10 Reasons To Love Sports

The ivy, the cheeseheads, the drama
By Jim Caple
Special to ESPN.com


Yes, money dominates sports. Yes, owners are greedy egomaniacs constantly blackmailing their cities. And yes, there are way, way too many commercials. But the bottom line remains, we still love those darned games. Here's 10 reasons why:

1. Wrigley Field. The Cubs may break hearts by the thousands each summer, but I know at least one couple that got engaged at the corner of Clark and Addison one opening day. And why not? The happiest place on earth is the Friendly Confines with a seat in the bleachers, a beer in your hand, the sun on your face and the wind blowing out.

Sammy Sosa's success story is one of the great joys about sports.

But it's not just Wrigley. All stadiums, even the domed ones, are our homes away from home. More than mere points on the Rand McNally, they are etched into our personal cartography as permanently as the ink in an NBA first-rounder's tattoos.

2. N.C. State 54, Houston 52. You won't win the lottery. You won't date Cameron Diaz. You won't buy a thousand shares of a hot tech stock at its IPO. But improbably wonderful upsets happen all the time in sports, swelling our hopes with limitless possibility.

In sports, you never know. As Yogi put it, "It ain't over 'til it's over." Just when things seem gloomiest, when time is running out and everyone insists you can't win, when the boss wants that report pronto and you just want to hoist the white flag and hide in your cubicle, who knows, you just may find the ball in your hands and Lorenzo Charles open underneath the basket ...

3. Eddie Robinson. From the darkest days of segregation in the '40s to his retirement in the late '90s, Grambling's grand man taught class after class of young men about life, giving them direction and purpose and, along the way, also showing them how to play football pretty well, too. Robinson exemplified the best of those coaches at all levels who touch us, who know that growing is more important than winning, whose instructions help long after the final game. Those people you can honestly call a role model.

Of course, your opinion may differ during line drills.

4. Notre Dame Fight Song. You never feel more alive than while walking across campus to the stadium on a crisp fall afternoon and hearing the school band strike up the fight song. If the first chords of Notre Dame's fight song don't start your heart pounding, you probably didn't cry at the end of "Brian's Song," either.

5. Sammy Sosa. He grew up so poor he sold oranges on the street and wore an old milk carton for a baseball glove. Through baseball, Sosa escaped that poverty to become a hero in two countries, so much so that the president of each honored him. As Sammy says, "What a country."

It's a frequent tale in sports. Regardless of an athlete's background, whether he's a Dominican orange seller or the child of a millionaire baseball player, sports still provides a commodity more coveted than a Mark McGwire home run ball -- opportunity.

6. The Green Bay Packers. There isn't a lot to do during a Green Bay winter (unless Billy Ray Cyrus is on tour), but for eight decades residents have had their Packers. And I mean, their Packers. The owners in Green Bay are like you and me, shivering in the snow instead of entertaining corporate clients in a heated luxury suite. From Don Hutson to Brett Favre, the Packers have made Green Bay the warmest community in the nation.

That's the power of sports. In impersonal times when people know the names of all the Baldwin brothers but not their next-door-neighbors, sports remains one of the few areas that still provides a sense of community. Be it thousands of cheese wedge-topped fans cheering in Green Bay or thousands of baseball-capped fans mourning in Red Sox Nation, sports brings people together like nothing else does. Or can.

7. Michael Jordan. There are certain moments in sports so beautiful they seem almost choreographed for the stage -- and I'm not talking about the Bob Fosse-like routines players perform after a touchdown. McGwire connecting with a fastball. Elway connecting with a receiver. And that most perfect moment of all, the one that never failed to bring us to our feet and our jaws to the floor as we were awestruck by the wondrous possibility of the human body: Jordan on a tongue-wagging, gravity-defying, no-luggage-to-check flight to the hoop.

8. Mets 4, Atlanta 3, 15 innings. We aren't impressed by much in this entertainment-drenched society where television channels number in the dozens (and those are just the home shopping channels). But a game like Game 5 of this year's NL playoffs glues our eyes to the screen with the attention normally reserved for a canine watching its owner open a can of dog food.

In a sitcom age, the unscripted drama of sports still makes us forget our homework, forget our worries, even forget how to breathe -- forget everything that is, except that neither Cox nor Valentine has anyone left in the bullpen or on the bench and Piazza had to take himself out with a sore arm and the Mets just have to win and isn't sports great ...

