Sports Comic Book: Favorite Single Named Athletes 3rd Edition

Favorite Single Named AthletesMy sports comic book Favorite Single Named Athletes celebrates the top icons in sports who only need one name to be identified.

Throughout history, singers, politicians, philosophers and spiritual leaders impacted societies to such a degree that a single name identified their fame.

These single named icons were instantly known by a reference to their first or last name. A full name became unnecessary.

Spiritual leaders like Jesus and Mohammad never required a last name.

Neither did famous philosophers like Plato and Aristotle or a pacifist like Gandhi.

Similarly, political dictators like Stalin and Hitler never needed a first name.

Last names were all we needed to identify them with the atrocities they committed.

Modern day entertainers reach the pinnacle of success when only one name is necessary for fans to equate them with their talent.

For example, hardly anyone can recall their last names, but everyone knows that the beautiful Shakira can make you dance and the likeable Cedric can make you laugh.

And when it comes to Elvis, Madonna, Beyonce, Gaga or Bono, all we need is one name. We can instantaneously identify these entertainers and belt out a few bars from one of their hits.

A Single Name in Sports Constitutes Celebrity

In the world of sports, it’s no different. A simple name, first or last, constitutes celebrity. A single name signals to sports fans everywhere that an athlete has arrived. These icons are featured in Favorite Single Named Athletes.

Mention his or her name and people will start to rattle off statistics, count off career highlights and recall favorite all-time performances of the lone named individual.

For example, say Serena or Marta, and talk of women’s tennis and soccer will surface.

Wimbledon champion Serena Williams

Reference last names Tebow and Bolt, and fans will likely break out into a Tebowing stance or Lighting Bolt pose.

heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow

Sports fans know that Sweetness is not a candy bar, Magic is not a trick, Babe’s not a cute girl. They also know that Bird’s not a winged creature and Kobe is not Japanese beef.

Sweetness Walter Payton

You don’t need to audible like Peyton or get locked in a double-choke hold by Hulk to enjoy this book.

Like the previous athletes mentioned, we all know the drill. There is only one Shaq, LeBron, Kareem, Wilt, Yogi, Messi, Tiger and Pele.

Their personal stories and clever comics are found in this sports comic book Favorite Single Named Athletes. Sports fans of all ages will enjoy. Just click HERE to buy.

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#TBT Sports Blog: On This Day in 1972 Title IX Became Law

Title IX

Today’s #TBT sports blog recounts the 1972 ground breaking law known as Title IX that changed the landscape of women’s sports in our country.

On June 23, 1972 former President Richard M. Nixon signed into law the landmark civil rights legislation known as Title IX.

Long overdue in American education, this transformational living law not only protected against discrimination in education.

But, it breathed life into moribund and nearly non-existent women’s athletic programs at the United States collegiate level.

Women’s sports constituted only one of 10 key areas that Title IX addressed. However, the sweeping Title IX legislation brazenly broke down doors for women to compete and succeed in college sports like their athletic male counterparts.

The Reach of Title IX Law in 1972 Was Astounding

The widespread athletic reach of Title IX athletic was truly astounding.

Before Title IX, no official university or college level athletic programs existed for women. Back then, cheer leading and square dancing (seriously!) were recognized as the two most popular, though unofficial, sports for women.

During the early 1970s, less than 2% of a college’s athletic budget was spent on women’s sports.

At the time, only one out of 27 high school girls participated in sports.

Title IX Law Becomes Game Changer

When Title IX came along, it instantly became the game changer in women’s sports and afforded female athletes, like former UConn basketball champion Sue Bird pictured in the comic below, to excel on the college level.

Former USA Olympian Sue Bird

This ground breaking legislation, plus its 20 subsequent amendments and Supreme Court reviews, brought a greater balance of gender equity in college sports.

The 1972 Title IX Law Enabled female Athletes to Flourish

Because of Title IX, thousands of eager, purposed and talented female athletes have flourished while competing on the college level in sports they love.

