Sunday, February 28, 2010

Men Of Sports!

by Suzanne

Before I go any further, I'd like to announce that the pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training!! Whoohooo! The boys of summer are almost back!

Can you tell I adore baseball? I'm married to a Cleveland Indians fanatic, so I watch 161 games a year. I kid you not! But luckily for me, the scenery isn't too hard on the eyes.

There's Grady Sizemore out in Centerfield. He's beautiful and beautiful to watch, especially when he's stretched out going for a fly ball. They guy simply loves to play the sport and goes all out. And when he scores a run or steals a base, the grin he gives lights up his whole being!

Then there's Travis Hafner, the DH, who hopefully will live up to his potential. I mean the man is a farm boy raised in South Dakota...built like an oak and when he's on can hit the ball a country mile. Every time Travis comes to the plate there is a potential for a game altering swing of the bat! I love his intensity and focus as he eyes the pitcher and waits for the ball. And watching his body move to take it downtown...poetry!

And to my great pleasure, (and any other woman who's stared at the backside of pitchers on the mound) Jake Westbrook, the best looking behind on a pitcher's mound, is returning to the rotation after nearly 2 years. Jake is one of my favorite reasons for watching baseball. That and I consider baseball a thinking man's, or woman's, game.

Another sport I adore is football. American football. Sigh. Being a Cleveland Browns fan long before meeting my hubby, I've suffered many a disappointing season. There have been highlights over the years. Bernie Kosar's throwing. Clay Matthews (#57) 16 years as a fabulous linebacker who knew how to hit and tackle. And now the explosive kickoff and punt returns of Joshua Cribbs (#16) and the power blocking of Joe Thomas, I think there might be a light at the end of the tunnel for my boys. But because I rarely get to root for my Browns in the post season, I also admit to admiring Petyon Manning and the Colts. Peyton is one of the most beautiful passers ever to play this game. And talk about confidence? Mmmm.

Of course, there's always my Buckeyes. Jim Tressel is on the road to greatness as a coach, IMHO. Being an Ohioan transplanted in Texas, well let's just say I've had more than one occasion to boast about my home team!

Now, these are tried and true sports for most Americans. There are those who love basketball. My coach is die-hard Kansas Jay Hawke fan and my husband is ga-ga over LeBron James and the Cavs this year. However, I am not really much of a fan, although I do sit through my fare share of games. (Usually with my nose in a book, or working on the king-sized afghan for my son's bed...a Christmas present it will take me until next winter to make.)

But the other day I was vegging before getting ready to head to work, when my channel surfing came across something unique to TV in America.


OMG!! It was like the heavens had opened up, a beam of light from above shone over me and I swear the choir of angels, (all female) hit a high C in perfect harmony!! (By the way, google rugby players and you won't believe the pictures you get...uh, not for publication on the Bandit blog!)

Have y'all seen this? I mean truly watched the game? It's like soccer, football and ultimate fighting all rolled into one glorious expression of male bonding and testosterone!!!

Super buff men in shorts...god they have great padding, literally beating each other up to get this huge football down the field. And when one of them is passing the ball in from the sidelines 2 guys lift a third way up in the air by his feet to catch it! Bloody noses, bloody lips, bloody eyes, dirt, twisted ankles and knees. (Yes, I'm slightly blood thirsty.) But I think I've found a wonderfully masculine game to watch.

Now, if I could just get the TV people to show more games!!

What does this have to do with books? Hmmm...well, I've read books with sports heroes in them. But I think it's the whole males competing against males that piques my interest and I'd love to see more books with heroes from sports. (And yes I've read all of SEP's books!)

So, what sport do you love to watch or at least don't mind watching the men who play them? (Yes Anna...I know you adore hockey!) Anyone love rugby like me? Which sport would you like to see featured in a series of books?

Go Indians!!


limecello said...

o hai

limecello said...

