Tuesday, April 04, 2006

SportBlog Roundup Revived

Hello, and welcome to the first edition of the revived Sportblog roundup. Same as ever, really, except this time I hope to make it weekly, and the links will be even better than they were before!

The idea is that most interesting sport takes place over the weekend, so you get the chance to write about it on Monday to catch my attention by Tuesday evening - and then I give you all the best bits here. All submissions gratefully received; just let me know by emailing me at sportblog at googlemail dot com

First up this week is The Filter, and some ruminations on England's World Cup squad and the revival of B internationals. I for one welcome their reinstitution, and thoroughly endorse the criticism of Sven for letting the England squad be run by senior players too much (although I think that was a trend that started earlier).

Next up is the reliably informative Eric McErlain, with his musings on the gradual loss of regional identity as regards sports franchises in New York. I can't help but feel that loss of communal feeling weakens the franchise.

One of the most amusing April Fools stories I've seen comes from Forward Press, with spoof news from Toronto, and the Maple Leafs' latest signing.

Chris Young at JABS brought together a number of top Toronto sports bloggers to discuss the upcoming Major League Baseball season, which produced a set of three excellent posts. Well worth a look, as the issues they discuss go well beyond the Blue Jays.

The other big event in American sports has been the NCAA College Basketball tournament, also known as 'March Madness', which ended last night.

20 Second Timeout attacks the hype that surrounds the tournament.

The story of the tournament was the surprising run by George Mason University, not renowned for its basketball history - not that it stopped them from reaching the Final Four. South of the James talks about the boost it has given to black alumni.

The university, of course, is named after a leading Anti-Federalist, and one of the three members of the Constitutional Convention who refused to sign the final document. The Volokh Conspiracy gives a bit more information about him.

Sportszilla has the best overall roundup of the tournament.

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, talks about (failed) efforts to reduce artificial aids to atmosphere at his teams' matches.

Munster and Leicester fans at Scrumbag talk about their aspirations ahead of the Heineken Cup quarter finals in rugby union. The Munster item is particularly good.

Meanwhile, The Bacchanalia shows that the experience of a sports fan is so much more than can be expressed in mere numbers.

The Googly has an interesting post decrying the use of helmets in Test cricket, believing it is responsible for the number of blows to the head now seen.

Game Supreme has an excellent statistical view on the importance of Irfan Pathan to the Indian cricket team.

A few posts regarding diving in football - the current hot potato in England at the very least. Didier Drogba is coming under a lot of fire, not least from GZ Expat, who thinks football has this problem because it doesn't have the violent self-policing of other sports.

Doncaster Road End has some witty thoughts on the same subject.

Last, on the subject of Drogba, if not diving, is Slack Pie, who thinks that Drogba may have been intentionally hung out to dry by the Chelsea powers that be.

El Despiole attacks Michael Owen for his own contributions to the unfine art.

Not entirely a blog post, but this story is great - apparently one in every nine beers is drunk because of football.

Ants Rants has an acerbic look at the minor sports in the Commonwealth Games.

Davey Dave, meanwhile, lauds the Games for its general spirit, if not its top-class competition.

Finally, I couldn't leave this roundup without a few posts about Opening Day in the Baseball season.

Baseball Analysts has an irreverent and in-depth look at Opening Day from a statistical point of view.

News Center 11 is feeling optimistic.

Dcat Blog, meanwhile, expresses enthusiasm at travelling to Arlington to see the Red Sox and their season opener.

Last, but by no means least, is this from A Fistful of Euros - a repeat of the old International Herald Tribune poem lamenting being across the ocean for the first pitch of the season.

And that's all till next week.