I can offer a list of incredible athletes who have directly gleaned from the opportunities that Title IX presented and who, after college, emerged as Olympic or world champions.

Take Olympic track and field legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee (UCLA).

heptathlete Jackie Joyner Kersee

Consider WNBA greats Lisa Leslie (USC), Candace Parker (Tennessee), Sheryl Swoopes (Texas Tech), Cheryl Miller (UCLA) and former UConn National Champions Swin Cash, Sue Bird, Maya Moore, Tina Charles and Diana Taurasi.

Former WNBA great Lisa Leslie

Ponder soccer stars Abby Wambauch (Florida), Alex Morgan (Cal), Mia Hamm (UNC), Christie Rampone (Monmouth) and Julie Foudy (Stanford).

Ponytail Princess Mia Hamm

And, remember softball pitchers Jennie Finch (Arizona) and Lisa Fernandez (UCLA).

Certainly, Title IX paved the way for and was instrumental in their amazing individual successes.

However, let’s not forget the legions of unknown female athletes at little known colleges and universities. These young women have skated on the ice, run on the track, dribbled on the soccer pitch or basketball court, slid on the softball diamond, sprinted on the lacrosse field, dove into the swimming pool, volleyed on the tennis court and bumped, set and spiked on the volleyball court.

Before Title IX Only Cheerleading & Square Dancing

Before Women’s World Cups and NCAA Women’s College Basketball Tournaments, female college athletes had few opportunities other than cheerleading or square dancing.

As a collective piece of legislation, Title IX profoundly impacted women’s sports and leveled the playing field for aspiring females.

Bravo to all the female athletes who have benefited since Title IX’s 1972 passage.

And, let’s cheer on the young females who will take advantage of this groundbreaking legislation in the future!

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#TBT Sports Blog: Italy’s FIFA Star The Berlin Wall

FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Fabio Cannavaro

Today’s #TBT sports blog will bring beaming smiles to the faces of Italian soccer fans.

Let’s throw back time nine plus years and remember a rock solid defender who thwarted all opposing strikers with sites on goal.

Nicknamed the Berlin Wall, Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro made certain that nothing got past his defensive position on the soccer pitch.

His brilliant defensive play during the 2006 World Cup in Germany demonstrated to FIFA fans everywhere why adoring Italians named this fortress-like footballer the Berlin Wall.

Like the hundred mile long cement wall that once divided Germany from 1961 to 1989, nothing got past Cannavaro. From his center back position, he denied access to everything from his defensive position in front of the Italian goal.

Fabio Cannavaro: 2006 Ballon d’Or Trophy Winner

Because of Cannavaro’s dominant defense, Italy emerged as the 2006 World Cup champion. Along with teammate Gianluigi Buffon, Cannavaro played all 690 minutes in the World Cup tournament.

Incredibly, this Berlin Wall never chipped or faltered. In spite of defending many of the world’s greatest strikers, he completed the competition without receiving either a yellow or a red card.

FIFA recognized Cannavaro’s excellence on the field by awarding him the 2006 Ballon d’Or as the Top Football Player in the World. He became the oldest player to receive soccer’s highest individual honor. Also, Italy’s captain remains the only defensive player ever acknowledged by soccer’s governing body for the award.

Knee injuries eventually slowed this speedy, hard tackling defender. Cannavaro retired in 2011 after a combined 15 seasons of professional soccer in the Italian Serie A, Spain’s La Liga and in Dubai.

As the all-time leader in caps for the Italian National Team with 136 to his credit, Cannavaro represented his country in four World Cups in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010.

That’s why he anchors FIFA Favorites in the #10 spot.

MIKE FIFA FavoritesThe twelve foot tall concrete wall that divided Germany for 28 years may have dwarfed the surprisingly short 5’9” Cannavaro.

However, when sizing up Fabio Cannavaro’s impact on the soccer pitch, no one will argue that he played brilliantly.

Just like the Berlin Wall for which he was named.

