Tag Archives: MLS

Sports+ – An App Review

Greetings readers,

There’s a new app on the market for people who love sports who want to write their own story. It’s called Sports+, created by Hitpost. It’s available at the App Store, the Android Market, and online as well.

As of 10/7/11, Sports+ has an average rating of 4.0 out of 5 at the Android Market. In the App Store, it has a 4.5 out of 5 rating with about 12 ratings and one review. There has also been a few interviews done, with one coming from the Huntington Post.

I looked up sports apps for this purpose, and found this to be one of the Android Market’s featured apps. Wondering if it was anything similar to Google+, I decided to download it and give it a try. I have yet to do so, but it could always be something I do down the road if I go to a Wright State game.

While there is an option for scores, what makes Sports+ different is the option to write stories on photos and sporting events. When you boot the app up, it asks you to create an account (which involves linking up to either your Facebook or Google+ account.) Then you can pick the teams you’d like to follow, and it will trim down the stories.

With my two-hour test drive, the app ran fairly smooth but did crash three times. Your results may vary. Some reviewers did complain about the constant crashing, which crashes are minor annoyances.

I will say, I was really impressed with the lists of teams. In the NCAA section, they have teams that are not Division I, like the Urbana Blue Knights, the Wilberforce Bulldogs, and the Anderson (Indiana) Ravens. There are other smaller schools not listed, such as the Wilmington (Ohio) Quakers and the Wittenberg Tigers, but the list is still massive. To me, having the Wright State Raiders as an option is the most important thing. Most apps don’t have that as an option.

There are a few sports that aren’t available yet, like MLS. However, nobody has ever said enough to updates, so don’t be shocked to see it included in an update one day.

I did a little experiment with the sharing/story feature, and it works quite well. Granted, it was one of the last things I done, but it does work well. You might have seen a story where I shared something from Sports+, as well.

Overall, I recommend Sports+ if you love sharing sports with your friends.

Sources of information from Hitpost, the Huntington Post, the Android Market, and the Apple App Store. I am not affiliated with Hitpost.

Until next time,

-Lee

ScoreMobile vs. ESPN ScoreCenter – An App Comparison

Greetings readers,

Today I have another app review for you. Actually, two. Today, I’m comparing the ESPN ScoreCenter application with the ScoreMobile app.

If you have a smart phone, you might not want to have two applications that are designed to do the same thing. Both are designed to give you scores around the nation. Both give you options to pick your favorite teams so you can see those scores first.

Before we begin, let’s get to the basics. ScoreCenter is created by ESPN, and you can find their webpage here. ScoreMobile is created by Score Media, and you can find their website here.

On the Android Market, the ESPN ScoreCenter has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 (as of 10-6-11.) Recent comments talk about how slow the app runs and how unstable it has become. Recently, users have been complaining about having “No Internet Connection” when in a Wi-Fi or a 3G zone. At Apple’s App Store, ScoreCenter has a 3.5 stars, where the main complaint is the ads.

ScoreMobile ranks in the Android Market with a 4.4 out of 5. The recent comments describe how they like it, but one does say it’s slowed down as of late because of the Gingerbread upgrade. In the App Store, it has three stars and two user comments liking it better than ScoreCenter because of the vast selection of options.

From personal experience, I have used ScoreMobile on my phone and ScoreCenter twice; on my iPod and my phone. I loved using ScoreCenter on my iPod, since it was smooth to use and the sliding from league to league was well designed.

When I got my phone, I downloaded it first and was disappointed with the lack of sliding to get to the next league, as well as the slow loading times (it took about a minute to load the NFL scores.) It  ran a lot slower than the iPod counterpart. It took me awhile to decide to download ScoreMobile, but I was glad I did. It runs so much smoother on Android than the ScoreCenter app. This one has options for standings, stats for games, and more leagues available.

I also emailed the makers of ScoreMobile to suggest adding a sport, and I got an email the next day. They were quick about replying, and very kind as well. (By the way, I requested College Baseball scores, which neither app has.)

As of recently, you can slide on ScoreCenter. It takes a few seconds to load, but the sliding animation is a bit jerky. With ScoreMobile, you have to pick the league from a button. Both have options to pick your favorite teams, both show scores, both have previews. Both have tons of sports to follow.

With ScoreCenter, you have the ESPN signature scrolling news bar below, as well as news in the league, and full standings. There’s also a page just dedicated for your teams, as well. With ScoreMobile, there are injury reports, options to looking at entire schedules, stats, standings, video, and news underneath the option button.

In other words, both are very similar. The main difference: performance. ScoreMobile wins in this regard, with its smooth operation and fast load times whereas ScoreCenter is still a bit jerky and does take a bit to finish.

To wrap it up: both are terrific apps. If you’re a fan of news and ESPN’s coverage, check out ESPN ScoreCenter. If you want the same features but a quicker app, download ScoreMobile.

Sources of information from the Android Market and the Apple App Store, as well as ESPN.com and thescore.com. All ratings and comments are recent as of October 6th, 2011 at 9:21AM. I am not affiliated with either company.

Until next time,

-Lee

Creative Names – The Vancouver/West Michigan Whitecaps

Greetings readers,

Today’s Creative Names will deal with two teams that share a nickname. Enter the Whitecaps.

One team is part of the Detroit Tigers’ farm system (and has been since 1997.) The other plays in the MLS. One has been around since 1994, while the other is just starting up. One is known for having a gigantic burger worth 4,800 calories on their menu and shares a corporation name in their ballpark name with the Toledo Mud Hens and fellow Midwest League foe Dayton.