9. Box scores. And the games need not end. These little rectangles preserve games forever. Reading the box scores, Roger Angell once said, is like "a musician who reads a piece of music and can hear all the instruments playing."

10. Any team, anywhere. Be it in the majors, high school, Little League or co-rec softball, nothing compares to being part of a team. Warming up together, cheering each other on, sharing drinks after the game ... is there anything else that inspires such camaraderie? You may not remember your wedding anniversary but you'll always remember exactly how it felt to be in a locker room before the big game, surrounded by your teammates and knowing, just knowing, that you were going to win.

Although your spouse may disagree.

Jim Caple is a regular contributor to ESPN.com.

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Top Ten Scientific Reasons why Chocolate is the World’s Most Perfect Food

Science Mom

Top 10 Scientific Reasons why Chocolate is the World’s Most Perfect Food:

10. Chocolate contains tryptophan, a chemical in the brain that is used to produce the neurotransmitter, serotonin. High levels of serotonin stimulate the secretion of endorphins, and produce feelings of elation. Serotonin is found in the antidepressant Prozac, and the designer drug “ecstasy” produces its effects by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. So… antidepressants, illegal drugs, or a Hershey’s bar. You pick.

9. Chocolate also contains a chemical called phenylethylamine. High levels of this neurotransmitter help promote feelings of attraction, excitement, and giddiness. Phenylethylamine works by stimulating the brain's pleasure centers and reaches peak levels during orgasm. Guys, THIS is why you should always give a girl chocolates on a first date. Can’t hurt, right?

8. Chocolate might help fight heart disease. Chocolate contains chemicals called flavinoids, which thin the blood, helping to prevent clotting. All these wonderful pleasurable feelings, and good for your heart too? Man… this just gets better and better.

7. Chocolate is structurally sound. The World’s Tallest Chocolate Structure was unveiled in October 2006 at NYC’s FAO Schwarz. It was over 20 feet tall, and made of 2285 pounds of chocolate. Try doing that with a potato chip, you salty-snack fans!

6. A chocolate craving during pregnancy may indicate mild anemia. Call it an early warning system. Chocolate contains iron, and this may be the pregnant body’s way of signaling that iron levels are low. So eat that chocolate bar! It’s for the good of the baby.

5. Chocolate contains magnesium, which is known to ease symptoms of PMS. Calcium does too, which of course can be found in milk. So, if your girlfriend, or wife, or woman-in-your-life-that-you-are-close-enough-to-that-you-are-even-aware-of-such-things is having a bad time of it, bring her a piece of chocolate cake and a big glass of milk. Not only will she think you’re a sweetheart, but maybe her mood will improve enough that she’ll relinquish the remote and let you turn off Lifetime and watch the game.

4. Chocolate contains sugar and caffeine. Um, what else is there to say? Told you… Perfect.

3. Chocolate may help people live longer. In a Harvard University study conducted in 1999, researchers tracked 8,000 men and found those who ate chocolate lived almost a year longer than those who didn't. Although scientists don't know why the men lived longer, they speculate it has to do with the antioxidants found in chocolate. I speculate that it’s because these same men had enough chocolate around their house that they had no shortage of woman willing to come around and cook them healthy meals and clean their bathroom once in a while. But that’s just a theory.

2. Chocolate is a viable alternative energy source. Researchers at the UK’s University of Birmingham fed Escherichia coli bacteria a feast of waste caramel and nougat from a chocolate candy bar. The bacteria subsequently burped out hydrogen gas, which was harnessed via a fuel cell to power an electric fan. Holy cocoa, Robin! The world’s energy needs can be met with stale Snickers bars! Someone call Al Gore. He’s going to be just tickled.

And the Top Scientific Reason that Chocolate is the World’s Most Perfect Food …

1. Cocoa butter melts at 97°F. That’s right, just below body temperature. So it actually does melt in your mouth. That also means if you put a Hershey’s Kiss on your sweetie’s stomach, it will slowly melt into a little pool of chocolate. Uh oh... you’d better clean that up. And who knows where things will go from there...

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Ten Reasons Why Women Say NO To Men


10 reasons why women say NO to men:

If a woman says NO to a man’s invitation to have a cup of coffee together, he should not give up and all the same keep on making acquaintances with women. It is important for men to foresee refusals from women and try to evade them. Here are the ten popular reasons that make women turn down men’s invitations and nullify their attempts to get acquainted.

