We’ve reached that time in the summer when fans start getting restless. The NBA Draft has passed, college baseball season has ended, and yet we’re still over 3 weeks away from the Women’s Football Clinic, Fan Day, and Media Day. We’ve already analyzed and dissected every member of the team and have made predictions for every game on the upcoming schedule.
The Big Blue Nation has also been heavily engaged in their annual discussions about basketball teams, past and present. Could the 2012 team beat the 1996 team? Who’s your favorite all-time Wildcat? Using just players from the Cal era, who would be your starting five? On and on it goes. These debates have no “right” answer and I quickly grow bored with them. I want something different, something new.
I go to summer school.
No, I don’t enroll in an institution of higher education. I just take the free time I have in the summer to learn new things, mostly about sports. As a public service, I will share with you what I’ve learned so far. Maybe you’ll learn some new things, too.
Why is a score of zero referred to as “love”?
The most popular explanation is that originally, zero was referred to as an “egg” (because an egg looks like a zero). The French word for egg is l’œuf, and somewhere along the line, the English mangled the pronunciation to sound like “love” so “love” was equivalent to zero.
What’s with all the bird terminology for scores under par (i.e. birdie, eagle, albatross)?
We all know a birdie is 1 under par on a hole, an eagle is 2 under par, and an albatross is 3 under par. So how did this bird theme get started? It seems back in 1899, two brothers were playing the Country Club in Atlantic City. On a par 4 hole, one of the brothers hit his 2nd shot within inches of the hole and called it “a bird of a shot.” This phrase caught on, and then became the standard for a score of 1 under par. The eagle term was an American invention (not all that surprising, right?), but albatross was British term. The albatross is perhaps the rarest achievement in golf, even less likely to occur than a hole in one. Americans predominantly refer to 3 under par as “double eagle,” but I don’t think that makes a lot of sense. If an eagle is 2 under par, then a double eagle would logically be 4 under par, and that just isn’t going to happen.
Did You Know…
There are only 2 days in a year when there are no professional sports game (NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB): the day before and the day after MLB’s All-Star game. Baseball fans are super lucky. They get weeks of no competition from other professional sports. For everyone else, it’s feast or famine. You either have no sports to watch or you have 8 games in 2 days that you want to see.
Ever noticed how basketball coaches typically wear suits (excluding Bob Huggins, of course), football coaches are almost exclusively in khaki slacks and then some team logo-emblazoned top (sweatshirt, polo, jacket), but baseball managers wear uniforms? Baseball managers were required to wear uniforms many years ago as they might have to actually play in the game. That no longer is the case, but the tradition remained.
For football coaches in the NFL, they are required to wear items made by their apparel sponsor. Nike, Adidas, and Reebok aren’t making suits, so casual athletic garments are what coaches get to wear. As for basketball, they apparently have no requirements and they go for the classic suit. Again, this does not seem to apply to Bob Huggins.
Speaking of Fashion
I’m no fan of any sports team in Pittsburgh, but those folks were pretty smart when it came to choosing team colors. All 3 of their professional sports teams (MLB, NFL and NHL) all have the same team colors (black and gold). That certainly makes wardrobe choices much simpler, and economical for fans.
College Game Day Saturdays, NFL Sundays
And now I leave you with this article that details the history of how the tradition of college football games being played on Saturdays came to be. It also includes how the NFL games started out primarily on Sundays. It’s a great read for a rainy summer afternoon.
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