Monday, 26th August 2019

Two Free Audio Books Just For You!

Posted on 12. Oct, 2016 by FSM Staff in General Sports, Highlight

Two Free Audio Books Just For You!

Get 2 FREE audio books just for trying Audible for 30 Days! That’s 2 books and 30 days of Audible for FREE! With over 425,000 audio books and the backing of Amazon, it’s no wonder Audible is the premier source for all your e-book needs. To sign up, click on any one of the awesome benefits below!

Audible Free Trial benefits:
• Get two free audiobooks to start — after 30 days, get 1 book each month for $14.95/month

• Get 30% off the price of additional audiobook purchases

• Cancel anytime. Your books are yours to keep, even if you cancel.

Goodbye Tractor

Posted on 11. May, 2011 by FSM Staff in General Sports, NBA

Goodbye Tractor

It is with great sadness that FreeSportsMag is reporting on the death of former NBA player Robert “Tractor” Traylor. Traylor’s body was discovered earlier today at his apartment in Puerto Rico where he was recently living while playing for the Bayamon Cowboys. It is believed that the 34 year-old Traylor passed away as a result of a heart attack.

Many remember Tractor Taylor during his college days playing for Michigan. He also played for seven seasons in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets. Those who knew him described him as a gentle giant that cared for others.

Click here to learn more about Robert Traylor. R.I.P. Tractor.

The Madden Curse

Posted on 02. Feb, 2011 by FSM Staff in Highlight, NFL

The Madden Curse

As NFL fans from around the globe patiently wait for the Super Bowl this month, they are killing time by talking trash and debating football pop-culture. With Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints taking an early flight out of the Playoffs this season, discussion of the “Madden Curse” has sparked up between amigos yet again.

For those readers out there who know not of the curse or its wicked ways, all will be revealed if you keep reading (and click some Google ads while you’re at it). John Madden is a legendary personality in the history of the NFL as a coach and broadcaster. He is also filthy stinkin’ rich thanks to the tremendously successful video game franchise “Madden”. For the last ten years or so, there has been a different NFL superstar on the cover of the latest edition of the game. And for the last ten years or so, that superstar usually has some bad luck with injuries and life in general after he has made the cover. Some say coincidence while others claim that higher powers are at play. Whatever the reason, most fans believe that the “curse” is on a player’s mind when he agrees to be on the Madden cover.

Much like the Swiss, FreeSportsMag does not have an official stance on the Madden Curse. While we do not formally recognize its existence, we acknowledge that something doesn’t smell quite right about the situation. Here is a list of NFL players that made the Madden cover in the last decade and a brief summary of life for them after the big photo shoot. You can decide for yourself if you believe in this curse…

2001 Eddie George – After appearing on the game cover, George and the Tennessee Titans crapped out of the 2001 NFL playoffs which doesn’t seem too bad. George also never averaged more than 3.3 yards per carry for the remainder of his career which is bad however.

2002 Daunte Culpepper – Making the cover in 2002, Culpepper led the Minnesota Vikings to a 5-11 season record. And as a special “curse” bonus, Culpepper set an NFL record for fumbles in a season. In 2005 and 2006 Culpepper suffered serious knee issues and he has never been the same since.

2003 Marshall Faulk – The season Faulk appeared on the Madden cover was the beginning of the end for him and the Super Bowl caliber St. Louis Rams. Faulk’s yards per carry declined for the next three seasons until he retired due to knee problems.

2004 Michael Vick – Vick barely made it to the 2004 season. He broke his leg during a meaningless pre-season game which caused him to miss the first 12 meaningful games of the real season for the Atlanta Falcons. Vick would later get in trouble with the law and go to prison for his role in illegal dog fighting. But more recently, Vick resurrected himself with the Philadelphia Eagles making the Pro Bowl this season. Is this evidence the curse can be lifted?

2005 Ray Lewis – Ray Lewis survived the curse for the first 14 games of the 2005 NFL season but his streak ended with a week 15 wrist injury. Lewis also finished the season without an interception for the first time in his career. All other cover models considered, Lewis got off relatively easy. He is still an all-pro middle linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens and shows no signs of slowing down. Some would even argue that he is getting away with murder. We just think the curse is scared of him.

2006 Donovan McNabb – McNabb suffered a season ending ACL injury to his right knee after he made the cover for the 2006 season. The Philadelphia Eagles ultimately unloaded McNabb by trading him to the Washington Redskins which has been a wasteland of fading stars in the past few years.

2007 Shaun Alexander – After being named MVP the previous season, Alexander fought a foot injury causing him to miss six starts during the 2007 campaign. Alexander would never regain his MVP form and eventually found his way on to the Redskins much like his 2006 predecessor.

