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Thread: Sports & You, Your Job, Your Community

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Sports & You, Your Job, Your Community

    I searched the archives for a general "sports" thread, giving those of us who tend to talk a bit too much a chance to pontificate on a topic near and dear to us.

    Sports & The Bear
    I have always been interested in sports, both as a participant and as a fan (observer). Many moons ago I latched onto favorite teams in the four sports I consider MAJOR, and I have stood by those teams through thick and thin. Mostly thin.....if that is the description for "championship".

    In baseball it has been the Detroit Tigers. Yes, I did get a couple chances to celebrate World Championships.....1968 and 1984. I was very proud of my chosen team this year, even though they slipped when they entered the World Series.

    In basketball it has been the Detroit Pistons. I have had a number of years to enjoy the success of a championship season, but many years it was a losing cause.

    In hockey.....the Detroit Red Wings. I waited so many years to see the Wings go from "Dead Wings" to "Stanley Cup Champions". Even though the Wings have the best record in hockey the past ten years, it has been frustrating in some of those years to so dominate the regular season and so quickly exit the play-offs.

    I step away from Detroit for my fave football team.....the Pittsburgh Steelers. Been a fan since the early 1960's.

    College sports.....Michigan and Bowling Green.

    Participatory sports: I played little league baseball.....even threw a no-hitter in The All-Star Game. Broke my ankle and never played hardball again. Played some softball, in a Bowling Green, OH, men's league and in a church league. I never hit a home run in my life.....even considering that a person of my size should be jacking softballs over the fence on a regular basis.

    I have played a lot of basketball, organized league ball and pick-up games. Never tired of that.

    Sports & Your Job
    In my business there is no real involvement with sports. But, as planners and the like you may have contact with or involvement with sports, especially physical properties. Perhaps park acreage standards related to ball diamonds, ball courts, etc. Maybe specific zoning involvement for coliseums or football stadiums.

    Sports & Your Community
    Toledo's minor-league baseball club (a Triple A team, the minor league's highest level) moved from an old horse-racing track that had been converted to a baseball stadium (in a suburb of Toledo) to a modern state-of-the-art stadium in downtown Toledo. The stadium has been recognized as the best minor league stadium and has spurred growth in the area surrounding the new facility. Warehouse lofts, new restaurants, night clubs.....all have moved into the area near this sports stadium.

    Toledo citizens are now arguing about whether or not to build a new sports arena adjacent to the new baseball stadium. Proponents argue that the arena will lead to even more "build-up" revitalization in the downtown area.

    At the same time, the University of Toledo (located about 5 miles from downtown Toledo) wants to build a new arena. University officials are opposed to building that facility downtown.....even though U of T is primarily a "commuter" school.

    My take: The State should say that they will assist with the funding of only one arena.....in effect, forcing the school to go with the downtown (and shared and single) arena.

    On a more personal basis, sports become a "must have" or "must do" for so many people in a community. High school sports, soccer leagues, pick-up games at your local playground.....all help to build "community" and give many a welcome respite from the tensions of everyday life.

    The Bad & The Ugly
    Yes, there is too much emphasis on sports. Especially sad.....the media circus that follows the idiotic antics of a gifted football player. Especially sad.....the rioting in the streets when a city wins a championship. Especially sad.....the "sports dads" that think their kid is the only kid and should play, OR ELSE!
    _____

    Done. What say you?

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Sorry, Bear, I know you have a "point" here, but we are so overwhelmed with sports threads, it makes me want to start the tampon thread, or something similar.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    A Couple HBO Sports Specials

    A few years ago HBO broadcast a special that focused on the 1968 Detroit Tigers and the effect that their championship run that year had on a city that suffered through an incredible 1967 summer of racial unrest. The story had a strong relationship to planning and the urban (and suburban) issues that always come into focus.

