For 13 years, Google has published a roundup what was most searched for around the world on a website called Google Zeitgeist. Zeitgeist collects more then 1000 lists from more than 70 countries that track the "spirit of the times" by looking at the people, places, and events that trended and were searched over the course of the year.
Of course, sports are included in those lists. Zeitgeist tracks the most searched athletes, sports, stadiums/arenas/ballparks, and teams, among many other categories. The 2013 edition of Zeitgeist was released recently, and with the 2014 World Cup only six months away we thought it would be fun to look at what soccer players and futbol teams were the most popular this year.
Despite entering the league with very little experience playing football, several athletes have made a successful leap to the NFL
The first time BYU defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi saw Ezekiel Ansah was at the school's indoor track, where the sophomore from Ghana was training as a sprinter. Ansah stood 6′ 6″ and weighed about 250 pounds — not exactly the typical body type for his sport. "I thought, What's he doing running track? He should be playing football," recalls Kaufusi.
Ansah had great speed — he ran the 100-meter dash in 10.91 seconds. But there was one problem: His body was so big that he would sometimes bump into runners in the lanes next to him. Ansah's track coach recommended that he try football instead, and brought him into BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall's office. Ansah had never played football before (or even lifted weights) but his raw athleticism impressed Mendenhall and his staff, and they offered him a walk-on roster spot. "He had an NFL body: the quickness, great lateral movements," says Kaufusi. "It was just a matter of teaching him how to play football."
When he went to the University of Texas, Garrett Gilbert believed the sky was the limit. “My expectations were just like anyone at Texas: to win every game.” That was the mindset of everyone watching Texas football at the time. They were a perennial national championship contender in a state loaded with high school talent. More »
Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons and Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado won the 2013 Rawlings Platinum Glove award in November. And with their victory came a win for sabermetricians, too. For the first time, the sabermetric SDI (SABR Defensive Index) was factored into who won the award (along with votes from baseball fans).
"This year's Rawlings Platinum Glove winners were both the statistical leaders in each league — based on our new SABR Defensive Index,” SABR President Vince Gennaro told me. “It's great to see their outstanding defensive seasons rewarded with this prestigious award.”
There were plenty of great defensive players in baseball this season that could have won the Platinum Glove. So what set Simmons and Machado apart? Let's go to the videotape!
If you’re a little sad that Christmas is over and you have no more presents to open, you’re in for a treat! The final weekend of the NFL regular season will decide the fates of several teams, which means we’ll get to see some exciting matchups.
The best teams are playing for top seeds and first-round byes, and the lower-level teams are playing just to have a chance at competing for a Super Bowl. It’s been a fun season, and this is the perfect finish. Enjoy some great holiday football!
Tell us where you think your team should be ranked in the comments!
As an NBA great, Carmelo Anthony gets the superstar treatment wherever he goes. But last week, he gave a group of deserving kids the chance to be All-Stars, too.
On Friday, the Carmelo Anthony Foundation partnered with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment to bring more than 100 underprivileged New York City kids to the 5th annual A Very Melo Christmas event. It was hosted at the AMC Empire movie theater in Times Square and featured a screening of Big, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
“I was once in their shoes and looking for hope,” Anthony said about the children. “I wish somebody would’ve taken me to watch a movie when I was a kid.”
Not a lot of movement in the rankings this week — the good teams have stayed good, while the not so good teams, well, are still not so good. But there is a new occupant of the top spot. The Ducks are the hottest team in the league right now, which has earned them a jump over the Blackhawks. In the East, the Penguins have been just as hot. They're winning despite big-time roster losses, and they're giving themselves some distance between the Bruins.
Check out this week's NHL Power Rankings and tell us in the comments section where you think your team should be ranked!