlete but the team itself. Even Mark Evans, chief executive of Harlequin FC can say:
"You would be incredibly naive to think (the Bloodgate stigma) will ever disappear completely. Things like that don't. They become part of history and, like good or bad seasons, are woven into the fabric of any club." Many people says  that ‘If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying,’ but trying to cheat will lead to catastrophe just like what happen to "bloodgate". Still the end will never justifies the means.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Danger of Sports to Rugby Players and Boxers

Professional rugby players and boxers are just two of the groups who may be suffering long-term damage from their chosen careers. Why is this so? A new study shows that athletes who receive repeated blows to the head could be of greater risk of developing dementia later in life. Scientists said they have found the strongest evidence yet that repeated concussions could cause nerve-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.

Researchers from the University of Rochester in New York studied autopsies of 12 athletes who died with brain or neurological disease. All had a newly characterized disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in which dementia set in years after repeated concussions. Three of the men were also diagnosed with ALS, a member of a family of diseases called motor neuron disease, which causes progressively worse paralysis. The researchers looked specifically for a protein called TDP-43. They found it in the brain and in the spinal cords of the men - which could explain the symptoms. Damaging one nerve can sometimes set off a cascade of other nerves dying, for reasons that remain poorly understood and TDP-43 could be involved. Experts in brain injury said the study, published in the Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology, pointed to new areas of research and possible ways to prevent long-term damage from concussions.

The findings also point to an urgent need to monitor soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom suffer brain injuries from explosions, accidents and blows to the head. ‘This is the first pathological evidence that repetitive head trauma experienced in collision sports might be associated with the development of a motor neuron disease,' said lead author Dr Ann McKee of Boston University School of Medicine. Drugs including the hormone progesterone, monoclonal antibodies and the antibiotic minocycline are being studied to see if they can stop the process of nerve destruction that follows injuries such as a blow to the head or stroke.

On the other hand I remember a certain case in my psychology class that disproved this. This is the case of Phineas Cage whose brain was really injured but survived and totally showed signs of being healthy physically. However there are some things that changed after he got that head injury. His personality turned form being friendly to being hostile. And because of his case psychologists and scientists and even people in lab coats and medical scrubs got the idea that brain and personality is related to each other. But his case was not repeated head blows but only one time head injury (but a really damaging head injury, eh), so still this study had proven some points.

Phineas Cage

Anyway as I see it, even without using this research, just by our common sense those players who bump their heads and have repeated blows on their heads are most likely to suffer illness with relation to their brain in the future. Thus men and women in sportswear uniforms must always be careful.  Right?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Glimpse on The History of Football

Am I so round with you as you with me,
That like a football you do spurn me thus?
You spurn me hence, and he will spurn me hither:
If I last in this service, you must case me in leather.

A Comedy of Errors (Act II, Scene 1)

Football has been one of the world's greatest sport. So since this is one of the most famous sport this will be the first kind of sport that I will post here in my blog. 

So what is football and where did it originate?

Football is a kind of team sport which involves kicking a ball with the foot in an attempt to score a goal. (Personally, I wonder if they have sports and team wear eh). The most popular of these sports worldwide is association football, more commonly known  "football" or "soccer". In each particular part of the world football has various names including American football, Australian rules football, Canadian football, Gaelic football, Rugby league, Rugby union and other related games.

This sport  was also referred to a variety of games in medieval Europe which were played on foot.These games were usually played by peasants, as opposed to the horse-riding sports (such as polo) often played by aristocrats. 

The Roman game harpastum is believed to have been adapted from a Greek team game known as "ἐπίσκυρος" (episkyros) or "φαινίνδα" (phaininda), which is mentioned by a Greek playwright, Antiphanes (388–311 BC) and later referred to by the Christian theologian Clement of Alexandria (c.150-c.215 AD). These games appear to have resembled rugby football. However, the main sources of modern football codes appear to lie in western Europe, especially England which is referred to as "mob football". This is played between neighbouring towns and villages which involved an unlimited number of players on opposing teams, who would clash in a heaving mass of people, struggling to move an item such as an inflated pig's bladder, to particular geographical points, such as their opponents' church.

However numerous attempts have been made to ban football games, particularly the most rowdy and disruptive forms. This was especially the case in England and in other parts of Europe, during the Middle Ages and early modern period. Between 1324 and 1667, football was banned in England alone by more than 30 royal and local laws. The need to repeatedly proclaim such laws demonstrated the difficulty in enforcing bans on popular games. King Edward II was so troubled by the unruliness of football in London that on April 13, 1314 he issued a proclamation banning it: 
"Forasmuch as there is great noise in the city caused by hustling over large balls from which many evils may arise which God forbid; we command and forbid, on behalf of the King, on pain of imprisonment, such game to be used in the city in the future."
By 1608, the local authorities in Manchester were complaining that: "With the ffotebale...[there] hath beene greate disorder in our towne of Manchester we are told, and glasse windowes broken yearlye and spoyled by a companie of lewd and disordered persons ..."
That same year, the word "football" was used disapprovingly by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare's play King Lear contains the line: "Nor tripped neither, you base football player" (Act I, Scene 4). Shakespeare also mentions the game in A Comedy of Errors (Act II, Scene 1).