Last evening (July 12th, 2017) marked the highly anticipated ESPY Awards- a high class event that was designed to recognize top-performing athletes, and affiliates of various sporting organizations. This year marked the 25th annual ceremony, and it was hosted in Los Angeles, California.
Narrated by former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, this event was full of honorable, tear-jerking stories, accompanied by good humor to lighten the mood. Manning poked fun at several different athletes (although Kevin Durant wasn’t a fan) before rolling out the actual awards.
Aside from recognizing top performing players, the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award show also accredits noble individuals who have made a difference within the sports community. This year there were several heart-warming awards given to extremely deserving individuals including:
For a complete list of winners click here!
Written by Tara
Tim Tebow is making headlines as a minor league baseball player as he continues to hit well for the New York Met’s A affiliate, the Columbia Fireflies. As of last week he was 40 for 178 with 18 RBIs.
As we all know Tim Tebow did not start off with Major League Baseball dreams. In 2011, the Heisman Trophy winner led the Denver Broncos to their first AFC West title since 2005. However, even after a successful season he was traded to the NY Jets (and then released), signed with the New England Patriots (and cut) and he stepped away for a few seasons to only try again with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015. Never getting back to his “Tebow Time” ways of 2011, Tebow switched gears and surprised many when he signed with the New York Mets on a minor league contract in 2016.
Tim Tebow is not the only athlete to switch professional leagues, and no we aren’t talking about that time Michael Jordan tried playing for the Chicago White Sox. We are talking about athletes who successfully transferred to a new league or crazily enough, played in two professional leagues at the same time!
Brian Jordan, from 1989 to 1991, Jordan played in the NFL and earned a spot on the roster for the Pro-Bowl as an Atlanta Falcon. After that? In 1992 he moved over to the MLB where he played 15 seasons. In 1999 he was voted into the MLB All-Star game as an Atlanta Brave.
Bo Jackson, like Tebow, he won the Heisman Trophy. Jackson was originally drafted to the NFL only to play professional baseball (first) instead. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers who initially drafted Jackson would go on to trade him to the Los Angeles Raiders in 1987. In 1987, Jackson had 396 at bats with 22 home runs, 53 RBIs and an on base percentage of .296 with the Kansas City Royals and he played in 7 games for the Los Angeles Raiders, rushing for 554 yards with 6 touch downs. He would continue to play for the Raiders for three more seasons before leaving the NFL and stayed in the MLB until 1994.
Deion Sanders, he once played a professional baseball game (where he hit a home run) and a professional football game (where he scored a touchdown) all in the same weekend! He would later attempt to play in both leagues on the same day, after playing with the Falcons in Miami Sanders went to Pittsburgh for Game 5 of the NLCS however, after he arrived he sat on the bench. He is also the only person to have rings from both the World Series and the Super Bowl.
Gene Conley, was a pitcher in the MLB for 11 seasons and concurrently played in the NBA for six. He is the only person to have a World Series ring and a NBA Championship ring.
While the number of athletes who have successfully played in multiple professional leagues may be few it does not mean that Tim Tebow cannot succeed as an outfielder after an attempt at a career as a quarterback. Only time will tell if Tebow will get to put on the orange and blue jersey in Queens but if and when he does, he could become part of an elite group of athletes in sports history.
Written by Kristen
He doesn’t seem to think so! Tom Brady announced that he would be on the cover of Madden NFL 18 titled the “G.O.A.T. Edition” while also poking fun at the “Madden Curse” and other superstitions such as breaking a mirror and walking under a ladder in a tongue and check video posted on Friday morning.
To understand the “Madden Curse” one must go back to 1998 when the first player on the cover was San Francisco 49ers running back, Garrison Hearst for Madden NFL 1999, he broke his ankle that year. Prior to this all covers featured John Madden, even this year saw two covers one with John and one with Garrison.
From there the curse snowballs, for the 2000 edition, the curse struck twice. Originally meant to include Barry Sanders on the cover, he abruptly retired which allowed for a new athlete to take the cover, Dorsey Levens. Levens and the Green Bay Packers played in two previous Super Bowls but Levens was bothered by a knee injury which led the Packers to finish 8-8 on the year.
Need further proof? In 2003, just days after Madden NFL 2004 featuring Michael Vick hit the shelves, Vick fractured his right fibula and only played in 5 games that season. The Falcons finished 5-11.
Madden NFL 2006 featured Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, Donovan McNabb. Coming off of a season where they lost the Super Bowl by just 3 points, McNabb would suffer a hernia in the first game of the 05-06 season. Though he went on to play for eight games he ended up needing surgery and missing the rest of the season having the Eagles finish in last place.