    This week, HBO has been broadcasting a special that focuses on the atttempts by Walter O'Malley to keep his baseball team, the Dodgers, in Brooklyn NY, in the 1950s. O'Malley strongly pushed for a new domed stadium to be built in Btrooklyn and it would have happened except for "the master builder" Robert Moses. Moses apparently was the big decision-maker in NYC during that era, and he wanted a stadium in the area known as Flushing Meadows.

    This Bear is not a planner......but it is interesting to read about Robert Moses and the influence he had on urban planning, expressway construction, the growth of suburbia, etc.

    So.....as baseball fans know.....the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles and the New York Giants (a team with no fan support) moved to San Francisco. These major league franchises led the way for many other sport's teams to move to the west coast. The rest is history.

    The HBO special this week was quite interesting.....and until I viewed it, I did not know about Robert Moses and his influence (for good and bad) on the topics that planners are intergrated into.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  4. #4
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    This week, HBO has been broadcasting a special that focuses on the atttempts by Walter O'Malley to keep his baseball team, the Dodgers, in Brooklyn NY, in the 1950s. O'Malley strongly pushed for a new domed stadium to be built in Btrooklyn and it would have happened except for "the master builder" Robert Moses. Moses apparently was the big decision-maker in NYC during that era, and he wanted a stadium in the area known as Flushing Meadows.

    This Bear is not a planner......but it is interesting to read about Robert Moses and the influence he had on urban planning, expressway construction, the growth of suburbia, etc.

    The HBO special this week was quite interesting.....and until I viewed it, I did not know about Robert Moses and his influence (for good and bad) on the topics that planners are intergrated into.
    [OT] BUN if you can get your hands on it you should watch Episode 7: The City and the World of the PBS Ric Burns directed New York: A Documentary Film. It chronicles the time period of 1945 to the 1980's and the dramatic rise of Robert Moses and the concentration of powers unto him which shaped NYC, for better or worse, into what it is today. The public library usually has a copy.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    I only have enough time and room in my brain to follow one team (Red Sox) at the expense of all other sports. I don't know how people follow so many pro and college sports at once.

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    Sport & Me

    Much like most of my family I support Sheffield United in the soccer. I don't have a rugby team or a cricket team that I follow. I do keep an eye on the England cricket games when they take place. Rugby holds no fascination for me whatsoever.

    The American major sports - never really taken off here, as is well documented, but back in the late 80s/early 90s one of the terretrial channels over here had NFL highlights which my uncle went nuts for. Under his 'guidance' i adopted the Chicago Bears. But I'm screwed if I can remember any particualr highlights of supporting them. I think they may have made a couple of Superbowl finals around that time (?).

    Basketball - I don't have a team, although again under the guidance of my uncle (who is a bit of an 'Americaphile' I guess) I took the Boston Celtics under my wing as a kid. In this country its probably the Sheffield Sharks, but I don't go to any games, or really keep an eye on their results. I did go a couple of times whilst at University in Sheffield.

    Hockey - nil. Sheffield Steelers in the UK.

    Baseball - again, nil. But I did go and see a Toronto Bluejays game when I was out there in Sept 2004. It was a good laugh and I even managed to catch a ball!

    I play soccer once a week (7-a-side), and I'm playing cricket on Thursday for the first time in about 2 years, so that should be interesting...

    Sport & The Job

    I'm currently involved in a the redevelopment of a spectator stand at Headingley cricket ground, Leeds. Headingley is one of a small number of International test venues in England, so the project is a high profile one. We currently have SMC Alsop (as in Will Alsop) on board as the scheme architects, I'm looking forward to working with them!

    Sports & My Community

    Leeds United are going from bad to worse, which as a neutral observer living in Leeds is bloody hilarious. They're now in the lowest league in their history, and only 2 divisions above semi-pro Farsley Celtic who play in a suburb of Leeds and whose ground holds about 2,500, if that! For the record, Elland Road, home of Leeds United holds 40,000.