1. Selfishness and hatred of men. The modern big city society, both men and women, are awfully anxious about their own lives only and do not care about other people’s feelings. They believe their sexual attractiveness must be sold at the highest price. Women of the type love to humiliate men and make them feel ill at ease.

2. Man’s looks betray he is short of cash. Women pay particular attention to men’s financial status. So, those males who look like having not enough money stand a poor chance of getting YES to their invitation for a cup of coffee. Men should better seek acquaintance with women who look as well-to-do as they are.

3. She is not alone. A woman may turn down other men’s invitations in case she already has a partner and wants no more acquaintances.

4. She is a sophisticated coquette. A great number of women with low self-appraisal and also married women belong to the category as it is important for them to know they are sexually attractive and to get confirmations of it. They may behave as if they would not mind to get acquainted with new men but in fact they do not at all plan to date them. These women just need to flatter their pride and feel their superiority.

5. She has some emotional problems (may be she is a hysterical girl?). This is a category of women who once dealt with mean men and who are absolutely sure that males are the cause of all troubles in the world. Such a woman will turn down your invitation just because you are a male and for no other reason.

6. Man’s first step in getting acquainted was wrong. Some women like strangers clap them on the back and say ‘Hi, babe’ while others treat the manner as brazen impudence and will try not to deal with you even if finds you attractive. So, men should mind woman’s social status and education to choose a proper approach for getting acquainted with her. An approach suitable for a market seller will not work with a doctor or a teacher.

7. A bad moment for acquaintances. A woman may turn down man’s invitations owing to circumstances beyond the man’s control. Probably she has some serious problems at home or in the office, or she feels bad and realizes that she looks not very nice on this particular day. But for the troubles she would have probably said YES to your invitation.

8. She is probably still suffering from breaking up with her previous partner. If a woman invited for a date says she wants no dates and needs some time to look into herself it means she is still suffering as has recently broken up with her partner. She wants no new romances. In this case, first try to become friends with her and probably later the relations will become more romantic.

9. You are too diffident. Women will never agree to date men who look absolutely diffident and dumb when making attempts to get acquainted. The best thing a diffident man can expect in this situation is winning the status of a friend. Men must be confident but never rude or familiar when striking up acquaintances with women.

10. A woman just does not like you, that’s all. And nothing can be done in this case. Tastes differ.

Men should remember that the success of their attempts to get acquainted with women depends upon them in some case. This is first of all their own behavior. Do not give up if a woman says NO. You may be more successful when grow more experienced.

Males who look like having not enough money stand a poor chance of getting yes-answers from women

Irina Vopnyarskaya

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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Reasons NOT To Have Kids


Reasons NOT to have kids

If you didn’t know already, I’m totally not going to have any kids in this lifetime. I’m completely content to spoil my nephew and new niece. As I’ve watched my sister go from fun-time college girl to married mom with kids, she’s shown me even more reasons not to have kids (though she loves her’s very much).

Here, in no particular order, are some of the reasons I’ve found for not having kids:

1: Diapers
2: the cost of diapers
3: playhouse Disney
4: imported Australian kids shows
5: car seats
6: short legs
7: the word “No!”
8: 2 year olds asking you “what are you doing?” every two seconds while you are in the bathroom
9: potty training
10: Morning sickness
11: stretch marks
12: hours of labor
13: cecarian sections
14: weekly hospital check ups
15: hourly checks for two days after actually having the kid when all you really want to do is sleep
16: nurses ignoring you when you ask for anything to ease the pain
17: nurses bringing you heavy drugs when all you wanted was a motrin
18: lactation specialists
19: potty training
20: extra plane tickets
21: diaper bags
22: cracker crumbs
23: breast feeding
24: sippy cups
25: bottles
26: toys everywhere
27: little shirts
28: feeted pajamas
29: tub toys
30: baby talk
31: carriages
32: baby joggers
33: terrible two’s
34: cost of college
35: grandparents
36: midnight feedings
37: the teenage years
38: pre-teen angst
39: preschool
40: playdates
41: first day of school
42: the talk
43: unconsolable crying
44: why? why? why?
45: night terrors
46: huh? (Sean’s favorite word before he learned ‘why?’)
47: finding a babysitter / daycare
48: the cost of babysitter / daycare
49: preschool (finding, applying, paying)
50: mud pies
51: growth spurts
52: dirty faces
53: sticky fingers
54: nursery rhymes
55: You just don’t have to!! (why did it take me 54 reasons before I thought of this one?)
56: restaurant booster seats

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