First Timer At The Grand Ole Opry

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Let me start off by saying that I have not been known as a Country Music fan but that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally listen to it.  I do listen to it more now since living in Nashville.  You just can’t help it.  I mean, this IS the Country Music capital of the world.   You can’t exactly run around the Music City with fingers in your ears.  I have realized now that when scanning radio stations, I don’t always scan past the Country stations.

Last night my wife and I attended the Grand Ole Opry for the first time.  We were not disappointed.

My extent of Country Music growing up was Hee Haw.  I don’t recall ever listening or watching the Grand Ole Opry before last night.

We were close to the stage.  I’m talking like four rows out.  It was awesome to be that close to the various acts.  Last night’s line up included:  Riders In The Sky, Raelynn, T. Graham Brown, Chuck Wicks, Danielle Bradberry, Dailey & Vincent, Bill Anderson and Kelsa Ballerini.  The only people I knew before last night were Bill Anderson and Kelsea Ballerini.

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Kelsea Ballerini performing at the Grand Ole Opry

 

Just a few facts that you should know about attending a performance at the Grand Ole Opry:

  • The show is a LIVE broadcast.  There is a worldwide radio audience listening to the show.
  • Each act performs three songs which is fine for some acts but for some you wish they performed longer.
  • Seating is long “church pew” seats so if you better hope everyone is within the average size.
  • The show isn’t like a concert.  It’s more like watching those old variety television shows in the 70s.
  • The Opry sells concessions but not quite like a movie theatre.  It’s best to get something to eat before the show.
  • Alcoholic beverages are sold but I really don’t think it’s necessary for something like this.
  • There is a 15-minute intermission during the show.   Good luck with going to the bathroom if you are a woman.
  • Traffic after the show is horrible since there are only two ways out of the area.
  • If you see someone you like, get your tickets early.

The Grand Ole Opry started on November 28, 1925 as a one-hour “barn dance” on a local radio station.  The phrase “Grand Ole Opry” began in 1927 when the show followed NBC’s Music Appreciation Hour which was a program of classical music and selections from the opera.  Opry presenter George Hay introduced harmonica player, DeFord Bailey by saying:  “For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely form the Grand Opera.  From now on, we will present the Grand Ole Opry.”

The Grand Ole Opry called the historic Ryman Auditorium home until a new 4,000-seat Opry House was built and moved the Opry there in 1974.  The new facility was more modern although they did include a section of the stage from the Ryman to include in the stage of the new Opry House.

Regular performers at the Grand Ole Opry become members from referrals of current Opry members.  Their membership must be maintained throughout their career with a minimum number of performances throughout their career.

The Opry features shows every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from March through November.

More than you wanted to know about the Grand Ole Opry?   Perhaps, but when you’re in Nashville you have to go at least once.  I’m glad we did and I’m thinking we might go back soon.  Sure, there were some acts I really wasn’t interested in but it was all entertaining.

For more information about the Grand Ole Opry or for tickets:  www.opry.com

Working With .VOB Files

In the various video file formats I have to work with in litigation, one of the most common are .VOB files.  A .VOB file is the container format in DVD-Video media files.  VOB (Video Object) files can contain digital video, digital audio, subtitles, DVD menus and navigation contents which are put together to stream the content of a DVD.

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This is what a DVD-format video file looks like.

 

If you have a DVD and just want to play it, you will never need to know about .VOB files but when you have to convert it or capture clips from it you will need to find a way to do this.  Sometimes you can just simply play a .VOB file in Windows Media Player or Videolan (VLC) player separately.  There are times when you can simply change the file extension from .VOB to .MPG and it will work the same but it doesn’t always work depending on how the file is coded.  Although a VOB file is essentially an MPEG file, it could have additional data that might be needed.

Perhaps the safest way to convert a .VOB file is to use a video conversion program.  I sometimes use AnyVideoConverter.  Doing so will ensure you can keep it seamlessly and not risk losing any important information or any loss in quality.