    Leeds is also a big Rugby League city (as opposed to Rugby Union), with a number of the top teams playing in and around the city, including Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Hawks, Bradford Bulls, Wakefiled Wildcats, Batley Bulldogs, Dewsbury Rams and Castleford Tigers all playing within a 30 minute drive of the city centre.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Sport and Me
    Grew up watching the Mets and Cardinals during their Spring Training in St. Petersburg and was able to actually meet several players in the late 60s/early70s. We also played baseball in Little League. Both my older brothers played as well (one was on the FLA HS State championship team) and they were All-Stars. I, on the other hand, was hit by a pitch in the head during my first year playing organized ball and had a hard time standing at the plate throughout my LL career. I had great defensive skills however.

    Once I quit baseball, I started playing soccer. We didn't have soccer in HS and I played on a Select U-16 and U-19 teams (U-19 team won the FLA State title). Played in college and then a couple years of semi-pro. Quit playing soccer about 6 years ago because my knees decided they had had enough.

    Play golf now on generally weekends and church league softball during spring.

    As far as supporting various teams are concerned.
    Baseball - Atlanta Braves. It was the closest city with pro baseball growing up and Dad took us there every year to watch the Braves and Mets play. I'm also partial to a couple others teams like the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (hometown) and the KC Royals (brother lives there) and one or two others.

    Football - Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Bucs, Carolina Pathers

    Hockey - (since I gotta pick) Tampa Bay Lightening & Carolina Hurricanes

    Basketball - (since I gotta pick) - no I don't have to, who cares

    Soccer - Tampa Bay Rowdies from the NASL and now don't have a team in the MLS. I just watch to enjoy. At one time I closely followed Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Newcastle in the English league (HFH - I know its sttrange to follow 3 teams over there)

    College - National Champion Florida Gators

    Sport & Job
    The firm I work for do a fair number of recreation facilities and sportplexes. I have worked on a soccerplex and a regional recreation plan.

    Sport & Community
    The Class A minor league team for the Pittsburgh Pirates reside where I live and we attend games about 2 times a month. Great Fun!

    I used to coach youth soccer, but retired (see note about the knees) until Wee P comes of age and will probably have to dust off my studs at that time.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  8. #8
         
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    Soccer - Tampa Bay Rowdies from the NASL and now don't have a team in the MLS. I just watch to enjoy. At one time I closely followed Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Newcastle in the English league (HFH - I know its sttrange to follow 3 teams over there)
    Weirdo.

    People often have one team they religiously follow and one as their second team, who they keep an eye on the results for and maybe get to one or two games a season. My second team are Carlisle United, as I was born there.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    I'm hoping to work on a top double secret project.
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    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    College - National Champion Florida Gators









    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  11. #11
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Growing up in Chicagoland, I've always been surrounded by sports and am very loyal to my hometown teams.

    Of course, I'm a rabid Bulls fan, growing up during the years of the Jordan dynasty. I had it all...the Bulls penant, the hats, the championship shirts, the jerseys, the backpack, the posters, the plaques, the autographs, the basketball cards, you name it. I used to follow the Bulls very closely, but ever since Jordan, Pippen, and the whole crew left, I haven't paid as much attention. I'm still a supporter of the team and will still tune into a game occassionally, but it's nothing like it used to be when I was a kid growing up during pro basketball's glory days.

    I'm also a fervent Chicago Bears supporter. The excitement in this city when Da Bears went to the Super Bowl last year for the first time since 1986 was out of this world. I follow the Bears pretty closely, and I always love football season. It's such a great time of the year. I was pretty depressed after the Super Bowl. Going from such a high to such a low was pretty bad. When my beloved Bears are not in the Super Bowl, of course I root for one team over another and still watch the game, but I don't follow any other team the entire season like I do Da Bears.

    Not a real big hockey fan. Sure, I root for the Blackhawks over any other pro team, but I've just never really gotten into the sport that much. I've seen several Chicago Wolves games though; they play in an alternate league. They've actually won a few championships.