Suzanne! This is yet another post after my own heart. Especially since you featured Cland teams!!! I actually liked the Indians/baseball before any other sport (sans soccer but that I liked playing more) - but now I'm 150% a football girl.
The Indians haven't been playing well. And the... well actually, being a Cleveland fan in general is an exercise in heartbreak and futility. That's ok though - it's why we're fans. Die hard.
I haven't watched baseball in a while in college, for a time I felt like if I watched, they lost. <3 Grady and Pronk! I'd totally love being Mrs. Grady Sizemore ;)
As for the Browns... gah. I haven't been keeping up with what's going on re: Joshua Cribbs... but... PAY THE MAN!!! I joke that the year all Cland/Ohio teams win the national championship[s], is the year of the apocalypse. Browns, Cavs, Indians, Buckeyes. :D
I'm not big on basketball either. I'd totally watch rugby if it's on tv... but I've never seen it. Might freak out about the blood, but I've become much more bloodthirsty since professional school :X I think all those case briefs twisted me. Have watched UFC fights - man those are... O_o and soccer too. I just caught some hockey a few days ago, and my goodness. Like, I know it's super violent but... geez.
As for books featuring sports heroes... Bella Andre has a few - Rachel Gibson, Deirdre Martin... Football players are popular, but the author rarely focuses on... what it's like to be an athlete. Bella Andre I think did more of that. Oh and Jill Shalvis and her baseball players- she delves into "the life of" more, I think.
Love SEP's, and though most people default to her for "sports heroes" books, her characters rarely play the game. Oh I recently read a book by Sarah Mayberry - Her Secret Fling- where the heroine is/was an athlete. (Olympic swimmer?)
So anyway, I love watching football. American football, soccer, I'd watch rugby too. And oh, beach volleyball. Books? I'd like heroes who play any of those sports :D I'm not picky ;)

limecello said...

Oh, and I'll just go for broke, since I've been away for a while and FINALLY HAVE INTERNET/TIME AGAIN! And you know, my second comment was so ridiculously long I feel like I should round it out with a random third. O;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Suz, I know absolutely nothing about sport but those are some seriously purty pictures you've put up today! I've said it here before but I just don't understand baseball - clearly all those years watching cricket have fried my brain. My dad was a huge sports fan and my mother, by necessity, became one too. You know, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Heather Boyd said...

LOL - I've always thought American women sorely neglected by their sportsman - you really need to watch more Aussie sports. Lots of yummy hard flesh!

Helen said...

Congrats Limcello have fun with him I am sure he has been missing you.

What a post I love watching sports as well and here in summer it is cricket I love the game there is a game on the TV at the moment a twenty twenty Australia vs New Zealand and are some of these guys hot LOL.
Winter I love watching rugby league a lot like rugby union the game you mentioned and yes these guys are hot as well and so strong they tackle and kick and jump and yes lots of injuries LOl.
Hubby and I are big sports fans and have paid TV (foxtel) so as we don't miss much and I can read and watch sports at the same time.
As for books I haven't read a lot with sportsmen in them although i love Marie Force's Line Of Scrimmage about a football player.

Have Fun

Gannon Carr said...

My hubby is a sports fanatic--can quote stats and who played for what team 20 years ago, etc. But football reigns supreme in our house. I have always loved football, even though I'm from a family of 3 girls. My mom yells louder than my dad sometimes. *g*

College football is my fave, but the NFL is always on, too.

Thanks for the rugby pics, Suz! That's some seriously yummy eye candy! *vbg*

Gillian Layne said...

I'm a huge fan of college sports--which at my age is almost going to earn me the label of dirty old lady ;)- and yes, our small university has a rugby team. Right next to one of the main streets in town. Where they practice, and I slow traffic every time. It's embarrassing. Even my girls laugh when I drive by. It's a wonder I haven't crashed yet.

For pure summer relaxation, we love to go to the college ball fields with lawn chairs, bug spray and plenty of money for the shaved ice guy. It's like a mini vacation every evening.