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Friday Sports Funny: New York Yankees Babe Ruth’s Famous Quote

MLB Hall of Famer The Sultan of Swat Babe Ruth

Today’s Friday Sports Funny focuses on this famously funny quote uttered by New York Yankees icon Babe Ruth.

“No, I had a much better year than him.” ~ Babe Ruth

When questioned if his huge 1927 baseball salary, which amounted to more than United States President Herbert Hoover earned at the time, was too high, the Sultan of Swat confidently quipped that he had a much better year than our nation’s leader.

Ouch! Imagine the bruhaha of one of today’s mega sports stars dares to challenge the job performance of POTUS.

Nearly 90 years later in a world of telephone number sized sports salaries, I wonder how the super-flush Cleveland Cavs’ LeBron James, New England Patriots’ Tom Brady or Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw would respond.

Each athlete makes more in one professional start than former President Hoover and the beloved Babe Ruth did in one year.

Babe Ruth: Outspoken Sultan of Swat

Also, in our world of political correctness and an always eagerly awaiting, overly sensitive press and twitter-verse, curious how outspoken the Sultan of Swat would be if he laced up his cleats in 2017.

Probably not nearly as blunt or as talkative.

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#TBT Sports Blog: The NBA Showtime Lakers

NBA Los Angeles LakersWatching the ESPN 30 for 30 doc Best of Enemies has prompted me to pen today’s #TBT sports blog.

My post remembers a talented tinsel town team that perfectly fit the Hollywood hype of its spot on Showtime nickname.

This once dominant NBA franchise just completed another underwhelming NBA season.

So, a fast break down memory lane should buoy the sunken spirits of its proud Purple and Gold fan base.

Check it out…

Los Angeles Lakers Once Electrified NBA Fans

With their quick paced form of fast break basketball, the Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s electrified NBA fans. Their style of play entertained the many movie, music and television celebrities who attended their home games at the old Great Western Forum.

Much of the Showtime nickname is credited to Lakers star Earvin Magic Johnson. This 6’9” point guard and overall number one pick in the 1979 NBA Draft became famous for his no look passes and extra bright smile. He led the Showtime fast break like an expert director of a major motion picture.

Los Angeles Lakers Magic Johnson

Johnson handled the basketball like his namesake – a magician. His recipients were Hall of Fame forward James Worthy and a tireless group of smart, athletic teammates. His fellow Lakers included Jamaal Wilkes, Byron Scott, Michael Cooper, Norm Nixon and Kurt Rambis.

Magic Johnson was also as good a passer in the half court game. He smartly fed fellow Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul Jabbar for easy points in the paint.

Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley scripted and managed the widely admired Showtime attack. The Lakers flourished in the 80s and advanced to the NBA Finals eight times during the decade.

Showtime Lakers Won Five NBA Titles

The Showtime Lakers captured five NBA crowns during that popular era. They were so popular a draw, that the most popular celebrities of the time like Jack Nicholson, Dyan Cannon, Arsenio Hall, Walter Matthau and assorted members of the Jackson singing family sat courtside to cheer them on.

The surroundings of the Great Western Forum, both on and off the court, transformed the Showtime Lakers. They went from being an entertaining basketball team to a team of star-studded Hollywood entertainers who also happened to play basketball.

Los Angeles Lakers Now Worth $2.7B per Forbes

Nearly 30 years later and with 16 titles to their credit, the Lakers remain one of the NBA’s most successful franchises.

Thanks in a major way to Magic Johnson and his Showtime Lakers teammates, the Lakers are ranked as the league’s most valuable team.

With an estimated worth now of $2.6 Billion+, the Lakers’ Showtime teams of the 1980s helped create a Hollywood blockbuster by any industry standard.

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Friday Sports Funny: Pitcher is Getting Shelled

MRO 84 Pitcher Getting ShelledThe image above of the pitcher getting shelled captures how overwhelmed a pitcher feels when he’s having a bad day on the mound.

That’s why the comic easily finds the strike zone in today’s Friday Sports Funny.

