Raymond Floyd

Raymond Floyd’s father was a career Army man, and his son’s march on the golf course mirrors his being raised on military bases — back absolutely straight and head high at attention, like a good soldier.
Raymond’s carriage may have had something to do with the golf swing he developed. Tall but with rather short arms and a heavily muscled upper body, Floyd created what even he would acknowledge was a peculiar looking swing.
It has been likened to the construct of a football linebacker, or perhaps a windmill with a screw or two loose. The club goes back rather sharply to the inside with a dip of his left shoulder, then is raised seemingly straight up to the completion of the backswing. The zigzag route is pretty much repeated going back to impact.
Had he not stood so tall at address, the swing might have been more fluid and formful. Floyd’s response to comments about his swing has always been, with a sly smile, “It ain’t how; it’s how many.” Exactly.
And if he’d tried to shape a golf swing in the “classic” mode, he might well have taken too many. In a game where less is more, Raymond Floyd got well onto the lesser side of the ledger, and he has stayed there far longer than the pattern of his golf swing would suggest possible.
Clearly, Floyd simply has a gift for the essence of the game, keeping the ball in play and finding a way to make a score.
Floyd was an excellent baseball pitcher, his performance in his high school days so impressive that he was offered a $30,000 bonus to sign with a major-league club.
He opted for golf, a game he was inspired to play by his father and for which he also had obvious potential.
And yet, early on, he almost threw his gift to the winds.
One golf observer once said it was a wonder Floyd made it in golf when his first “heroes” were Doug Sanders and Al Besselink, two older fellows and outstanding golfers who had a penchant for wine, women, and song.
Floyd would later recount that his first 12 years as a touring pro (he began on the circuit in 1963) were “just a means to an end,” a way to make enough money to have fun elsewhere. He was also a notorious high-stakes gambler on his golf game.
The consensus of the golf community in the early 1970s was that Floyd’s talent was going to waste, even though he had won a PGA Championship (1969) and four other Tour events, and would never bear full fruit.
Then he met his wife, Maria, a strong personality in her own right who had a more conventional set of values. Everything was turned around. Raymond Floyd would become such an esteemed figure in golf that he would become known simply as Raymond. Everyone knew who was meant.
In 1975, having gone four years without a victory and with the first of his three children just born, Floyd won the Kemper Open. He followed that up in 1976 with an astounding eight-shot victory in the Masters as well as a win in the World Open.
From 1977-92, he won 15 times, including another Masters, another PGA Championship, and the U.S. Open in 1986, which gave him the distinction of being, at 44, the oldest-ever winner of the national championship.
Floyd had a knack for winning the big ones, the tournaments with the best fields playing on the toughest courses. Along with his major victories, Floyd won the 1981 Tournament Players Championship, the 1982 Memorial, and the Doral-Ryder Open three times.
The last Doral victory, in 1992, came just eight months before his 50th birthday, and it prepared him well for his entry to the Senior PGA Tour.
Floyd was expected to be a terror on the Senior circuit, and he definitely made that calculation a sound one. Right out of the box, late in 1992, he won three times, including the Senior Tour Championship, a senior major.
He won twice in 1993 and four times in ’94, including another Senior Tour Championship. In all, through 1995, Floyd had won 34 times on both the PGA and Senior PGA Tours.
And just to show the young bucks of the next generation that he still could keep up, he entered 14 events on the PGA Tour from 1993-95 and finished in the top 10 three times — and nine times in the top 25.
Floyd, who won the 1983 Vardon Trophy for low stroke average (70.61), played on eight Ryder Cup teams and was nonplaying captain of another.
Raymond Floyd is also one of just two golfers to win tournaments on the PGA Tour in four different decades. The other one? Sam Snead.