Minna said...

Well, I do watch Hockey. And skating.

Enigma - Beyond the Invisible

Philippe Candeloro in Prague 4/2008

Philippe Candeloro 1998
In the honour of Kalevala Day:

AMORPHIS - Silver Bride

Joan said...

Olympic curling!


No seriously, I will watch college basketball. I mean I live in KENTUCKY for gosh sakes! University of Louisville and University of Kentucky and WKU...

I don't have any major allegience to any anymore, but right now am leaning toward U of L...though their season and their coach have NOT had a good year.

And baseball...ummmm yeah.

We have a AAA league here in Louisville The Bats...which I'm ashamed to say I haven't gone to watch in quiet a while. But their precurser team were the Redbirds (Farm team for St. Louis Cardinals)

One year, my brother bought us opening day tickets for my birthday...right along third base. We sat there and had a, um..VERY strategic view of the players warm up stretches...

I oooohed and ahhhed and embarassed my brother to no end...especially when I said "THANKS for the present!"

He just shook his head and went for Nachos...

Anna Sugden said...

Oh yes! Men of sport! And, we have our very own hockey hunks in the Lair - in fact, Team Captain Zach is giving me a pre-game massage as we speak.(Go USA!) What can I say - the man has gifted hands ... not to mention what he can do with his stick!

As well a hockey (Go Devils!), I love football (what you'd call soccer) - ooh the legs and bodies on some of those mean *sigh*. (Go Man Utd!) And rugby (Go Engand!) And American Football - I've been a Redskins fan through thick and very thin! And baseball (sorry, but given where we lived in the US - it had to be the Yankees!)

I know you're all dying to see my hockey hunk books in print LOL. I'd love to join the ranks of Rachel Gibson and Deirdre Martin - who write fabulous hockey books.

For those of you who are baseball fans - you have to read Kate Angell's Bat Pack series - hot, sexy and funny - what more can a gal ask for?!

And, just for you, Suz - Mills and Boon did a tie-in with England rugby and released a series of romances featuring rugby players. I haven't read any of them yet - still on my TBR pile.

Now, back to my massage - going to be a tense one tonight, so Zach needs to make sure I'm really relaxed ;)

Anna Sugden said...

BTW - with the Six Nations tournament on, Suz, you should be able to get plenty of rugby online!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Lime!Be kind to the GR today. He had a rough day here playing nursemaid!

Louisa Cornell said...

Back in your arms again, Lime!

Great post Suzanne ! I am a big fan of Crimson Tide football. Have been all my life. My cousin, Leroy Jordan played for Bama and for the Dallas Cowboys so Roll Tide is a family tradition. My nephew is a freshman there this year.

LOVE rugby and soccer for just the reasons you named. It's no holds barred and the guys are HOT !! MANCHESTER UNITED FOREVER !!

My other favorite sports ? Anything with horses - horse racing Kentucky style, steeplechasing British style and dressage and show jumping of any kind. The poetry of horse and rider in motion is the stuff dreams are made of.

Suzanne Welsh said...

LOL, Lime, I guess you are as much a die-hard Cleveland fan as we are here! And I agree about Cribbs....PAY THE MAN!

I think you would deffinitely enjoy a good game of Rugby, especially if you've turned a little blood thirsty in law school!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Anna C said: Suz, I know absolutely nothing about sport but those are some seriously purty pictures you've put up today!..

Yep some Sunday eye candy! It's also one of the best reasons to love sports.

Now as for baseball and cricket. There is little that's the same. I have absoloutely no idea how you play cricket or the rules. They both have bats and balls, but that's about it. So, what we need to do is have you come spend a summer with me or Jeanne...(her guys are Chicago Cubs fans) and I can guarantee you'll know more about the sport, and really appreciate the of the game!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Heather!