If you need to convert a DVD to play in TrialDirector, there is a nifty program included which will make life easier.   It is called the inData Digital Video Disc (DVD) Extractor.  It is very easy to use and can export the output to MPEG-1 and MPEG-2.  This is a useful tool if your attorney hands you a DVD to put into TrialDirector.  This utility will extract the DVD format into a more user friendly form for TrialDirector.

DVDextractor
inData’s DVD Extractor utility helps convert DVD format to MPEG.

With an video conversion, you must always use caution that you aren’t altering the video file or degrading it in any way.  There have been some instances when I have converted a VOB file only to discover that the video and audio did not match up or the time code was missing or different than when the legal team reviewed the original DVD.  Also, you have to stress to the legal team to provide you with the video files with ample notice as sometimes conversion doesn’t always happen instantly.

Will NHL Predators’ Success Help Nashville’s MLS Bid?

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During the Stanley Cup playoffs, the hockey world took notice of Nashville’s support for the Nashville Predators.  When fans couldn’t get tickets to the game, they filled the streets of Lower Broadway, Walk of Fame Park and other locations downtown painting the town gold.  Yes, Nashville embraced hockey.  Watching and being a part of the Predators’ amazing journey this season, I wondered if what happened here could help Nashville’s quest for a Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion team.

Nashville is one of 12 cities on the list for four slots that the league plans to expand to take the league to 28 teams.  Nashville joins Sacramento, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, San Antonio, Raleigh, Cincinnati, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Phoenix, San Diego and Detroit.

I  would think that the city of Nashville only helped their cause with the success of the Predators’ and a sport which people probably never thought would take in the Music City.  One thing that helps Nashville is that there is no other professional sports teams that would compete with MLS in the bulk of the regular season.  They would compete with the Predators in the first 1/3 of the season and then the Titans in the last 1/3.  There is definitely a big gap where a team would get the support since the city does not have a Major League Baseball team.  In fact, six of the 12 on the list would not have competition with baseball.  They all have minor league teams but I don’t see that as real competition with professional soccer.

The United States national teams have done well with matches here.  The four games between 2006 and 2015 averaged 31,998 fans, which was something that attracted CONCACAF Gold Cup to have matches in Nashville this summer.  On July 8th, the United States will play Panama and Martinique will play Nicaragua.  Also, more than 40,000 filled Nissan Stadium in October for a match between Mexico and New Zealand.

Even Nashville Mayor Megan Barry expressed her thoughts about how the Predators’ success should help the city’s bid.

“I have to tell you if you were an MLS official and you watched any fan participation for the Predators, I can’t believe you wouldn’t think this is a place that would be supportive of a soccer team.”

Most soccer experts list Nashville as 7th on their list of the 12 cities.  One thing that might detract from Nashville is that the city is an unknown as far as a soccer fan base.  Sure, the Predators had incredible support but would that translate to support for an MLS franchise?  Unfortunately, I think cities with past professional soccer teams in the old NASL (St. Louis, Tampa Bay, San Diego and Detroit) seem to be sentimental favorites.  Personally, I think I would mix it up if I were MLS officials.  Maybe include two old favorites and two cities who have never had a team.

Nashville already has support from the local community to build a stadium for an MLS team.  That is always a huge hurdle for a city to strengthen their position for an expansion team.

Here is my personal (non-soccer expert) ranking of the list of cities.  The numbers indicate professional sports teams:

  1. Tampa Bay (3)
  2. Phoenix (4)
  3. San Diego (1)  – Remember the Chargers have moved to LA
  4. Nashville (2)
  5. St. Louis (2)
  6. Charlotte (2)
  7. Cincinnati (2)
  8. San Antonio (1)
  9. Raleigh (1)
  10. Indianapolis (2)
  11. Sacramento (1)
  12. Detroit (4)

The Predators’ success certainly helped Nashville’s chances but is it enough to put them in the top four?  Another factor in the process is Miami’s on/off bid for an MLS team.  Who knows how that situation will work out?  Miami could be the factor that bumps Nashville out.  Of course, both Miami and Tampa had MLS franchises but lost them.