Foods to Eat After Playing Football

Because football is one of the most grueling, calorie-consuming sports, proper nutrition is crucial to optimal athletic performance. Intensive preseason training, with two-a-day practices in brutal heat, require refueling the body with the highest-quality foods and plenty of fluids to replenish lost minerals. Key food groups to improve speed, stamina and strength include protein, carbohydrates and fruits and vegetables. Because of the potential for injuries, bone-building foods are also advised.
Protein provides the building blocks that maintain the muscles, bones, body organs and blood. Protein can come from both animal and vegetable sources, including fish, meat, chicken, eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds, legumes and lentils, the KidsHealth website advises. After playing football, players may need protein foods with higher fat content ¡ª steak, salmon, roast beef and hamburgers, for example. Salmon, with its high content of tissue-repairing omega-3 fatty acids, is a strong choice for a post-game meal.
Writing for the Training & Conditioning website, Lesli Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, explains since football requires short bursts of energy followed by periods of rest, carbohydrates are a key food requirement. Quality complex carbohydrates include foods such as oatmeal, brown rice, whole-grain breads and pastas, potatoes and corn. Eating carbohydrates in their unrefined state provides more of the vitamins and minerals lost during the refining process. Instead of high-fat French fries with your post-football steak, try a baked potato with a sliver of butter.
Because football takes a great toll on the body, protecting the body by eating bone-building foods is a wise idea. Joy Bauer, a registered dietitian who serves as the nutrition expert for NBC-TV’s “Today” show, lists on her website some key bone-building vitamins and minerals and their food sources: calcium, from yogurt, cheese and almonds; vitamin D, from eggs, milk and fortified cereals; magnesium, from pumpkin seeds, quinoa and brown rice; potassium, from bananas and cantaloupe; vitamin K, from green leafy vegetables; and vitamin C, from strawberries, bell peppers and broccoli. While eating these foods do not guarantee you won’t suffer an injury, football players should take every opportunity to guard against injury.
Football players burn off an immense number of calories during practices and games. Bonci recommends players consume three meals a day along with snacks before and after practices and games. Each meal should look like a peace sign, with one-third of the plate devoted to protein, one-third to complex carbohydrates and one-third to fruits and vegetables. A snack or meal should also be consumed 30 minutes after activity for the best benefit.

Steve Largent

Steve Largent held six major pass-receiving records when he retired from pro football: career pass receptions (819), 50 or more receptions in a season (10), consecutive games with at least one catch (177), yards on pass receptions (13,089), seasons with 1,000 or more yards on receptions (eight), and career touchdown receptions (100). All this by a receiver who the Houston Oilers thought was too small and slow to make it in the pros.
An All-Missouri Valley Conference wide receiver at the University of Tulsa, Largent (born 1954) was selected almost as an afterthought by the Oilers in the fourth round of the 1976 draft.
He caught only two passes before being cut following the Oilers’ fourth pre-season game. “I cried all the way from Houston to Oklahoma City,” Largent admitted. “I thought football was over for me.”
Instead it was just beginning. Seattle Seahawks assistant coach Jerry Rhome, who had been on the Tulsa coaching staff, recommended Largent to head coach Jack Patera.
The expansion Seahawks gave the Oilers an eighth-round draft pick for the castoff receiver. It was the catch of the century for the Seahawks.
Largent became an almost instant star with the Seahawks with 54 receptions, third best in the NFC, in his rookie season.
In eight of the nine seasons from 1978-86-every year except the strike-shortened season in 1982-Largent had 66 or more receptions. He had 70 or more catches six times. He led the NFL in receiving in 1979 and 1985.
A possession receiver with just average speed, Largent quickly became known for his precise routes, sure hands, determination, and concentration.
His complete mind and body coordination allowed his body to talk, lie, cheat, and steal on the best defensive backs in football. “Running routes became a science to me,” Largent said. An NFL Man of the Year winner (1988), Largent was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995.

