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Avoiding the munchies, slimmer Arreola looks to get career back on track

Avoiding the munchies, slimmer Arreola looks to get career back on trackChris Arreola simply hasn’t treated his boxing career as a profession in recent years. The heavy-handed heavyweight has failed to monitor his diet and too often entered big fights carrying way too much extra weight.

The 30-year-old’s career is far from over, but his spot as a solid draw is in jeopardy with a loss this weekend against Nagy Aguilera Arreola faces Aguilera on the undercard of the Andre Ward-Arthur Abraham fight this weekend at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Ca.

As an athlete, Arreola (30-2, 26 KOs) is far from a regular guy , but he does carry the fast food gene most of us average Joes battle on a daily basis.

“I’m not eating out as much as I used to. I make my own meals at home. At the most, I eat out once a week where I used to eat out every day. Eating out is horrible,” Arreola told FightNews.com. “I would watch food commercials on T.V. and I would go and eat. I would even eat at midnight, one, or two in the morning. It makes a huge difference.”

In era of increased knowledge about nutrition and training, that’s ridiculous to hear from a former world title contender. Arreola says he’s learned his lesson and this week, appears to be trimmer.

The Mexican-American, born just minutes away from the Home Depot Center in East L.A. and currently residing in Riverside, says he’ll weigh between 234 and 239. That’s down from 249 in his last fight and a high of 263 in Dec. of 2009 against Brian Minto.

A word of caution, we’ve heard this before about Arreola showing a new dedication to his conditioning. The true story will be told on the scale today and then in the ring tomorrow when his gas tank is tested.

Maria Sharapova Lindsay Price Zoe Saldana Rachel Perry Mary Elizabeth Winstead

England women?s team forced to fight bug infestation with Febreze

We know female footballers don’t get the money, organizational support or fame that their male counterparts do, but now you can add World Cup hotel rooms that aren’t infested with swarms of insects to the list, as well.

England midfielder Jill Scott has been keeping a video diary for FA TV during the tournament and in her latest installment, she shares the less than four-star living conditions in their German hotel. After returning from their 2-0 win over Japan, they apparently discovered a disturbingly large swarm of bugs that had overtaken teammate Fara Williams’ room. The footballers naturally wanted to combat this infestation, but when they went to the front desk for help in their extermination efforts, they were given a canister of Febreze. The air freshener.

Undeterred by this, the ladies tried to kill the bugs with it anyway. But, as expected, that didn’t work and Fara Williams still had a room full of flies that at least now smelled like lavender vanilla.

Christina Applegate Shana Hiatt Tara Conner Drea de Matteo Trista Rehn

North Koreans fail drug test, blame lightning strike treatment

North Koreans fail drug test, blame lightning strike treatment

When North Korea’s failed Women’s World Cup team claimed (only after their opening match loss to the U.S.) that several members of the squad were struck by lightning mere weeks before the tournament, I don’t think anyone could have predicted that the tale would grow even more fantastical long after their elimination. Well, it has.

Five players tested positive for steroids during the tournament and North Korea’s defense is that the players accidentally took the steroids along with traditional musk deer gland medicine to treat them after the lightning strike. And no, they aren’t joking.

From the AP:

"This is a shock," Blatter said at a news conference. "We are confronted with a very, very bad case of doping and it hurts."

A North Korean delegation told Blatter and the head of FIFA’s medical committee on Saturday that the steroids were accidentally taken with traditional Chinese medicines based on the deer glands.

"The North Korean officials said they didn’t use it to improve performance. They said they had a serious lightning accident with several players injured and they gave it as therapy," said Michel D’Hooghe, chief of FIFA’s medical committee. "It is not systemic, because not all of the players took it. We would have found it with the others too."

The case will be taken up by FIFA’s disciplinary committee. Players face a ban of up to two years.

Blaming a loss on “more than five” players getting struck by lightning and then blaming positive drug tests on steroids that accidentally snuck into five players’ deer gland medicine for that lightning strike is enough to make you dizzy and stop asking questions. So, in a way, this is genius.

Photo: Reuters

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How Petra Kvitova defeated Maria Sharapova and won Wimbledon

How Petra Kvitova defeated Maria Sharapova and won Wimbledon

Petra Kvitova defeated Maria Sharapova in Saturday’s women’s final at Wimbledon. How did the 21-year-old Czech defeat the three-time Grand Slam champion to pull the upset and become the youngest winner at the All England Club since Sharapova won at age 17 in 2004?

1. Attacked Sharapova’s second serve. It’s always a matter of when, not if, Sharapova will develop the yips on her serve. That moment came early in Saturday’s final and gave Kvitova the first momentum swing of the match. Serving at 2-3, 30-30, Sharapova uncorked four wild serves in a row to give Kvitova the early break. The Czech consolidated in her next service game and soon after the first set was hers.