The next two expansion teams are planned to join the league in 2020.  With the length of time between now and the next decision for the next two teams, you also wonder how long the Predators’ success this season will stay in the minds of those on the MLS expansion committee.  But, the Music City will have several opportunities to show their support for soccer on their own with the upcoming Gold Cup games and other friendlies being hosted at Nissan Stadium.

Honky Tonkin and Corner Kicks in the Music City?  It isn’t so far-fetched.

 

Son Of A Preacher Man

I grew up as the son of a preacher man.   In the early years of my life, my dad was the man behind the pulpit.

He preached a lot of sermons but the lessons I learned was him.  He wasn’t like other fathers.  Sure, he took time to play basketball or throw the baseball around with me but his priority was the church.

He was born in Gadsden, Alabama but some how migrated to South Georgia where he graduated from Clinch County High School in Homerville, Georgia.  He played football and basketball and you will still find him at the football stadium on Friday night watching his beloved Clinch County Panthers.

When he graduated from high school he left for the United States Air Force.  Later, he and my mother married and I was born while dad was stationed at Dyess Air Force Base near Abilene, Texas.

He was “called” into the ministry when I was a toddler.  Dad was the pastor at many churches in Georgia.  I called Valdosta, Moultrie, Temple, Homeland, Villa Rica and Savannah home over those years I was living at home.

Dad was strict.  He didn’t have any tolerance for any nonsense and I was careful not to cause much trouble.  Strict isn’t always negative.  I have inherited a lot of his characteristics.  When I stand in the mirror I see some of him in me.  Some of the things I see is:

  • Dad was a planner.  He was never one to just do anything without planning.
  • Dad was punctual.  I never recall my dad ever being late for anything.  If nothing else, he would be early.
  • Dad was honest.  I never remember him lying or cheating anyone.
  • Dad had faith in God.  I remember many times he said that we were just going to trust in God.
  • Dad had a unique sense-of-humor.  He wasn’t a cut-up like my mom was but he had his very unique humor.
  • Dad was a hard-worker.  There were many times he worked a job in addition to pastoring a church.  He never complained about it.

 

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Savannah, Georgia (1981)
One thing about my dad was that he was committed to doing what he believed was the right thing to do even if he never got recognized for it.  I remember when we were in Temple, it was a very small church. One Sunday no one showed up for church but Dad still had church with me and my Mom.

I don’t think he was really appreciated for the sacrifices he made.  He made a lot of them.  I never remember him being a selfish man.  He always thought of others before himself.  I would like to be more like him in that way.

 My dad is still a good man.  I still think of him that way even if things are quite as they should be between us.  It has been a rocky road for us but he’s still my dad and always will be.  I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to have been my Dad.It’s tough writing this because it exposes some of my raw emotions.  While most Dads aren’t supposed to show emotions, I remember times that I saw my Dad cry.  I know I have probably been some of his tears.  I am not one that seeks to blame his Dad for things that he did or didn’t do in my childhood for some setback today.  My Dad was just like any other parent, he did the best he knew to do with the time and situation during those years.  I certainly don’t put anything on him.  It was what it was.

The connection a man has with his father shapes his life. Which is why every adult son must choose how that relationship will – or won’t – define him.   His ways prepared my way.  I am who I am because of him.  It was 35 years ago this month when I left home to join the United States Air Force but the lessons he taught me continues to this day.  My work ethic and personality are a lot like his.  Yes, I have tweaked it a lot over the years but he’s still there.  I see him in me when I look in the mirror.