The Best Quality Equestrian Helmets

Riders need the best quality helmets available to protect them from potentially serious or fatal injuries. When you’re considering a particular helmet, the most important thing to look for is whether it meets the safety standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials and/or Safety Equipment Institute. Competitors in domestic and international riding events must have helmets that comply with the safety standards of the host country.
The United States Equestrian Foundation insists that riding helmets worn during equestrian events meet or exceed ASTM/SEI standards. ASTM F1163 is the relevant standard for riding headgear. Reputable sellers highlight the selection of the brands that conform to the standards. Your choice of the best helmet should be based on the type of riding you regularly take part in and the manufacturer’s reputation. You may also have a helmet for training and one for competition. Expect to pay $30 for an ASTM-certified schooling helmet, and $200 to $700 for premium quality riding helmets.

John Havlicek

Position: Forward
John Havlicek played 16 seasons with the Boston Celtics. He scored 26,395 points, made first-team All-NBA four times, contributed to eight championship teams, and was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983. Not bad for a guy who took seven seasons to crack the starting lineup.
Havlicek was good enough to start sooner, but because he was so effective as the sixth man — giving his team a burst of energy when the starters sagged — Celtics coaches Red Auerbach and Bill Russell saw little reason to mess with a good thing. “Guarding John Havlicek is the most difficult job I have in a season,” said Bill Bradley. “Havlicek’s every movement has a purpose.”
Born and reared in the steel and coal country of eastern Ohio, Havlicek had an easy way with sports. He excelled at baseball and basketball and was an All-State quarterback at Bridgeport High, from which he graduated in 1958. At Ohio State University, he stuck to basketball — to the dismay of Buckeyes football coach Woody Hayes. Despite four years away from the gridiron, Havlicek was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the seventh round of the 1962 NFL draft.
The Browns wanted him to play wide receiver. He survived until the last cut of training camp. Havlicek’s mother was Yugoslavian, his father Czechoslovakian. Some people struggled to pronounce his name. A fellow high school player dubbed him “Hondo” because, said the player, Havlicek resembled John Wayne, star of a Western movie by the same name. The nickname stuck.
Havlicek’s autobiography, penned in 1977, is called Hondo: Celtic Man in Motion.
Havlicek didn’t invent the role of sixth man — the Celtics’ Frank Ramsey was a super-sub in the late 1950s — but he did pioneer the role of the NBA small forward with his ability to counteract bigger players in the front court. “Havlicek is one of those rare players who force rivals to alter their regular methods in deference to him,” wrote Sports Illustrated’s Frank Deford in 1966.
“Havlicek is 6 feet 5 1/2 and weighs 205 pounds, and he has unusual speed, strength and agility for a man that size. He is too fast for most forwards and too big for most guards to cope with.”
In addition to his versatility, Havlicek had incredible stamina. Late in the game, when other players began tugging at their shorts, Hondo continued to go full bore.
Opponents and fans marveled at how he never seemed to break a sweat. Away from the court, Havlicek had a reputation for clean living. He didn’t smoke, he seldom drank, and he was habitually organized. He kept his body in peak condition and rarely missed a game.
He began his NBA career in 1962, on a team that included Russell, Bob Cousy, K.C. Jones, and Sam Jones among its members. He hustled his way into the hearts of Celtics fans in 1965 when he stole Hal Greer’s pass in the Eastern Conference finals against Philadelphia, securing victory for Boston. “Havlicek stole the ball!” rasped Celtics announcer Johnny Most. “Havlicek stole the ball!”
As the Celtics nucleus aged, Havlicek’s responsibilities increased. When Tom Heinsohn replaced Russell as coach for the 1969-1970 season, Havlicek moved into the starting lineup. That season he led his team in scoring, rebounding, and assists — an extremely rare feat in the NBA. Hondo led the league in minutes played the next two seasons while averaging 28.9 and 27.5 points, respectively.
Boston’s 1972-1973 team, featuring a front line of Havlicek, Dave Cowens, and Paul Silas, was among the best in franchise history, winning 68 games during the regular season. But Havlicek suffered a shoulder injury in the third game of the Eastern finals, opening the door for the New York Knicks, who won the series in seven games. Boston bounced back with championships in 1974 and 1976. Havlicek played two more seasons before hanging it up at age 38. He had become the first player to score 1,000 or more points 16 consecutive seasons.
It was April Fools’ Day, 1973, and the joke was on the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series. Boston had defeated Atlanta five times in six tries during the season, and it had won 24 of its last 26 games leading up to the playoffs.
Led by Havlicek, the Celtics put on a fastbreak clinic, overwhelming the Hawks 134-109. Hitting all manner of transition baskets and draining his patented lean-in jump shot, Havlicek scored 54 points, then the fourth-best effort in NBA playoff history. He tallied 24 field goals, a playoff record that’s never been broken.