2008 Vince Young – Young did not have any severe injuries or bad luck after appearing on the Madden cover. He had a
decent season and it was not until more recently that injuries and personality differences with his head coach have caused his future with the Tennessee Titans to be in jeopardy.

2009 Brett Favre – A retired Favre made the 2009 cover in a Green Bay Packer uniform. Shortly after the game was released, Favre unretired and joined the New York Jets forcing EA sports to release an updated Madden cover online. The Jets started the season 8-3 but ended 9-7 and missed the playoffs. Favre led the NFL in interceptions that season with 22 while playing with a torn bicep for the final five games.

2010 Larry Fitzgerald / Troy Polamalu – Polamalu and Fitz were both featured on the 2010 edition of Madden thanks to the popularity of the Steelers/Cardinals Super Bowl game the previous season. It was the first time in the game’s history that two players were pictured on the same cover. Polamalu sprained his MCL during the first regular season game of the 2010 season and missed the next four games. He also missed games later in the season with a different ligament injury and the Steelers ended the 2010 campaign in a manner not befitting of champions. Larry Fitzgerald on the other hand was able to start all 16 regular season games and was voted in to the 2010 Pro Bowl.

2011 Drew Brees – After shocking the world by defeating the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl the prior year, Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints shocked the world again last month by losing in the first round of the playoffs to the undeserving 7-9 Seattle Seahawks. Many experts are calling it one of the biggest upsets in NFL playoff history.

In Review: The Fighter

Posted on 21. Dec, 2010 by FSM Staff in Boxing, Highlight

In Review: The Fighter

Based on the life of boxing favorite “Irish” Mickey Ward, The Fighter fails to deliver the knockout blow which could have made it an instant classic with moviegoers this holiday season. Much like Ward’s professional career, The Fighter flirts with greatness but falls just a hair short when all is said and done.

The timeline and some of the events presented in this tale are inaccurate but nothing that is too atypical for a movie “based on a true story.” Overall, The Fighter gets the point across and the viewer leaves the theater with a good Cliff’s Notes version of the Mickey Ward story.

For a movie about a fast paced sport like boxing, this film trudges along at a snail’s pace. The fighting scenes are spectacularly exhilarating though they are few and far between and when they do pop up, they are short lived. The bulk of this film is a series of surreal interactions between Mickey Ward , his family, and of course the obligatory love interest.

This is definitely not the first boxing movie that is not about boxing. The original Rocky film did an excellent job of telling a love story using the darker side of the sport as a backdrop. The Fighter attempts to employ the same strategy but there is simply too much going on in the movie. Is this film about a dysfunctional family? A drug addict brother? A man who has lost the belief in himself? By trying to go in so many different directions, the movie spreads itself thin and ends up lacking in substance.

In terms of acting, there are a few strong performances, most notably Christian Bale as Dickie Ekland, the half-brother of Mickey Ward who is battling crack addiction. Melissa Leo (of Homicide: Life on the Street fame) also delivers as Ward’s mother who is both loveable and annoying to the viewer, often times simultaneously. And Mark Wahlberg is his typical, average, muscular self. He does well during the tough guy scenes and fails miserably when trying to invoke that sense of drama which really would have made this flick reach the next level.

Despite all the hype and Golden Globe nominations (it seems like the only prerequisite these days to get nominated is that a film is released in December), The Fighter is a movie you can wait to see in the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the price.

FreeSportsMagazine gives The Fighter a grade of C+

Karma Breaks Margarito’s Face

Posted on 14. Nov, 2010 by FSM Staff in Boxing, General Sports

Karma Breaks Margarito’s Face

In January 2009, Antonio Margarito tried to enter a boxing ring with loaded hand wraps to fight Sugar Shane Mosley. Last night, avid fans in the boxing world finally got their revenge for Margarito’s heinous act.

Margarito received the beating of a lifetime at the hands of Manny Pacquiao in front of a crowd of 41,734 at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas. For true aficionados of the sport, the beating was well deserved for the stunt Margarito tried to pull in the Mosley fight and his subsequent claims of ignorance he expected us to believe once he was caught.

What Margarito did between January 2009 and now to earn his penance is a mystery. How does a disgraced cheater earn a shot at the best fighter in boxing today (not to mention a $3 million dollar payday)? The answer is that the disgraced cheater and the best fighter share the same promoter in Bob Arum.

I am not certain what the appropriate punishment for Antonio Margarito should have been. Hardcore fans of the sport would probably support banishment for life while those less draconian in nature would settle for a temporary suspension and some donations to charity. Few however would agree with the punishment that Margarito actually received – no punishment.