Brett Favre had an amazing 2007 season with the Green Bay Packers and retired after it, because of this he was selected to be on the cover of Madden NFL 2008. Then things took a turn. Favre decided he wanted to play and was traded to the New York Jets. Though things started off well for his new team, after a bicep injury he failed to put up ’07 numbers and the Jets did not make the playoffs.
In 2012 Cleveland Browns running back, Peyton Hillis was yet another victim of the “Madden Curse”. In 2011 Hills rushed for more than 1,100 yards, cut to his year on the cover of Madden and he didn’t even reach 600 yards. His production after being put on the cover was literally cut in half.
Brady will be the second New England Patriot to grace the cover in two years. Last year’s cover boy was Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots won the Super Bowl but Gronk missed it due to being put on the injured reserve for the entire postseason.
The New England quarterback turns 40 on August 3rd, will his age have a hand in any troubles he might have this season or will it be the “Madden Curse”?
Madden NFL 18 the “G.O.A.T. Edition” drops on August 25th you can reserve your copy now.
Written by Kristen
Whenever a game goes beyond the standard 9 innings, any innings that follow are looked at just as they’re titled, extra. These innings are being thrown in for free, and if your New York Yankees announcer, Michael Kay, you may even exclaim “bonus cantos” which he translates to mean “free Baseball” whenever this happens.
Earlier in the week, the Yankees played a game that had just that, free Baseball! Their game in Chicago ended in the wee-hours of the morning on Monday. The New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs played two games in one night, but it only counts as one loss Cubs fans, don’t worry.
What started Sunday night was your average baseball game, what ended Monday morning was a record breaking game that saw 44 strikeouts combine. This was the first game in MLB history where each team stuck out at least 21 times. Were the pitchers on fire? Or by the end of it, were the hitters just tired? Either way the game ended after 18 innings, which included both a 7th inning stretch and a 14th inning stretch.
Though a marathon, this game was actually not the most innings played in a game in MLB history, it isn’t even close!
Back in 1920, the Boston Braves and the Brooklyn Robins (pre-Dodgers) played 26 innings and the game ENDED IN A TIE because day became night and this was 1920 and the fields didn’t have lights. On top of that, both starters pitched all 26 innings, again in the 20’s there was no “bullpen”.
There are 2 games tied for 2nd. The first played in 1974, the St. Louis Cardinals at New York Mets with 25 innings and the second, in 1984 when The Milwaukee Brewers took on the Chicago White Sox. The latter is unique because, aside from the 25 innings it took to name a winner, this game was also played over the course of two todays. The game was halted in the 18th inning and resumed the next day where play continued for another six innings.
Tied for 3rd are two games that each took 24 innings to complete and that each involve the Philadelphia Athletics. The first from 1906, it was the A’s against the then Boston Americans (now Red Sox). The second game took place in 1945 with the Philadelphia Athletics taking on the Detroit Tigers. This game ended in a tie, each team scored a run in the 4th and 7th innings respectively and then, that was it.
The 4th longest game took place in 1964, the Giants and Mets played 23 innings at Shea Stadium. What makes this game special is it was the 2nd game in a double header! The two teams had already played your run of the mill, 9 innings BEFORE this 23 inning monster.
Coming in at 5th place for most innings played with 22, The Dodgers vs the Astros in 1989.
So while 18 innings may seem like a long game (and it is) there have been plenty other teams who have played for just as long, and longer.
Written by Kristen
Take me out to a ball game, but don’t buy me peanuts and cracker jacks…I’ll take the 16” brisket or the Apple Pie Nachos please!
Baseball stadium food has come a long way, gone are the days where one could just grab a hot dog from a cart, these days stadiums are fully equipped with food courts offering everything from pizza to sushi and each year stadiums introduce their new spin on food and fans around the country gobble it up! Below are just a few of the interesting items you’ll find at ballparks in the 2017 season.
SunTrust Park: Atlanta, Georgia
The “Tomahawk Chop Sandwich” can be enjoyed while taking in an Atlanta Braves game. This colossal sandwich features a fried pork chop, collard green slaw and white BBQ sauce. Did we mention one sandwich serves FOUR PEOPLE?
Globe Life Park: Arlington, Texas
Everything is bigger in Texas, and the Texas Rangers are not disappointing fans this year with their “M.V.T (Most Valuable Tamale)” this two-foot-long, tamale-filled hot dog includes jalapenos, cheese and sour cream.
Guaranteed Rate Field: Chicago, Illinois
Taking in a White Sox game? Chicago is trying to give Texas a run for their money! One could go quite big and grab the “Giant Smoky Pit Baked Grilled Mac & Cheese” which is a 16” Brisket Mac & Cheese Grilled Cheese.
For more mouthwatering treats, Click Here.