The Ultimate Austin Quiz

Austin, Texas, is a favorite tourist destination that is noted for catering to a healthy outdoor lifestyle. The city is rife with culture and music that will satisfy almost any taste. You will find great shopping, awesome nightlife, maximum sunshine days and a diverse culture. Take this quiz and learn more about sunny Austin.

Why Is Football the Most Popular Sport in America?

Baseball may be as American as apple pie, but it’s football that Americans list as their favorite sport. A 2010 poll by Harris Interactive showed that 35 percent of people who follow sports choose football as their favorite. Baseball is a distant second, with 16 percent listing it as their favorite sport. Football’s popularity has many reasons, including the ease of watching it on television, which brings it to more people each week.
People love football because the teams are valued more equally than in baseball, reports columnist Michael Fitzgerald at “Bleacher Report.” No one team has “bought” a powerhouse lineup, so all teams have about the same chance of rising to the top based on skill. This makes the games more balanced and the teams easy to root for. This salary parity is extended to advertising revenue and sports paraphernalia sales, meaning that no NFL team has all the money. This creates healthy competition.
Some people enjoy football because it’s easy to gamble on the games. They are played on a regular basis, and an abundance of information about the match-ups is available. Pundits make predictions and the point spreads are easy to follow. Magazines such as “Gaming Today” offer information so fans can make considered choices.
Fantasy Football Leagues give fans the opportunity to create their own dream teams of players. This keeps fans interested in games beyond those their favorite teams play, as fantasy teams are created from among the teams in the NFL.
Football is exciting to watch. It moves quickly and requires the hard-hitting contact of the defensive line plus the precision skills and speed of the quarterback and running backs. Football combines what people like about other sports — the hitting of boxing, precision passing of basketball, camaraderie of baseball — into one game that moves quickly. This excitement has led to the tradition of football parties, where people watch the games with groups of friends.