After lying low for a brief period of time after the Mosley incident, Margarito found bouts in Mexico and now Texas. It did not seem to matter to anyone else that California held firm on the decision to uphold Margarito’s suspension and not to allow him to fight in their backyard. Instead, Margarito stepped in to the ring with the hottest fighter in boxing today and made millions.

The outraged boxing fan is now left looking for justice wherever they can find it. For just like Antonio Margarito, they would like to move on from the loaded hand wraps and the Shane Mosley fight. Manny Pacquiao’s 12 round thrashing of Margarito at Cowboys Stadium last night provides a perverse sense of closure. Fans can take comfort knowing that Pacquiao beat Margarito as if he was using loaded gloves and Margarito is awaiting surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone in his face.

Lights Out for Shawne Merriman

Posted on 15. Oct, 2010 by FSM Staff in General Sports, NFL

Lights Out for Shawne Merriman

Add Shawne Merriman to the list of superstars discarded by the San Diego Chargers. The announcement was made earlier this week that the Chargers have placed Merriman on the injured reserved list with a “minor injury” designation. NFL regulations require that players with this designation be released upon returning to full health.

The Chargers will have an opportunity to resign Shawne Merriman after his release though this scenario is highly unlikely. If management wanted to keep him in San Diego they would have never placed him on the IR to begin with. And even if the Chargers made the effort, would Merriman give them the time of day? Fans who are familiar with Merriman’s strong personality would tell you hell no.

This article is by no means written to defend Shawne Merriman. His multitude of injuries aside, Merriman has been plagued by issues off the field including problems with the law and steroid use. Not too many would argue that keeping him is more trouble than he is worth. This article is simply an observation that NFL teams these days are more willing to part with big name stars for very little or nothing in return.

Is it arrogance on the part of the Chargers that is the driving force behind the dissociation with talented players like LaDainian Tomlinson, Vincent Jackson, and Shawne Merriman? This perceived disloyalty definitely cannot be good for the business of attracting quality players down the road. No one wants to play for an organization with an itchy trigger finger.

For the present time, Merriman is taking everything in stride. In a statement released through his publicist, Merriman quite uncharacteristically let the football world know the following:

“I have been blessed to call San Diego my home for the past six years. I can’t say enough about my teammates, the coaching staff and of course the fans who have made my career with the Chargers such an amazing experience. I am approaching this situation as an opportunity to grow as a player and to bring my leadership and talents to a new organization. I am ready for the next chapter in my career and I am excited about the opportunity to continue my journey with a new team.”

In Review: Pistol

Posted on 14. Aug, 2010 by FSM Staff in General Sports, NBA

In Review: Pistol

Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich takes the reader on a surprising journey through light and dark while telling the tale of a basketball legend that will not be soon forgotten. Perhaps the quote that appears on the soft cover version of this intriguing biography written by Mark Kriegel summarizes this literary effort best by stating that, “His game was lordly, inimitable, and he should have been the greatest player to ever play the game. This great book will explain why he was not…”

I was excited to read this book for a few reasons. Primarily I wanted to learn a little more about the legendary Pistol Pete as he terrorized opponents in the NBA before my time as a fan (and as a human being). Secondarily, the book’s first couple of pages are lined with nearly 50 quotes from people in the media who are singing its praises. I figured so many experts couldn’t be wrong and delved in to 323 pages of basketball history with high expectations.

Pistol reads more like a chronicle than a biography. Many names and dates are hurled at the reader often times disrupting the flow of the narrative. Kriegel succeeds in providing a highly detailed account of Pete Maravich’s life but it comes at a cost. This is not the typical page turning sports biography which may be unappealing to a less seasoned reader. It is more of a textbook about the Maravich family beginning with a lengthy background about Pistol’s notorious father Press Maravich and ending with a melancholy update on what the Pistol’s two sons have been up to in the last few years.

It would be impossible to tell the story of Pistol Pete without mention of his hard driving father and the turmoil he was experiencing in his family life. Kriegel documents a number of incidents and relays many tales when only a few would have sufficed. The thesis of Pistol is perfectly clear and its themes reoccur on nearly every page. Before the reader makes it half way through this book, they will have a good understanding of all the demons the Pistol was dealing with. After a while, the stories of demons become overkill. Pistol takes on a dark tone, and maybe rightfully so, but it would have been nice to read more about Maravich’s exploits as a professional basketball player and the magic he created on the hardwood.

Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich has great historical value for fans of the college and professional game. It answers a multitude of questions including why a guy as talented and skilled as Pete Maravich never won a title or why he will never be considered in the same breath as Michael Jordan or Wilt Chamberlain. But people looking for a quick read or page-turner should try finding their fix elsewhere. Pistol is recommended for avid fans of basketball and sports historians only. The fringe would be better suited to remember Pete Maravich by watching YouTube highlights or the occasional feature on ESPN Classic.