More important than the double faults was Kvitova’s return of Sharapova’s second serves. Unlike Sabine Lisicki in the semis, who was content to get the ball back in play to start rallies, Kvitova took a step inside the baseline and pounded Sharapova’s second serves. This allowed for easy winners off the return or to set up points that immediately put Kvitova on the offensive.

2. Won the long rallies. If there were a stat that told you how many points were won by a certain player on rallies longer than five shots (make it happen, somebody), Kvitova would have dominated. Sharapova was able to survive her poor serve at Wimbledon because she was able to use her groundstrokes to bail her out of trouble. Kvitova didn’t allow that today. She hit deep to Sharapova, sending the Russian uncharacteristically off balance. Kvitova also showed great range and took advantage of Sharapova’s shallow forehands.

3. No fear. Only 32 percent of women playing in their first Grand Slam final, like Kvitova was on Saturday, have gone on to win that match. Kvitova looked like she had been on the big stage before. Even with her childhood hero Martina Navratilova looking on, there was no apprehension or worry in her game, which is especially surprising given Sharapova’s tendency to come back in matches.

Tila Tequila Tamie Sheffield Kelly Monaco Gisele Bündchen Jennifer Aniston

England women?s team forced to fight bug infestation with Febreze

We know female footballers don’t get the money, organizational support or fame that their male counterparts do, but now you can add World Cup hotel rooms that aren’t infested with swarms of insects to the list, as well.

England midfielder Jill Scott has been keeping a video diary for FA TV during the tournament and in her latest installment, she shares the less than four-star living conditions in their German hotel. After returning from their 2-0 win over Japan, they apparently discovered a disturbingly large swarm of bugs that had overtaken teammate Fara Williams’ room. The footballers naturally wanted to combat this infestation, but when they went to the front desk for help in their extermination efforts, they were given a canister of Febreze. The air freshener.

Undeterred by this, the ladies tried to kill the bugs with it anyway. But, as expected, that didn’t work and Fara Williams still had a room full of flies that at least now smelled like lavender vanilla.

Nikki Cox Carla Gugino Ana Hickmann Mischa Barton Jamie Lynn Sigler

Zeroth Down: The Edmonton Eskimos? quest for glory

Zeroth Down: The Edmonton Eskimos? quest for glory

Moving on with our Zeroth Down CFL preview series, here’s a look at the Edmonton Eskimos. They’re coming off a 7-11 season, but one with two distinct halves; a first part where they hit perhaps the lowest point in franchise history, and a promising second part where they hired new general manager Eric Tillman, overhauled the roster and almost made the playoffs. In the offseason, they continued the dramatic changes with new head coach Kavis Reed (pictured at right above with Tillman) and further roster makeovers. Now, they’re looking for consistency and a return to the franchise’s glory days, building off their strong finish to the season. Will they be able to do it, or will they slump back towards where they were at the start of last season?

Zeroth Down: The Edmonton Eskimos? quest for gloryBack To The Future: Ron Estay (pictured at right going for a hit on Montreal’s Jimmy Jones in the 1975 Grey Cup; future CFL commissioner, Alouettes’ president and senator Larry Smith (36) is the intended target of Jones’ pass) was a key member of the Eskimos’ defensive line from 1973 to 1982, leading them to five straight Grey Cups during that era.

After a successful college career at LSU, Estay was selected by the Denver Broncos in the eighth round of the NFL Draft in 1972. Later that year, he headed to B.C. and became a member of the Lions. He spent one year there before heading out to Alberta and joining the Eskimos, where he became a fixture on their defence for almost a decade, serving as the defensive captain from 1973-1976 and tying the league record with five sacks in a single game in 1974. He played in nine Grey Cups in total, winning six (one in 1975, then five straight from 1978 through 1982). Estay was selected as a league all-star in 1977 and 1980 and a West all-star four times (1973, 1977, 1980, 1982). He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2003 and added to the Eskimos’ Wall of Honour last year.

Estay’s story is quite relevant to today’s Eskimos from a couple of perspectives. First, the “Alberta Crude" defensive line (Estay, David Boone, Bill Stevenson and Dave Fennell) was a crucial part of Don Matthews' famed defence, and the defensive line looks to be a potential strength of these Eskimos too. Import Greg Peach is a promising defensive end and one of only three returning defensive starters in their current positions (T.J. Hill will still start, but at safety instead of linebacker), while rookie Canadian defensive tackle Ted Laurent, acquired in the second round of the supplemental draft, is looking like a steal . Second, though, Estay was part of the legendary Eskimos teams in the late 1970s and early 1980s that prided themselves on their reputation and their culture of winning, something Tillman and Reed are looking to re-establish. We’ll see if this year’s defensive line can be part of that.