I'm beginning to think I need to, too. Especially if the Rugby players were as hard bodied and very driven like the games I saw.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oh Helen, you lucky girl! To get to see all those lovely rugby games! I did learn that there is an amateur rugby league in our sister city, Fort Worth. Might have to see if I can catch a game...once I figure out when they play here.

You saidMarie Force's Line Of Scrimmage about a football player....I'll have to add that to me TBR list. Thanks!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Gannon!

My mom still yells louder than my dad...especially for the Buckeyes! My husband was thrilled to know I was a Browns fan when we started dating. Between baseball and football, there is little argument on what to watch on Sunday afternoons, except for the month of February!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Gillian!

Where they practice, and I slow traffic every time. It's embarrassing. Even my girls laugh when I drive by. It's a wonder I haven't crashed yet.... I can totally understand how you get distracted!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Minna!

You probably watch way more skating than we do here in the states! Is there a league of hockey players there or an international team that plays other European teams?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Ah Joanie, minor league games can be such fun! And you can sit close to the field, (as long as your compantion has a glove to catch fly balls) and enjoy the view so much better.

My hubby's birthday is two days before baseball season starts. Every year I buy him tickets to the Cleveland vs Texas games. (Usually Cleveland only comes to town once a year.) I get them right behind the third base dugout...the Cleveland HE can watch the players...yeah, that's what I do!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Anna S!

I knew you'd like my men of sports! While I know little about hockey, I have cheered on my olympic team and the local Dallas Stars when they've been in the playoffs.

As for sports hero books, I'd LOVE to read your hockey hunks books. Especially if your very sexy Zach was the lead in one!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Anna S said:- with the Six Nations tournament on, Suz, you should be able to get plenty of rugby online...


Will be googling that later today!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Louisa!!

Another RUGBY fan!! Whoohooo! I think it will take me several more games before I figure out all the rules, but wow, what a way to learn?

Doesn't surprise me that you're a horseracing fan. Have you ever gotten to go to the Kentucky Derby?

Karyn Gerrard AKA~Drew said...

OMG, Baseball all the way, I watch all 161 games of the Boston Rex Sox.
I have the pennants, the Jason Varitek bobblehead, the framed World Series pic, posters...mugs...*whew*

Being from Canada, I used to be hockey (hubby still is, Toronto Maples Leafs for him) But I have got away from it.
I am a baseball girl now.

jo robertson said...

Great post, Suzanne!

Whoa, Limecello, you're back in the game (pun intended). Yay for you! Ah, your being away explains it. Glad you're back.

jo robertson said...

Okay, Suz, that was tremendous eye candy and I love the IDEA of sports, but in reality I hate watching them.

Watching baseball to me is like watching paint dry, sorry for the hackneyed expression. Football's a tad better because I can appreciate all that graceful ballet-like movement performed by mega hunks.

Basketball would be my favorite sport because it moves so fast. I don't mind a little golf because I know a lot about the game and the players, but again -- PAINT DRYING!!!

It's sad, actually, I wish I were more interested, but I'm very, very good about playing with my laptop and pretending to watch the sports shows along with Dr. Big.

He pretends to believe I'm watching and we're both happy.

Nancy said...

Suz, the main sport I follow is tennis. I've never been a big football fan, and NBA basketball turns me off. I might watch a college game if it's on.

The dh and I used to watch baseball, but all the players we knew left in trades or retirement, and then we got busy.

I will say, however, that there are some seriously cute guys in college and pro sports.

Suz, rugby and cricket are two games I just don't understand. We recently switched to satellite from cable, and BBC America is showing a lot of rugby (cut off the end of one of my favorite reality shows, Hotel Inspector, yesterday to interview somebody I'd never heard of before the game, which really annoyed me.) I think you need BBC America. :-)

I love SEP's footballers, I have to admit. And Kathleen Gilles Seidel wrote a wonderful book in which the hero was a basketball coach. I think it's More Than You Dreamed.