Life isn’t always what we expected and we all make decisions that cause collateral hurts and consequences.  We all have to do the best that we can.  I have made some of those difficult decisions that have disappointed my Dad.   No son intentionally wants to disappoint their dad.  A son always wants to have his dad’s approval.  He wants to know that he made it regardless of how successful he has been on his own.  That approval matters deep inside of us somewhere.

When we’re not reconciled with our fathers, there’s something inside of us that remains restless. We don’t really grow up until we have come to terms with our fathers. Whether we want to admit it or not, we need our fathers to bless us in a way that brings us into adulthood regardless how old we are.

As for me, it doesn’t matter what has happened before.  He’s still my Dad.

Friday Flashback:  Father-Son Sports Teams

Silhouette of Father and Son Playing Baseball Outside

With Father’s Day happening this weekend, let’s take a look at some of the most famous father-son sports duos.  This list isn’t ranked in any way.

Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning

It is rare enough that a father and one son make it big in sports but to have two sons to do well in professional sports is a rarity.  The Mannings have been one of the few to accomplish this feat.  Archie played most of his career when the New Orleans Saints were frequent losers in the National Football League (NFL).  He started 139 games and finished with a record of 35-101-3.  Archie was never fortunate to participate in the postseason.   On the other hand, his two sons exceeded that by both winning Super Bowls.  Peyton won with Indianapolis and Denver while Eli won with the New York Giants.

Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dale Earnhardt Sr. was known as “The Intimidator” with his driving. He won 76 races in his career, achieving perhaps his most elusive victory at the 1998 Daytona 500.  Tragically, he perished on the final-lap wreck at Daytona in 2001. Dale Earnhardt Jr., then age 26, finished second in that race. In the traumatic aftermath of his father’s passing, Earnhardt Jr. won the Pepsi 400 that year in the first race held on the Daytona track since the tragedy.  A visible and charismatic figure, Earnhardt Jr. was named NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver for 11 consecutive seasons. After winning the Daytona 500 in 2004, he thrilled fans by taking the checkered flag there in 2014 at age 39, his 20th career win.  They are the only father and son who ever competed directly against each other.  Dale was still racing at a high level when his son came onto the scene.  Junior was unfortunately in the race where his father was fatally killed in a crash.

Bobby and Brett Hull

Bobby Hull—nicknamed “The Golden Jet”—collected the Hart Trophy twice as the league’s MVP and led in points three times. His statue now stands outside the United Center, home of the Chicago Blackhawks.  Brett Hull had a very high standard to aim for, and he drastically outperformed his two brothers to earn the honorific of “The Golden Brett.” He joined dad in the Hall of Fame in 2009, the first father-son duo ever enshrined. While Brett won “only” one MVP award, he doubled up his father in Stanley Cups and scored more often; they tallied 1,351 career goals between them.  Brett currently serves in the front office for the St. Louis Blues.

Bobby and Barry Bonds

They are the greatest father-son duo in baseball history. Bobby hit 332 career home runs and stole 461 bases.  He played for eight teams in 14 seasons with three All-Star appearances. Barry’s career is questioned amid the BALCO scandal, but his on-field production is legendary. The infamous steroid allegations has meant four years of Hall of Fame voting and no entrance for Bonds, but he finished his career with the records for home runs in a season (73) and career (763).

Other notable father-son teams:

  • Buddy, Rex and Rob Ryan (football)
  • Prince and Cecil Fielder (baseball)
  • Felipe and Moises Alou (baseball)
  • Cal Ripken, Sr. and Cal Ripken, Jr. (baseball)
  • Kellen Winslow, Sr. and Kellen Winslow, Jr. (football)
  • Clay Matthews, Sr. and Clay Matthews, Jr. (football)
  • Ken Norton, Sr. (boxing) and Ken Norton, Jr. (football)
  • Calvin Hill (football) and Grant Hill (basketball)
  • Brett and Bob Boone (baseball)

 

2016-2017 Hockey Champions

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It is the middle of June and the ice has finally melted on the 2016-2017 hockey season.  Here is a recap on the champions of each league:

National Hockey League (NHL):  Pittsburgh Penguins

  • The Penguins are the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup champions since the Detroit Red Wings did it in 1997 and 1998.  The Penguins defeated Columbus (4-1), Washington (4-3), Ottawa (4-3) and Nashville (4-2) to win their 5th cup in franchise history.  Sidney Crosby was named the MVP.