Written by Kristen
It’s almost time to dust off the cleats and start swinging bats. Get your catcher’s gloves ready because baseball season is about to open up. While our favorite players are preparing with Spring Training, it’s time to start thinking how you can help your team win the Commissioner’s Trophy at the World Series. There are plenty of reasons to be superstitious during baseball season. With the curse of Bambino, the Billy Goat and Shoeless Joe, why not air on the side of caution? Honestly, what you do could affect how your team plays. So here are the top 5 superstitions for baseball fans to help their team get to the big game.
5. Wearing the Same Clothes - All sorts of superstitions begin with consistency. Wearing the same clothes to watch a baseball game could mean life or death for a fan’s favorite team. It is also recommended to not wash these lucky garments, so that the luck doesn’t go down the drain. Generally this rule only applies to visible clothing. Anything underneath can be washed. Try a few different pieces of baseball memorabilia while watching the game. One of them just might have a little luck on it. But don’t switch it up too much. That could cost a team the game.
4. Always Pay Attention to the Game – Life can send a few distractions, but a true fan knows when it’s okay to look away and when they need to keep their head in the game. Looking away for too long may cause the mind to wander and could end up losing the game. This superstition says it is important for fans to always pay attention.
3. Rally Cap – For late games, a rally cap is said to really turn the game around. Turning a cap inside out and backwards could improve how well a fan’s team is playing. Another cap related trick? To break out of a tie game, simply wear a hat backwards.
For more on Baseball superstitions, Click Here.
Written by Kaza
The New England Patriots were down 21-3 at the half and they ended up setting two Super Bowl records.
The first quarter ended scoreless and with Tom Brady getting sacked, twice. The second quarter ended with the Pats down 21-3. In the third, things didn’t look any better after a missed a field goal kick cost them the extra point. It wasn't until the fourth where things got interesting. The fourth started with the Pats facing a 28-9 deficit. A successful field goal and touchdown brought the score up to 28-20.
With more than three minutes left in play, the Patriots were making their way down the field in an attempt to tie the game. The Falcons had the ball just out of their fingertips a few times but they could not successfully stop the drive. At the end of the fourth it was all tied up 28-28 and for the first time in Super Bowl history there would be overtime played.
As if the past 30 minutes weren’t exciting enough, the Patriots almost clinched the win when Tom Brady passed to Martellus Bennett in the end zone only to have a flag on the play. They would have to do it again, but could they get it done? The answer was yes. Though not in a flashy, catch the pass from Brady way. James White willed the upper half of his body across the end zone just as his knees dropped and with that, touchdown, 34-28 Patriots win. Also for the first time in Super Bowl history, a team came back from more than a 10 point deficit to win the game. Roger Goodell was on hand to present the trophy to Robert Kraft, through boos, and Tom Brady was named MVP.
To read about other things that happened during the Super Bowl (like the commercials and the halftime show), Click Here.
Written by Kristen
What was billed as an exciting day of football with the leagues four elite quarterbacks all set to take the field ended with each game being decided by 19+ points.
First up, Packers vs. Falcons. A 44-21 score sees the Atlanta Falcons returning to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1998. This is Atlanta’s second time heading to the Super Bowl in the team’s franchise. By halftime The Falcons were up 24-0 and before the Packers could get up the board they would go up 31-0. The Packers went into this game with an 8 game winning streak and Mason Crosby had a streak of his own kicking 23 straight field goals. Both streaks met their end yesterday. What a way to close the Georgia Dome, the Falcons have played in the stadium since 1992 and will play in their new home for the start of the 2017 season.
Next, the Patriots took on the Steelers. Winning 36-17 this is the second time in three years New England’s team will head to the Super Bowl, the 7th time overall for quarterback Tom Brady. Pittsburgh faced a tough break in the first after Le’Veon Bell left due to an injury and like the Packers, the Steelers went into the day with winning streak only to see it end in Foxborough. The relentless New England fans started to chant, “Where is Roger?” as the Patriots made going to the Super Bowl look easy.
In two weeks, the Falcons and Patriots will head to NRG Stadium in Houston for Super Bowl 51. Game time is 6:30pm airing on FOX with country mega star, Luke Bryan set to sing the “Star Spangled Banner” and pop sensation, Lady Gaga poised to headline the halftime show.
Written by Kristen
Saturday, January 14th:
First up, the Seattle Seahawks took on the Atlanta Falcons and for the second year in a row, the Seattle Seahawks couldn’t make it past the divisional round. They fell to the Atlanta Falcons 36-20. The question that was on everyone’s mind after this game is, can an entire game’s momentum really shift in one penalty? The answer seems to be a resounding, yes. It came in the second quarter, holding on Kevin Pierre-Louis, all while Devin Hester took a punt 80 yards for nothing. If there was no penalty could the Seahawks have scored again going up double digits in the 2nd? The world may never know. After the call, Atlanta scored 17 unanswered points and the Seahawks never had the momentum again. It may not be fair to pin an entire loss on one play since there were two whole quarters left after the call but if you believe in the power of momentum than you may just believe that this penalty was a game changer.