Limecello, congrats on the rooster and on the return of your internet service! Funny how we become dependent on such things, isn't it?

jo robertson said...

Hi, Helen! Marie Force's Line of Scrimmage is one of Sourcebooks' Casablanca line, of which our own Aunty Cindy is a part. I've heard that's a good book, but haven't had a chance to pick it up yet.

Nancy said...

Anna Sugden, have we heard of Zach before? I don't think so. Any guy who plays hockey AND gives massages is racking up a lot of points.

I'll bet Sven is jealous.

D'you think Zach and his guys could do the "guy" stuff around the Lair Sven and Demetrius never seem to have time for--you know, fixing the leaky faucet in the guest bathroom, repainting the trim the dragon scorched when trying to, er, discourage the rooster's antics, that kind of thing?

Nancy said...

Jo, I think baseball moves faster on TV. When a team changes pitchers, you don't have to sit through the new guy's warmup, as you do in the stadium.

And speaking of baseball, one of my favorite baseball movies is A League of Their Own. And Bull Durham (shot here in NC) is pretty good, too.

jo robertson said...

LOL on the "dirty old lady" comment, Gillian. Those fellows look awfully young, don't they, but oh so beautiful.

Shame on you for ogling those rugby players. Uh, er, congratulations on ogling those rugby players! Says me with the green face of envy.

jo robertson said...

Hi, Minna! I do like ice hockey. It's seems the athletes have a double chore, getting the puck past the goalie and staying upright on the ice. What a challenge! You gotta admire that.

jo robertson said...

Anna S. says, "What can I say - the man has gifted hands ... not to mention what he can do with his stick!"

I'm not gonna touch that double entendre, except to point it out!

Naughty Anna!

Emmanuelle said...

thanks for the great pics !! I love rugby too. Of course I'm french and here Rugby is very much appreciated. We're aren't doing bad either If I can say so (ok nothing like New Zealand or Australia but still !).
What do you think about Johnny Wilkinson btw... sn't he GORGEOUS ???

Gin said...


No, really!

Did you see some of the curlers at the Olympics? John Morris of the Canadian gold medal team? The Swedish skip? Too bad it's only shown once every four years. The best thing about the curling guys is that they're actual normal guys that you might meet at the local pub. My local pub doesn't feature MLB stars, I'm just sayin'.

Virginia said...

I will have to say I don't do sports at all! Even my husband doesn't do the sports thing. He does watch some fights on TV but that't about all when it comes to sports. I enjoy watching some skating every now and then and that's about it.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey - Where are the men of Spring? Women of Spring? Anything of Spring? (grin).

My dh is from Cleveland so I'm kept up to date on all Cleveland sports victories and disappointments, though I wish for the peace of the house - the Indians had more victories than disappointments. It's amazing how the success (or lack of it) affects his mood.

Fortunately, the OSU Buckeyes can bring us out of the Indians summer doldrums.

WTG on the rooster, Limecello. He hasn't been to your place for a while.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...


Nothing like a bunch of eye candy to get the old blood flowing on a Sunday morning. ;-)

Congrats on snagging the GR again, Lime! I think he was missing you...


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

V.Anna said, "Team Captain Zach is giving me a pre-game massage as we speak.(Go USA!) What can I say - the man has gifted hands ... not to mention what he can do with his stick!"

Oh you SCAMP! ;-) If Sven is not too busy (wouldn't want him to go into a snit of jealousy), I'll avail myself of his talent. Otherwise, when Captain Zach becomes available... Jus sayin'!

For me, it is American football all the way! My son would not allow otherwise, since he has been a die-hard Jets fan for almost 20 years. I used to LOVE the 49ers, but not so much anymore.

My favorite part of football is the huddle! LOL! All those lovely padded backsides facing the camera...


Minna said...

Is there a league of hockey players there or an international team that plays other European teams?
Not to my knowledge. Here in Finland we have our Finnish teams that play against each other and I guess other countries have theirs, but that's it. Only times they actually play against the teams of other countries are World Championship and the Olympics.