Greg Norman

Throughout his career, Greg Norman has been an enigma. Winner of about 70 tournaments worldwide and more than $10 million in prize money on the U.S. PGA Tour alone, Norman still may go down in the game’s annals for how many major championships he lost — more specifically, how he lost them.
In 1986 alone, Norman held the lead in all four of the majors going into the final round of play, yet he won only one of them, the British Open.
He is also the only golfer in history to have lost a playoff for each of the majors (1984 U.S. Open, 1987 Masters, 1989 British Open, 1993 PGA).
In the 1996 Masters, his collapse in the final round was one of the most astonishing and perplexing of them all. He shot a course record-tying 63 in the first round, then — with a six-shot lead going into the final round — shot a 78 to finish second, five shots behind the winner, Nick Faldo. It was the largest lead ever “blown” in the last round of a major championship.
Yes, it’s been a star-crossed career for Norman, full of amazing highs and equally amazing lows. Born in the mining town of Mount Isa in Queensland, Australia, in 1955, Gregory John Norman was by his own description a “skinny, scrawny” youth.
Self-conscious of his physique and bound to overcome it, his first athletic interests were in the contact games — rugby, Australian rules football, cricket, squash, and particularly swimming and surfing. He also worked diligently at weight lifting to develop his body.
He did indeed become an impressive physical specimen — just over six feet tall, weighing 180 pounds, with broad shoulders, a trim waist, and strong legs. He developed an aggressive, power-oriented golf game that would be adored by the golfing public.
Norman did not take up golf until he was 16. His father, a mining engineer, did not play much, but Norman’s mother was a three-handicap golfer. While caddying for his mother, Norman decided to hit a few to see what it was like.
He was a long-ball hitter from the start, and with that as the carrot he took up the game. Within two years, he went from a 27 handicap to a scratch golfer, and he became a significant factor in Australian amateur golf.
He turned pro in 1976 and began competing on the Australian Tour. He then spread his wings to play the international circuits. From 1977-82, “The Shark” won at least one tournament every year, including such prestigious titles as the Australian Open, Australian Masters, French Open, and Dunlop Masters.
In his first U.S. Masters, in 1981, he finished a very respectable fourth, only three shots off Tom Watson’s winning score and one behind runners-up Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller.
In 1984, Norman began spending more time on the U.S. PGA Tour, where that year he won the Kemper and Canadian Opens. He also was in a playoff for the U.S. Open, where he exhibited for the first time a tendency to self-destruct under ultimate pressure. Three shots behind Fuzzy Zoeller with nine holes to play, Norman drew even after 17 holes and then drove well on the 18th.
However, his 6-iron approach was pushed some 40 yards right of the green into a grandstand. After a free drop, he managed to save his par (4) with an incredible 45-foot putt over severely undulating terrain. In the playoff, though, he was overwhelmed, 67-75.
In the 1986 Masters, Norman’s proclivity to fail at the moment of truth reared up again. Needing a par-4 on the last hole to tie Nicklaus, he hit a 4-iron approach far right of the green and bogied the hole to finish tied for second. Three months later, he won his first major, the British Open, by five strokes.
But the following month, he let Bob Tway back into the PGA Championship, shooting a final-round 76 to give up a four-shot lead with 18 to play and setting the stage for Tway’s smashing finish; he holed a bunker shot on the 72nd hole to win, by two.
The pattern was settling in. Norman would either win big, dominating the field, or more often than not let others catch him with his mediocre to poor play against an opponent’s fine play and occasional spectacular single shot. He lost the 1987 Masters when Larry Mize holed a 45-yard chip shot in sudden death.
Through all the shocking defeats and collapses, even as he has cut back his overly aggressive game management, Norman has maintained a calm public demeanor. He simply points to his overall record, which is indeed remarkable. Over 14 seasons through 1996 on the U.S. Tour, he posted more than 100 top-10 finishes, including 17 victories, and won the Vardon Trophy for low scoring average three times.
The game is there, and of course the money has followed. In 1995 alone, he set a PGA Tour season record for money won with $1,654,959. He soared to No. 1 on the career money list despite playing a limited schedule.
And yet, he is found wanting. A golfer of his ability is supposed to win more majors, and certainly more than a few of those he leads going into the last round of play. He shrugs at the notion and says he will just keep trying. Of that, we can be sure.
Some have said he was never the same after the devastating collapse in the 1996 Masters. He didn’t land another major win until June of the following year. That victory was special in another way: it made him the first golfer ever with career earnings more than $11 million.
Shortly afterward, President Clinton took a tumble on the steps of Norman’s mansion in Florida and tore up a knee tendon, and the problem seems to have been contagious.
Norman missed the cut at the 1998 Masters, and then he had shoulder surgery. Back problems and a pair of knee surgeries kept him out of active play for years. But he is a highly successful businessperson, supposedly worth as much as $500 million.
In the 14 seasons of his career he was ranked number one for 331 weeks. He finished in the top 10 in 100 tournaments and earned the Vardon Trophy for lowest average score three times. But Norman still shares a dubious record with Craig Wood — the only two men to appear in a playoff for all four majors and lose every one.