Next, the Houston Texans faced off against the New England Patriots Saturday night, doing their best to shake Tom Brady in their 34-16 loss. The Patriots started off strong, Dion Lewis had a 98-yard kickoff return, the first ever by the Patriots in the post season. But then the Texans started to show a little force of their own. They were able to intercept Brady, twice and their defense kept pressure on the Patriots forcing them to kick a field goal two yard from the goal line. After their strong showing in the first, things sort of unraveled. The Texans suffered from three interceptions and could only come up with a field goal. The Texans fell victim to the Patriots in Foxborough, a story there were only all too familiar with already.
Sunday, January 15th:
First game of the day, Dallas Cowboys took on the Green Bay Packers coming up shy in a 34-31 loss. Rookie quarterback, Dak Prescott threw three touchdown passes, more touchdown passes than Tony Romo has thrown in a single playoff game. He kept his cool to the end, throwing an 11 yard to pass to Jason Witten with 1:07 left on the clock. After that, things, well they got interesting. In an effort to save their final time out, the Cowboys spiked the ball with 48 seconds left, kicking a 52-yard field goal to tie. What did spiking the ball do? It exchanges one down for 10 to 15 seconds additional game play. It could have worked, but it didn’t. After the Dallas’ field goal the Packers got the ball and scored their own 50+ field goal for the win.
Next, Pittsburgh Steelers took on the Kansas City Chiefs in an 18-16 win. Much like the Seahawks the day prior, The Chiefs’ season came to a close and it might just be pinned to a holding call. The Chiefs were down by two when quarterback, Alex Smith completed a pass to Demetrius Harris for what should have been a tie game, if only Eric Fisher didn’t get called for holding. The penalty took the two point conversion off the board and pushed the Chiefs back 10 yards. The Steelers were then able to pull out a win with star quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger running a passing play.
Next week's match ups are: Green Bay vs. Atlanta and New England vs. Pittsburgh.
Written by Kristen
Hartford’s favorite Hockey team scores their first win of the year against the Phantoms on January 6th, 2017 at the XL Center. This was a long overdue win from the team! Magnus Hellberg saved the day with 31 deflective blocks against the Phantom’s shots. However that was not the real win of the evening. The award for BIG WIN goes to XL Center for their crowd drawing special event: $1 Hotdog night.
Often going to a hockey game can be pretty expensive. Ticket prices are fair, but anyone can walk away feeling penniless with the prices of concessions. The XL Center doesn’t allow any outside food or beverages. So bringing a picnic basket means it will probably be surrendered to Sonar, the Wolf Pack’s mascot. Though not all is lost! From time to time the XL Center will host the $1 hotdog and $2 beer night. And for the millennials out there, no need to worry. The concession stands take card payments as well as cash! Transactions go through very quickly. No need to worry about long lines. Fans have until the start of the 2nd Period to fill up on hot dogs and cheap beer! This is a great way to attend the Wolf Pack games on a budget. Not on a budget? With such affordable prices on hot dogs, treat yo self to some of the other concessions! Between my partner and I, we enjoyed the game with 6 hot dogs, 5 beers and a cotton candy. (Total cost of food: $21.)
Calorie counting? On average a hot dog with bun is about 260 calories. A hockey game is a good night for a cheat day. Not to mention walking around the center, walking up and down stairs, sitting and kind of “coaching” your team for 115 minutes could burn roughly 230 calories. Suggestion: Use a calorie counting app to figure out the real gain.
The rest of the evening was pretty fun. The Wolf Pack scored 2-1 on the Phantoms and Sonar got the crowd going with some sweet dance moves.
Interested in attending one of these events? The Wolf Pack currently has scheduled a few of these events and would love you to come cheer them on! Check out tickets for February 3rd against the Utica Comets, February 24th against the Hershey Bears, March 24th against the Providence Bruins, and April 7th against the Springfield Thunderbirds.
Written by Kaza
The Launchpad Blog is written and made possible by our team members at Ticket Galaxy. Each contributing writer shares their passion for the sports, music and entertainment industry.
Ticket Galaxy is the sports and entertainment industry’s leading marketplace to buy and sell tickets to sport, concert, theater, and family events. Providing consumers with hard-to-get, sold-out, and discount tickets to live entertainment in the United States and abroad, Ticket Galaxy partners with some of the world’s most identifiable brands. Its retail website, TicketGalaxy.com, grants fans access to unmatched inventory, premiere customer service and secure ticket transactions in an easy-to-navigate environment, all with a 100% money-back guarantee.