American Hockey League (AHL):  Grand Rapids Griffins

  • The Griffins defeated the Syracuse Crunch in six games to win their second Calder Cup.  They defeated Milwaukee (3-0), Chicago (4-1) and San Jose (4-1) on their way to the Cup final.    Griffins’ forward Tyler Bertuzzi was named the finals MVP.  The Griffins are the top farm team for the Detroit Red Wings.

ECHL:  Colorado Eagles

  • The Eagles won their first Kelly Cup championship in team history.  Defenseman Matt Register was named the MVP to become the first defenseman in the ECHL’s 29-year history to receive the award.   The Eagles defeated Idaho (4-1), Allen (4-2), Toledo (4-1) and South Carolina (4-0) to win the Cup.  The Eagles are affiliated with the Colorado Avalanche.

Federal Hockey League (FHL):  Danville Dashers

  •  The Dashers completed the best season in Danville history by winning the Commissioner’s Cup after setting a new league record with 129 points in the regular season.  The Dashers defeated Watertown (2-1) and Berlin (3-2) to win their first championship.  Danville forward Gehrett Sargis was named the MVP of the Commissioner Cup playoffs with four goals and four assists.

Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL):  Macon Mayhem

  • The Mayhem won their first President’s Cup title in just their second season.  They defeated Columbus (2-1), Pensacola (2-0) and Peoria (2-0).  Goalie Jordan Ruby was named the MVP.

North American Hockey League (NAHL):  Lone Star Brahmas

  • The Brahmas were crowned Robertson Cup National Champions.  Drake Glover was named the tournament MVP to lead the Brahmas their first title.   Lone Star defeated Wichita Falls (3-0), Corpus Christi (3-2), Janesville (2-0) and Aston (1-0) on their way to the Robertson Cup.

United States Hockey League (USHL):  Chicago Steel

  • The Steel won the Clark Cup Championship beating the Sioux City Musketeers 3 games to 2 for their first title.  Eduards Tralmaks was the MVP with 10 goals and two assists in the playoffs.    His 10 goals are tied for the most in USHL playoff history.  Chicago defeated Youngstown (3-2) and Dubuque (3-1) in the playoffs.

Western Hockey League (WHL):  Seattle Thunderbirds

  • The Thunderbirds captured the Ed Chynoweth Cup for the first time in the team’s 40-year history.  Mathew Barzal was named the MVP.   Seattle defeated Tri-City (4-0), Everett (4-0), Kelowna (4-2) and Regina (4-2).    The Thunderbirds won a dramatic Game 6 at Regina in overtime to win the cup.

National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL):  Buffalo Beauts

  • The Beauts stunned heavily favored Boston Pride to win the Isobel Cup.  Despite a third place finish in the regular season, Buffalo defeated the Pride 3-2 to win the title.  Buffalo goalie Brianne McLaughlin was named MVP with 60 saves in the game.  The Beauts defeated New York (4-2) and Boston (3-2) in the playoffs.

Obscure Sports Report

The Obscure Sports Report is a weekly report of obscure sports leagues in the United States.  An obscure sport/league is one that gets little or no attention from the media.  Here is this week’s report:

American 7s Football League (A7FL) – The 2017 Championship Bracket is set.  The Round 1 matchups will be:  New Jersey Paterson U vs. New Jersey Savage, Pennsylvania Immortalz vs. New Jersey BIC, New Jersey Chiefs vs. Baltimore Kings and Baltimore Gators vs. Pennsylvania Dynasty.  The games will be played on June 25th.