It also makes up one of the 25 entertaining chapters in my FREE sports comic book titled Clever Sports Comics.

MIKE FREE Sports Comic BooksClick on the purple cover to safely download this FREE sports comic book.

When they don’t have their best stuff, pitchers can easily get knocked around – or shelled – by the opposing team.

This can happen during an MLB, NCAA, high school or even a Little League game.

Buried under a huge pile of sea and even torpedo shells, the exasperated pitcher in this comic wearing the Mariners uniform gives literal meaning to the old sports cliché that the pitcher is getting shelled. The Official Online Shop of Major League BaseballFor baseball fans interested in authentic Major League Baseball collectibles and merchandise, simply click on the MLB Shop logo above.

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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A LeBron James Post NBA Finals Rest Is Warranted – For Sports Fans!

Miami Heat star LeBron JamesAn eagerly anticipated LeBron James post NBA Finals rest is warranted – for sports fans!

Sure, the five-time NBA MVP and three-time NBA champion is more than likely exhausted from advancing with the Cleveland Cavaliers once again to the NBA Finals.

But, just think how fatigued NBA fans have become.

We can’t pick up a newspaper, turn on a television, look at our phone or log onto the internet without being constantly bombarded by news about LeBron James.

An onslaught of LeBron James media coverage begun during the King’s days in Miami when he wore #6 (see above comic) and hasn’t stopped upon his triumphal return to Cleveland.

Like so many NBA fans, I feel, at times, as if I’ve been buried under an avalanche of LeBron James coverage that simply won’t relent.

Without doubt, James has been the best basketball player on the planet for the past several years as we’ve been repeatedly reminded by sportswriters, sportscasters, players, coaches and fans about a billion times.

Yet, do we need to know every detail about this guy’s life? Give the man some privacy and give us sports fans a rest.

Post Dramatic LeBron James Overload

Am I the only NBA fan who’s suffering post dramatic LeBron James overload?

Not only do I really admire the guy from what I can glean from his interviews and demeanor on television, but I respect him for having been the the game’s best player for the past several years. He’s absolutely fun to watch.

However, the ubiquitous LeBron James is just too everywhere, all-the-time for me!

Sorry, sponsors, but I’m not going to buy a new Kia simply because I see a commercial with LeBron behind the wheel. I’m not going to plunk down a wad of cash for Beats headphones because #23 in a Cavs uniform wears them. And, I’m won’t give up my can of Coke because the King drinks Sprite.

You get where I’m going because you probably feel the same way, too.

Give basketball fans a break. A post NBA Finals Lebron James rest is absolutely warranted for sports fans.

Even though you’ve never met me, I need a rest from you. Please find an island, go incognito, hole up in your house with your wonderful family, visit another planet and become the best player there or just disappear for awhile.

Some sports fans like me have had enough. No disrespect, but we don’t need to know what you drink, how you train, where you are with your kids, what you promote and how overpriced your next Nike shoes will be.

Take a break after the Golden State Warriors close out your Cleveland Cavaliers this weekend and allow sports fans to rest – from you!
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Friday Sports Funny: Heavyweight Division in Gymnastics

Heavyweight GymnastsToday’s Friday Sports Funny focuses on the Olympic sport of gymnastics

That’s because the sport confuses me. I’m perplexed.

Why does gymnastics discriminate against bigger boned bodies.

Yes, I’m lamenting why larger ladies and girthier guys who would like to wear leotards are getting shafted.

If boxing and wrestling have a myriad of divisions ranging from pint size featherweights to hulking heavyweights, why can’t the same be true of gymnastics?

Gymnastics Discriminates Against Big People

Gymnastics discriminates against big people. Have you ever seen a gymnast taller than 5 feet or heavier than 100 lbs? Of course not!

Listen to my podcast on the Heavyweight Division in Gymnastics and finish your work week with some clever sports humor. Click on the yellow cover below to hear.

MIKE on sports podcastI say we petition the International Olympic Committee to widen the balance beam, reinforce the parallel bars and prepare the pommel horse for some pretty powerful pounding.

