Confusing Stuff in Sports: Why Not Heavyweight Gymnastics?

The Olympic sport of gymnastics has always confused me.

The language and scoring are tough to follow. Plus, I believe the Olympic Games discriminate against bigger boned body types.

That’s why heavyweight gymnastics somersaults into a special spot in my new sports comic book Confusing Stuff in Sports.

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Pocket Hercules: One of my Favorite Undersized Athletes

Naim Suleymanoglu, otherwise known as Pocket Hercules, ranks as one of my favorite all-time undersized athletes.

This Turkish Olympic weightlifting champion, along with nine other vertically challenged athletes, is featured in my sports comic book that allows me to refute a common misconception that “bigger is always better.”

It’s not always true – especially in sports. That’s why I wrote the book specifically touting my all-time favorite Undersized Athletes.

If we used the same logic that “bigger is always better,” then we’d want bigger headaches, bigger holes in our pockets and even bigger cases of jock rash.

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Recognizing Heptathlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee During Black History Month

As part of Black History Month, I’m pleased to recognize one of the greatest and most inspiring female athletes of all time.

Here’s an excerpt from one of my sports comic books honoring this extraordinary woman.

…..In 1990, Sports Illustrated named Jackie Joyner-Kersee the greatest female athlete of the 20th Century. She jumps into my #4 spot in Favorite Female Athletes.

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2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are Over: My Memory of Curling is Not

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games is officially over, but the memory of the Olympic winter “sport” of curling is not.

Following the hammer throw at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, I never imagined that my sports viewing standards could sink any lower.

Well, that’s until I caught the comedic competition called curling at this year’s 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Sure, I realize the Winter Olympics are officially over. But, the bizarre sight of skinny Norwegians sporting red, blue and white harlequin pants swooshing plastic kitchen brooms across an ice skating rink
has been burnished in my memory.

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NHL and Olympic Blue Lines: Why are they Blue?

Watching NBC Sports’ extensive hockey coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics and the NHL has sparked my interest in the origin of the sport’s blue line.

I understand that in hockey games two blue lines proportionately divide the rink into three equal zones, thus separating the offensive and defensive ends from the center-ice neutral zone.

I’m also aware that these blue lines are important in determining whether a player is off-sides. That occurs when an offensive player crosses the opposition’s blue line and enters the offensive zone before the puck arrives.

However, what I didn’t know always bugged me.

Why paint these lines blue? And, what specific shade of blue are they?

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Remembering 1936 Olympic Champion Jesse Owens During Black History Month

Before MLB’s Jackie Robinson, the NFL’s Jim Brown, the NBA’s Wilt Chamberlain or boxing’s Joe Louis, track star Jesse Owens was regarded as the USA’s first ever African American sports icon.

In celebration of Black History Month, here’s an excerpt from my book Olympic Favorites about this extraordinary individual.

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Shaun White Withdraws from Sochi Olympics Slope Style Event

Two-time Winter Olympic gold medalist Shaun White withdrew from the Sochi Games’ slope style snowboarding event this week.

His surprise decision to pull out of the event immediately provoked controversial comments from White’s slope style competitors.

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MIKE Releases Favorite Sports Nicknames Comic Book

I’m absolutely crazy about clever nicknames! Who isn’t?

I grew up with Tiny – ironically the biggest kid in class.

I sought help on my math home work from Digits – who was great with numbers.

I could never muster the courage to kiss Cali, short for Caliente, the hottest girl in school.

And, I refused to allow Booger, for obvious reasons, to ever touch me.

Clever, unique nicknames say so much about people. They capture the essence of a person, a moment, a movement or even a city.

Nicknames can make no sense at all, except when placed in context. For example, no one ever really saw the former Soviet Union’s feared Iron Curtain and no one I know actually heard the sound of the original Big Bang. But, we all understand what the names mean.

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