American Hockey League (AHL) –  After an ugly 5-1 loss in Game Five, the Grand Rapids Griffins will attempt to clinch the Calder Cup at home in Game Six.  Griffins goalie Jared Coreau gave up five goals in the first period.  The third-year veteran will try to regroup this week against the Syracuse Crunch.

American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) – Scores from last weekend:

  • Jacksonville 27, Atlanta 23
  • Raleigh 32, Nashville 20
  • San Diego 21, Seattle 20
  • Los Angeles 25, Seattle 20
  • San Francisco 27, San Jose 19
  • Madison 23, Minnesota 22
  • Montreal 16, Ottawa 13
  • Toronto 35, Philadelphia 28
  • DC 25, Toronto 17

Arena Football League (AFL) –  Philadelphia Soul Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh became the youngest in AFL history to pass for 30,00o yards in his career.  Raudabaugh now has 667 touchdowns and has a career record of 85-31.   The Soul defeated the Cleveland Gladiators, 59-49, to stay undefeated on the season at 8-0.

CAN-AM Indoor Football League (CAN AM) – The Vermont Bucks defeated the Rochester Kings, 61-41, to win the title.  Quarterback Steffen Colon threw for three touchdowns and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.  Cabrinni Goncalves ran for over 100 yards and scored two touchdowns.  The Bucks’ defense picked off the Kings several times in the rout and returned one for a touchdown.

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Vermont Bucks defeat the Rochester Kings, 61-41, for their first indoor title.

 

Champions Indoor Football League (CIFL) –  In the final weekend of the regular season, the Amarillo Venom demolished the Duke City Gladiators 70-41 and the Sioux City Bandits took care of the Bismarck Bucks 82-43.   In other games:  Omaha 43, Bloomington 30; Texas 63, Dodge city 59.

Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL) – The Missouri Cyclones (4-0) remained unbeaten as they edged the Missouri Valley Pitbulls (2-2), 19-17.  Impact East Division leaders, Tri-City Outlaws (2-1) had no trouble with the Gateway Spartans (0-4), 54-0.  The Chattanooga Eagles (4-0) rolled past the Georgia Knights (0-3), 64-6.   The Huntsville Rockets (3-0) blasted the Nashville Storm (0-2), 63-6.

Indoor Football League (IFL) – The Arizona Rattlers (11-4) knocked off the Cedar Rapids Titans (1-14) by a score of 56-24 in their final home game of the regular season in front of 13,251 fans.  With the win, the Rattlers extended their winning streak to seven games.  Arizona’s offense was led by RB Ketrich Harmon who ran for 73 yards on 12 attempts and scored three touchdowns. Quarterback Cody Sokol went five-for-nine with 43 yards and two touchdowns.

Major League Lacrosse (MLL) – Chesapeake Bayhawks attackman Josh Byrne was named the Cascade Rookie of the Week for Week 8. The Bayhawks fell to the Rattlers in overtime on Saturday night, 17-16.  Byrne, 23, scored seven goals for the Bayhawks in his first game as a professional, the most goals in a pro debut since at least 2010. The Hofstra product sparked a comeback for the Bayhawks after a 21-minute scoreless drought by scoring his first goal on the man advantage. Byrne also had a highlight-reel goal as he successfully scored a one-handed shot while falling to the turf off of an illegal check. Chesapeake selected Byrne with the No. 19 pick in the 2017 MLL Collegiate Draft.

Major League Quidditch (MLQ) – Yes, believe it or not there is a major league for this sport and I found the information on the season.  Scores from last weekend:  Boston Night Raiders defeated New York Titans 130-40, 190-70 and 201-90.  Austin Outlaws over Kansas City Stampede 190-20, 200-20, 220-60.  Los Angeles Guardians topped Phoenix Sol 180-80, 170-90, 150-50.