Let’s start making XXXL tutus, or in gymnastics lingo, extremely large leotards instead.

Let’s propose a new heavyweight division in gymnastics. Then, we’ll witness television ratings skyrocketing to Olympic sized proportions.

Imagine eager audiences drooling over the prospects of witnessing a 300 lb. hairy-backed Russian named Boris barrel down the mat to mount the uneven bars.

The giant gymnast would not only test the strength of the balance beam, but he’d also somersault, I mean salto, to seismic shakes in the floor exercises.

The entire arena would tremble from his dramatic dismounts.

Like WWE spectators, a new breed of frenetically frothing gymnastics fans would be born overnight.

High browed gymnastics judges would probably chafe at the audacity of including beefier competitors in such a dainty sport.

However, this once confusing sport would become instantly popular.

A New Heavyweight Division in Gymnastics Would Be Awesome

A new heavyweight division in gymnastics would be awesome.

It would be the next Summer Olympic Games’ heralded perfect 10!

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#TBT Sports Blog: MLB Big Hurt Frank Thomas

MIKE Comic 90 Big HurtToday’s #TBT sports blog recalls Major League Baseball’s Big Hurt Frank Thomas.

As a Hall of Fame .301 lifetime hitter, two-time MVP and five-time all-star, Thomas’ 19 year MLB career was most most impressive.

However, this bruising batter may be best known for his frightening nickname.

A Chicago White Sox broadcaster’s innocent remark in 1992 morphed into one of Major League Baseball’s best ever nicknames.

Big Hurt Nickname Featured in FREE Scary Sports Comic Book

I loved Thomas’ intimidating name so much that I included it in the #7 spot in my FREE book Scary Sports Comics.

Ken Harrelson’s comment about how badly White Sox slugger Frank Thomas hurt the baseball when he made contact fostered the scary and formidable nickname – The Big Hurt.

The Big Hurt perfectly described the rugged and tough 6’ 5” and 260 lb. former University of Auburn football player turned MLB star as Thomas regularly tormented American League pitchers during his lengthy career.

While in the on-deck circle, Thomas even swung a hefty piece of rusted rebar that he salvaged from demolished Comiskey Park. A first ballot 2016 Cooperstown choice, Thomas retired with 521 career home runs. The intimidating Frank Thomas may have been a scary hitter whenever he stepped into the batter’s box.

However, this retired White Sox slugger is widely regarded as one of Major League Baseball’s best power hitters and among the most respected players who have ever played the sport.

MIKE Vol 5 ScaryClick on the purple cover to safely download my FREE sports comic book.

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Friday Sports Funny: Spitting in Baseball

Spitting in Baseball

Today’s Friday Sports Funny – spitting in baseball – is a major league problem.

While watching last night’s game on television, I became appalled by the disgusting discharges emanating from eminent Major League Baseball players.

Their spit seriously sullied my spectating enjoyment. Yuck!

I know all of America agrees with me that baseball players, coaches and managers spit way too much.

The only thing more annoying than Tim McCarver’s minutiae or Joe Buck’s babbling about boring baseball statistics is seeing the sunflower seeds and spittle splattering the baseball diamonds of our country’s beautiful ballparks.

Let’s Start a No Spitting Policy in Baseball

Major League Baseball needs to establish a No Spitting Policy immediately.

The MLB needs to look at other sports and learn from them.

You don’t see Lebron launching a loogie into the lane before attempting a free throw in an NBA game or Michael Phelps flinging phlegm into the pool before diving off the starting block in a big swim race.

Few baseball fans would argue that spitting in baseball belongs in my FREE sports comic book Worst About Sports. The clever book chronicles those things I find worst about sports.

Worst About SportsJust click on the yellow cover above and safely download the FREE sports comic book Worst About Sports.

Before losing its faithful baseball fan base to saliva-free sports, the Commissioner needs to halt the hurling of hawkers by expunging expectorating from baseball.

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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