    Don't follow soccer at all, but I'm sure I'd root for the Chicago Fire if I did.

    Regarding baseball, I'm more of a Sox fan. Sure I've been to Wrigley (and even Wrigley North - aka Miller Park), and I'll admit I admired Sammy Sosa back in 1998, but I've always been more of a Sox fan. I remember my first ballgame was a Sox game back in 93 or 94, back when the Sox were really really good, not long after New Comiskey Field was built. They would've won the World Series in 1994 were it not for the strike which cut the season short. While I follow both the Sox and the Cubs pretty closely and been to equal amounts of ballgames by the two teams, I'm a Sox fan at the end of the day. Simply, the Sox are just more consistent and play better ball. And they know how to score runs. I watched every game in awe during the World Series as they swept the Astros, and rioted (celebrated) on the streets of my college campus when they won.

    Regarding College Football, it's gotta be the NIU (Northern Illinois) Huskies baby!! NIU Football is just the greatest time ever. I try to go to every NIU football game I can. Other schools hate playing here cause we're so damn loud. The program has made a pretty big name for itself, going to a Bowl Game in San Diego last year, playing prominent teams such as Michigan, and playing Iowa at Soldier Field this coming season.

    With regards to College Basketball, it's the Fighting Illini of Illinois. I don't follow the regular season too much, but when it's bracket time, I'm definitely following things. Illinois went pretty far a couple seasons ago, and they've got a good program going.

    With my community, of course I'll always root for my hometown high school, but I haven't really been to any high school games or anything since I graduated. I just wish the programs there the best of luck. Other than that, there are several minor league baseball teams near me, of varying caliber. Don't really follow any of them that much, usually just go there for the fun or because it's a special group event or outing or something.

    In regards to my job...no company leagues or anything. We're always trying to build better parks and accomodate the residents, but nothing too direct.

    With regards to me, I'm not a big sports guy. Sure, I'll play a pick up game here and there, but I'm not in any leagues or anything. Just more of a spectator.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Spectator Sports In The Northwestern USA

    Ripping open an old thread because the topic seems to fit the thread.....

    Spectator Sports In The Northwestern USA
    My son and his family moved to Portland, OR, in January, 2007. During his time in PDX he has noticed that there is not a high intensity level for spectator sports in that part of the USA world. Most of the folks he has talked with express little to no desire to "talk" major league sports.

    He says that it would be no surprise (and apparently not a big loss) if Portland's lone major league entry, the Portland Trailblazers (NBA) moved on down the highway. Seattle, just up the road a piece, is already involved in some sort of stadium controversy with their NBA club, the Super Sonics.

    My son argues that the folks in Portland are more into personal athletics, such as biking, running, mountain climbing, etc. My response was that the demographics of many of the folks who have moved to Stump Town are filled with technical "geek" types, more comfortable on their 10-speed mountain bike than at bar or on the couch, watching sports on television.

    Any of our resident Great Northwestern USA Cyburbians want to comment?

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    King James

    With LeBron James announcement that he is leaving Cleveland and joining Miami it brings to light the number of sports disappointments that Cleveland has suffered through.....

    The Drive
    The Fumble
    2 Outs Away
    LeBron James

    This Bear is not a Cleveland sports team fan. My fave teams (Tigers, Steelers, Pistons) play in the same respective divisions as Cleveland's baseball, football, and basketball teams. But you have to feel some heart for all of the disappointments that Cleveland has gone through.

    The Drive - AFC Championship game in 1987, John Elway moves Denver down the field and ties the game, forcing an overtime that Denver wins. Cleveland had the game in the bag until Elway's historic final few minutes performance.

    The Fumble - Last few minutes of the AFC Championship game in the early 1990s, Ernest Bynar (Cleveland) fumbles the pigskin on the 3-yard line. The "for sure" TD would have tied the game. Denver wins again.

    2 Outs Away - 1997 World Series, the Cleveland Indians with a 2-1 lead and just 2 outs to go in game 7. It all fell apart and the Florida Marlins won the game and thus the World Series.