Major League Soccer (MLS) – Aaron Kovar scored in the third minute and Zach Mathers added a second-half penalty kick, leading the Seattle Sounders  to a 2-1 victory over the Portland Timbers in the 2017 U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday.  Seattle jumped on top off a finish from Kovar that was set up by a pinpoint cross from left back Nouhou. Portland’s Augustine Williams would equalize with a headed finish in the 38th, but Mathers’ PK after a handball in the box in the 54th would prove to be the dagger, sending the Sounders through to the Open Cup quarterfinals.

National Arena League (NAL) – The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (9-1) rallied in the second half to finish off the regular season with a win against the Georgia Firebirds Saturday night. The team hit the road and found a way to win as they defeated the Georgia Firebirds (2-7), 51-26.  The Steelhawks sit in second place behind the undefeated Jacksonville Sharks (11-0).

National Lacrosse League (NLL) – Lyle Thompson’s pass to brother Miles gave the Georgia Swarm a 15-14 win in overtime against the Saskatchewan Rush to clinch the National Lacrosse League Champion’s Cup at Sasktel Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.   The win gives the Swarm their first title.

National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) – Nine different players scored for USSSA on Monday night as the Pride dominated the Chicago Bandits (6-3) by a score of 11-1 in game two of the series at JoAnne Graf Field. The Pride won their fourth game in a row and improved to 4-1 on the year.  Chicago used a trio of singles in the first inning, including an RBI base hit up the middle by Sahvanna Jaquish, to jump out to an early 1-0 lead.

North American Soccer League (NASL) – Zach Steinberger of the Jacksonville Armada currently leads the league with six goals.  The Armada has 19 points and in second place in the Spring Season standings.

National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – The league is currently on an international break but will resume the season on June 17.

Supreme Indoor Football (SIF) – This weekend the Cap City Bulls (1-5) from Austin, Texas will face the Cape Fear Heroes (4-2) in Fayetteville, North Carolina.    The winner will play the Triangle Torch (6-0) for the league title on June 24th.

United Soccer League (USL) –  The league hopes to have a team in Baltimore approved by the end of the year.  USL president Jake Edwards told The Baltimore Sun that the second-tier professional league hopes to have the city’s prospective ownership group finalized by August and the construction plan for a new venue in place by 2018, with the team’s launch targeted for the 2020 season.

Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) – The Rocky Mountain Thunderkatz will be in the playoffs for the first time in the team’s 7-year history.  The team finished 5-1 in the Mountain West Division.  They will face the South Oregon Lady Gades in the first round of the Division III playoffs.  Here some of the other matchups for the first round:

  • Maine Mayhem at New York Knockout
  • New England Nightmare at Connecticut Hawks
  • Atlanta Phoenix at Pittsburgh Passion
  • Cleveland Fusion at D.C. Divas
  • Kansas City Titans at Minnesota Vixens
  • San Diego Surge at Los Angeles Warriors
  • New York Sharks at Philadelphia Phantoms
  • Miami Fury at Tampa Bay Inferno
  • Everett Reign at Sin City Trojans

Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) –Chelsea Gray scored 24 points, Nneka Ogwumike added 21 and the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Dallas Wings 97-87 on Tuesday night.Gray and Ogwumike combined to make 10 of 11 shots in the first half for 24 points. They finished 15 of 18 from the field as the Sparks shot 57 percent. Candace Parker had 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Los Angeles (6-3), which avenged a 96-90 loss at Dallas last Friday. Los Angeles raced out to a 23-6 lead as Dallas went scoreless for nearly five minutes in the first quarter. The Wings were just 4-of-17 shooting in the quarter. Dallas rookie Allisha Gray hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the second quarter to pull to 36-28 and Kayla Thornton made the Wings’ fifth 3 of the second to get within five points, but Seattle closed on an 8-0 run.  Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 28 points for Dallas (4-7), which has lost five of six.