The West Michigan Whitecaps started playing in 1994, after the Madison Muskies moved in 1993. The team has been in the same ballpark since the team’s birth. Once called the Old Kent Park, the stadium name was changed in 2002 to Fifth Third Ballpark when the company bought the Old Kent Bank. Fifth Third also owns two other baseball parks in Toledo and Dayton, as well as a college basketball arena in Cincinnati. There is also the Fifth Third Burger, which weighs in at four pounds and 4,800 calories. It was featured on an episode of “Man vs. Food.”

The actual name comes from two sources: one from the history of baseball within the Grand Rapids area and the other from the proximity of the Grand River and Lake Michigan. The actual history of baseball for the area actually started in 1980 when a columnist questioned why can’t baseball work there where it does in Evansville, Indiana (Detroit’s Triple-A franchise was there at the time.) The history is very interesting, so give it a look-through here.

Over the northern border lies the Vancouver Whitecaps. Looking at their logo, you can see the top part being the mountains and the bottom part (which kind of looks like a W) being the blue waves of the Pacific Ocean. With this logo, it’s easy to identify the tops of the mountains as being white caps. The history with this team begins in 1974, as the Whitecaps played their first game. They won the championship in 1979, defeating the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Skipping all the way to 2008, the Whitecaps were announced to be the 17th team in the MLS. They will soon play in the newly-renovated BC Place. Give the history a look-through here.

I remember watching the Columbus Crew game in Vancouver on ONN, and I just remember the mountains hanging over the stadium. It was a beautiful site to see. Columbus won that game 1-0 over Vancouver.

So there you have it, two professional teams with the same nickname but different history. One deals with the actual baseball hats whereas the other deals with the mountains.

Also, the logo posted of West Michigan is the old one. The new one can be found on WM’s history site, with a wave inhaling a baseball. The old logo kind of reminds me of Miamisburg’s old city logo. I’m not sure when they switched logos, but it might be around 2003 from a picture I seen with the current uniform setup, which dates from 2003-present. You can see the old logo on some old programs, which are hanging up in the hallway of Fifth Third Field in Dayton. It’s pretty neat to see.

Source of information from West Michigan’s website, Vancouver’s website, and miamisburg.org (for the old logo comparison.)

Until next time,

-Lee

 

Creative Names – The Columbus Crew

Greetings readers,

For the second edition of my “Creative Names” series, I shall turn my attention to the other summer sport: soccer (or European Football/Football/Futball.) I don’t have to look very far to see a creative and unique name. It’s the Columbus Crew.

I wrote about the Crew about a year ago (see that article here), and I still try my best to keep up with the team. If you don’t know, Robbie Rogers scored the equalizer against Mexico yesterday (August 10th, if you’re reading this in the future) and plays for the Crew.

Columbus was awarded a founding MLS franchise on June 15th, 1994. It was part of the US Soccer’s deal with FIFA. The team’s colors, name, and logos/uniforms were finalized in October 1995, before picking the first head coach in December. The first game was in 1996, when the Crew defeated the D.C. United squad by a score of 4-0. It was a packed house at Ohio Stadium that night. (more history can be found on this page, by the Columbus Crew.)

The Crew is an interesting name and one of the few names out there that doesn’t end with an “s”. It was picked by a fan in a contest and it’s nicknamed “America’s Hardest Working Team.” There’s many supporter groups (including the Yellow Nation Army that I interviewed last year) cheering on the Crew and also had the first radio network in the MLS.

There’ not a lot of teams that can have a name like the Crew.

Sources of information from the Columbus Crew website and Columbus ALIVE!

Until next time,

-Lee

Concussed Out

Greetings again, dear readers. Let’s talk about the ugly side of sports: injuries.

As a fan of many sports and many teams, injuries are my least favorite thing to talk about while broadcasting. Every time an athlete doesn’t get back up right away, I fear for the worst.

Injuries are common among sports, as these activities command a lot from bodies. Sometimes, bodies tend to crumble under extreme stress.

It’s unfortunate that these do happen, but human bodies aren’t indestructible.  We are lucky to be living in these times though, where technologies exist to get the body fixed up to the best of the doctor’s abilities.

The picture I shared is the only one on Page 1 of Google images that I didn’t freak out entirely. The picture I used is a head-to-head collision of two New York Mets players.

Since the NFL season began again in 2010, there’s been an increase of people getting concussions. According to sportsinjuryclinic.net, a concussion is defined as a direct or indirect blow to the head which affects the brain. There are three levels of concussions: mild, moderate, and severe.

For mild concussions, these are harder to track due to the athlete still maintaining normal balance. You might have some memory loss or ringing in your ears, but will still maintain consciousness.

Moderate concussions are marked by worse symptoms (no kidding), including mental confusion, possible nausea or vomiting, and a loss of consciousness no longer than five minutes.

The severe concussions don’t mess around, as your blood pressure can increase, along with mental confusion and loss of consciousness longer than five minutes. The athlete should be off the field of action IMMEDIATELY, no matter what level of concussion they are facing.

For the most part, you hear about concussions more in football than any other sport due to the amount of physical contact everyone must make. Sometimes, you will have tackles or falls to the head. While football helmets have been made to cushion some of these blows, it’s not enough sometimes.

While I mentioned we live in truly great times for technology to repair injuries, you can never repair what you lose in your brain. Those said surgeries are good for patching up muscles, but not for repairing brain traumas. Once you do damage to your head, you’ll never be 100% again. In my honest opinion, you’ll never be 100% again with any injury that occurs. Too many injuries will have you on the sideline for the rest of your career…or worse. These things happen in any level of sport, and it’s a cryin’ shame to have them happen to anyone.

Whenever you play sports, always remember to be careful out there. You could be in a world of hurting with one wrong move.

Until next time,

-Lee