TerriOsburn said...

Suzanne, it's like we're long lost sisters. Besides also growing up in Ohio, I adore baseball so much the hero of my current WIP is a former Major League star. Blown knee cuts his career short and the story begins.

And I too have fallen in love with Rugby in the last couple weeks. AND I posted pics of Rugby players on the pirate blog today. LOL!

I know exactly what unpostable pictures you're talking about. Gotta love whoever came up with that calendar idea. *w*

Oh, and I don't like basketball either. But I'm an NFL fan. Though I cheer for the Steelers. Grew up closer to that border and lived there years ago.

Caren Crane said...

Lime, are you and the GR checking out any sports today? He's a total slug when games are on the tube. *g*

Suz, I confessed yesterday that I am a real nut about winter sports of all types. I tend to like individual sports much better than team sports - no idea what that says about me - both to play and watch. I love bobsledding, skiing, speed skating, figure skating, ice dancing, snowboarding (yes!), aerial ski jumping, ski cross (so cool!) and, of course, my newest love...CURLING!

I love baseball only for the eye candy. Football is less good, because they wear so much equipment. I haven't gotten to watch rugby before, but it sounds like my kind of game. I love the bloodthirsty guys who just go for it!

Caren Crane said...

As to eye candy, no one beats the Norwegian skier, Aksel Lund Svindal. If you missed him during the Olympics, you missed a feast for the eyes. He is simply beautiful and seems like the nicest guy ever. His father is also adorable and raised him alone after his mother died when Aksel was young.

Check out Aksel: *sigh*

Kim in Hawaii said...

Surfing has caught my attention as the men (and women) are so graceful on the boards!

Sadly, a few diehards were surfing yesterday during the tsunami warning, but the Coast Guard motivated them out of the water with their helicopters.

And another fun "sport" here in Hawaii is watching the Marines running in formation - be still my beating heart!

jo robertson said...

Oh, Kim, you are soooo lucky. In Hawaii dont' you see lots of washboard abs and surfing dudes looking all lean, young, and hot!?

Nancy said...

Kim in Hawaii wrote: but the Coast Guard motivated them out of the water with their helicopters.

LOL! That must've been something to see! I heard Hawaii didn't get a bad hit, and I hope that's true.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Sorry I've been absent most of the day. We're dealing with a bout of housewide flu here. ICK!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Ah Karyn, I can forgive you being Red Sox fan since you're such a baseball fan. hehehe

Suzanne Welsh said...

Jo, you watch sports with Dr. Big just like I watch basketball! Sigh, now that the Olympics are finished, I'll be back to watching with my nose in a book...hey, that's not such a bad thing...and April is one month away!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oooooooooo Nancy, you just made my day! I do get the BBC America... will have to haunt it for some Rugby games!

Suzanne Welsh said...

mmmmmmmmmm Emmanuelle, Johnny Wilkinson is very nice eye candy!!

Nancy said...

Suz, I hope you feel better! Rugby was on at 10 yesterday morning and has been on in the afternoons. :-)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oh man, Gin, I missed the American men's curling team. But I think our Caren would have something to say about that!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Donna said the Indians had more victories than disappointments. It's amazing how the success (or lack of it) affects his mood....It's that way around here, too!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Terri, I think we were soul sisters separated at birth, girl! Although my newest hero isn't a wounded ex ball player and the whole Steelers fan thingy. hehehe

Suzanne Welsh said...

AC said My favorite part of football is the huddle! LOL! All those lovely padded backsides facing the camera.....

Why does this not surprise me?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Caren!

While I personally think Bodie Miller is too dang good looking, your Aksel is not hard to look at either. Makes a girl think she needs to watch more world class skiing!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Kim said: And another fun "sport" here in Hawaii is watching the Marines running in formation - be still my beating heart!...

Now there's a sport I think all the Bandits could get into!