    LeBron James - Just played-out, on national TV.

    Another sad sports day for Cleveland.

    Note: I think James should have stayed in Clelevand.

    Bear
    Last edited by Bear Up North; 08 Jul 2010 at 11:23 PM.
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    The Drive - AFC Championship game in 1987, John Elway moves Denver down the field and ties the game, forcing an overtime that Denver wins. Cleveland had the game in the bag until Elway's historic final few minutes performance.
    One of my favorite games.
    Oddball
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  15. #15
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    More Cleveland

    Forgot to add another blemish on the Cleveland "sports face".....Art Modell moving the Browns to Baltimore. And to make it worse, that team won the Super Bowl a few years later. Browns' fans hate the Baltimore Ravens even more than we Pittsburgh Steeler fans do.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  16. #16
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    With LeBron James announcement that he is leaving Cleveland and joining Miami it brings to light the number of sports disappointments that Cleveland has suffered through.....
    I think Cleveland will be the better for this. Although LeBron is a talent, he is now showing how selfish and simple he is. Instead of doing the right thing for a city who has helped make you a star... you give up the money (like he needs it) to go to South Beach. He even stated in his hour long ego-fest that he was going to South Beach, not to the Miami Heat.

    I think that Cleveland has faced many ups and downs, but in the end they will be better for getting rid of this self-centered player. I like Dan Gilbert for saying what everyone was thinking - LeBron quit during the playoffs last year, and now he is taking the easy road out of town, instead of building a franchise like he promised to do.

    LeBron may be good, but he isn't Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, or even Kevin Durant. Those guys made the best of their situations - they elevated their teams. And did anyone else notice that Durant reupped his contract? Oh he didn't have a dog and pony show to do it... nevermind.

    ps. I hate Cleveland in most of everything that they do. Especially the Browns... but I feel for them now.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    With LeBron James announcement that he is leaving Cleveland and joining Miami it brings to light the number of sports disappointments that Cleveland has suffered through.....

    The Drive
    The Fumble
    2 Outs Away
    LeBron James

    This Bear is not a Cleveland sports team fan. My fave teams (Tigers, Steelers, Pistons) play in the same respective divisions as Cleveland's baseball, football, and basketball teams. But you have to feel some heart for all of the disappointments that Cleveland has gone through.

    The Drive - AFC Championship game in 1987, John Elway moves Denver down the field and ties the game, forcing an overtime that Denver wins. Cleveland had the game in the bag until Elway's historic final few minutes performance.

    The Fumble - Last few minutes of the AFC Championship game in the early 1990s, Ernest Bynar (Cleveland) fumbles the pigskin on the 3-yard line. The "for sure" TD would have tied the game. Denver wins again.

    2 Outs Away - 1997 World Series, the Cleveland Indians with a 2-1 lead and just 2 outs to go in game 7. It all fell apart and the Florida Marlins won the game and thus the World Series.

    LeBron James - Just played-out, on national TV.

    Another sad sports day for Cleveland.

    Note: I think James should have stayed in Clelevand.

    Bear
    When Cleveland goes to four straight Super Bowls and comes away with zero Lombardis, then their fans will have something serious to cry about ...

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    When Cleveland goes to four straight Super Bowls and comes away with zero Lombardis, then their fans will have something serious to cry about ...
    I can't speak for Cleveland Brown fans but I would bet dollars to donuts that the Dawgs would take empty-handed Super Bowl losses over NEVER going to the "big dance". Only a few teams have never gone.....

    Cleveland Browns
    Detroit Lions
    Jacksonville Jaguars
    Houston Texans

    Did I miss any?

    As you implied, Buffalo lost 4 straight games. Minnesota is also 0-4, but those were not "in a row".

    This Bear has a ton of respect for Buffalo and Minnesota and their Super Bowl teams. With maybe a single exception, those were very good NFL teams.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

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