The Best Weight Lifting Program for a Wrestler

Wrestlers at all levels require strength and muscular endurance when they step onto the mat. A wrestler needs to have an effective weightlifting program both during training and in the off-season. The design of the program should promote functional strength that improves a wrestler¡¯s ability to grapple and throw his opponent.
Wrestling coach and owner of Grappler¡¯s Gym, Mike Fry, states that many young wrestlers get the wrong idea about weightlifting from bodybuilding magazines. These magazines outline training programs that build muscle mass, but do relatively little to improve strength endurance in the entire body. This is because these programs often incorporate weight-training machines that isolate muscles. Fry advocates using free weights such as barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells for a wrestling weightlifting program because they require the wrestler to use many different muscle groups for balance and strength rather than just the main groups he is training.
During the off-season, a wrestler should focus on building power through essential lifting exercises such as the bench press, squats and deadlift. These exercises are the best available for building power in the upper body, legs and lower back, respectively. Each weight training session the wrestler undertakes should revolve around one of these exercises and then use supporting lifts such the dumbbell press, lunges or kettlebell cleans to round out the program.
The goal of a wrestler¡¯s weightlifting program is to build power endurance, which sports physiologist Phil Davies defines as the ability to exert near maximal force contractions of a muscle repeatedly over a sustained period of time. To achieve this kind of result, a wrestler loads an exercise with 50 percent to 70 percent of his maximum lifting capacity and then must perform between 15 and 30 repetitions. Each weightlifting session should be composed of two to four different exercises, which are performed for up to four sets each.
Once the wrestling season is under way, a wrestler changes his training focus from the weight room to wrestling drills and cardiovascular endurance. However, these exercises will not maintain the muscular power that was built in the off-season. Fry states that during the season, the wrestler should not weight-train more than four times a week, otherwise he risks over-training. Therefore, weightlifting sessions during the season should be lighter and focus on training specific movements. Exercises that use dumbbells or kettlebells are easier to adapt to this kind of training than barbells.

How Do Player Numbers Correlate to Their Position in Soccer?

Traditionally, player numbers in soccer are associated with a specific position. Teams are free to assign numbers as they choose, so there’s a lot of variation from tradition. Numbers tend to match positions better in international soccer than in league play, where players tend to hold on to their numbers for the duration of their time at the club.
The first-choice goalkeeper of a team almost always gets the No. 1 shirt. For the defenders, No. 2 plays at right-back, No. 3 at left-back and No. 4 and No. 6 play the center. In a formation with five defenders such as a five-three-two, the additional central defender usually wears No. 4.
The center of midfield is occupied by No. 4 and 8. The player wearing No. 4 tends to be the defensive ¡°holding¡± midfielder, who stays a little further back during attacks. The No. 8 is the attacking midfielder who connects play between the midfield and the attackers. Number 11 plays on the left wing, while No. 7 plays up the right. When there are three center midfielders, the No. 7 joins the midfield on the right side.
The attacking players usually wear No’s 9 and 10. The No. 9 is usually the primary striker and better finisher, such as Mia Hamm, Alan Shearer and Ronaldo — if a team uses a formation with one attacker like four-five-one, the lone striker would traditionally be the No. 9. The No. 10 is often the playmaker and more skilled on the ball of the two strikers, such as Messi, Maradona and Pele. Where there are three attackers, number 11 joins the attack.
Teams often go against this standard numbering system. Sometimes, the numbers are retired. For example, no one will again wear the No. 9 worn by Real Salt Lake’s Jason Kreis. One of the oddest breaks from tradition was Ronaldo’s ¡°99¡± shirt at AC Milan. James Daly of Unibet jokingly suggests this may have represented the Brazilian’s weekly cheeseburger intake at the time. Yet as Akshay Mhasker of Football Speak points out, sometimes players find it hard to break from tradition. Ivan Zamorano, unable to wear his beloved No. 9 shirt, wore a “1+8” (No. 18 with a plus sign) shirt for two seasons.