Offence: Despite the substantial offseason turnover, the face of the Edmonton offence is still the same one they’ve had for most of the last decade; quarterback Ricky Ray. Ray didn’t have the greatest season statistically last year, throwing for only 3,565 yards and putting up 16 interceptions against just 11 touchdowns while completing 64.4 per cent of his passes, and the Eskimos put up only 382 points last year, ahead of only Toronto. Those numbers weren’t entirely Ray’s fault, though.

Zeroth Down: The Edmonton Eskimos? quest for gloryThe Eskimos had issues on the offensive line in 2010, and Ray (pictured at right in an October game against Hamilton) was frequently hit; he also played through significant rib injuries down the stretch and missed some games, and he didn’t have the greatest receiving corps either. There was speculation the team might go in a different direction in the offseason with Ray’s contract expiring, but they elected to re-sign him through 2013, suggesting that Tillman’s still quite confident Ray can get back to his top form. Ray’s only 31, so age isn’t a particular worry here, and he does seem still capable of putting up good numbers if he gets the support he needs from his receivers and linemen. The question is if he’ll get that support.

The running game has potential as well, but it also carries questions. First among those questions is who’s going to get the carries. Import back Daniel Porter looked great down the stretch and Arkee Whitlock’s a proven contributor, but the Eskimos also have the option of going with Canadians Calvin McCarty and Jerome Messam (recently acquired via trade after his falling out in B.C.), which would provide ratio benefits. All have promise, though, and it’s always better to have too many backs than too few. However, the offensive line is still being juggled thanks to injuries, and that could cause issues for whoever’s carrying the ball. A bright spot is that Patrick Kabongo lost an amazing 76 pounds in the offseason, though, and with his still substantial size and increased agility, he could become an incredible interior blocker.

Rating: Four controversial NCAA quarterbacks.

Defence: This is one area where I see significant problems for Edmonton. The Eskimos conceded a league-high 545 points in 2010, and although this defence will look substantially different with only three returning starters, that doesn’t mean it will necessarily be a lot better. The defensive line may be a strength, as mentioned above, but the linebacking corps and secondary are quite untested. It’s also worth pointing out that strong defences tend to rely on cohesion as much as individual talent, and it’s going to take the Eskimos a while to find that cohesion. Their last pre-season performance a 37-22 thumping by Calgary, suggests problems as well; Henry Burris and Drew Tate picked the secondary apart to the turn of 23 completions on 32 attempts for two touchdowns and 282 yards without an interception, while the Stampeders’ collection of running backs gained 133 yards on 25 carries, an average of 5.32 yards per carry. Of course, pre-season contests don’t necessarily mean a lot, but the early signs for the Eskimos’ defence are not good, particularly early in the year as they struggle to gel as a unit.

Rating: Two dancing Commonwealth Stadium workers.

Special teams: There are questions here as well. In the kicking game, it appears both non-import Derek Schiavone and recently-acquired import Damon Duval are sticking around for the time being, but who’s handling what job is a bit of an open question. Schiavone hit 83.3 per cent of his field goals last year, while Duval hit just 72.3 per cent, but Duval does have an impressive track record. Duval’s punting was notably better last season, too; he averaged 45.0 yards per punt, while Schiavone picked up just 40.3. Cover teams have some issues, and the return game isn’t settled yet either, but it does have some promise; both Brandon James and Ray Fisher have shown explosive ability. We’ll have to wait and see if they can translate into in-game results.

Rating: Three financial losses.

Totals: 10 points out of 15

Zeroth Down: The Edmonton Eskimos? quest for gloryGreatest strength: The passing game. Ray can still play, and he’s got a cast of receivers with solid speed and potential. If they can live up to that promise, and if the revamped offensive line can protect him, they could put up some numbers.

Potential weakness: The linebackers. Rod Davis (#40 in the picture at right, watching Hill and Chris Thompson celebrate Hill’s pick-six in a Sept. 23 game last season) is the only returning starter in the linebacking corps. He was impressive at times last year, especially down the stretch, but he’ll have to find consistency for them to succeed; that may be harder this year, as he also has to adapt to working with a new pair of linebackers. The linebacking corps hasn’t looked great to date in the preseason, so they’ll have to improve for the Eskimos to find success.

Season prediction: It’s not all about this season for the Eskimos, as they’re a young team looking to turn things around for the long term. We do sometimes see quick turnarounds in the CFL, like Toronto last year, but Edmonton is in much more of a rebuilding mode. They’ve got a largely new roster with mostly young players, and it’s going to take time for them to adjust to the CFL and gel as a unit. With that in mind and the strength of the rest of the West Division, I think the Eskimos will go 5-13 this year and miss the playoffs. They should hopefully be able to continue developing their talent and improving for future years, though.

Remember to stop by 55-Yard Line Thursday at noon Eastern for a season preview chat with some special guests!

Janet Jackson Georgianna Robertson Reese Witherspoon Jordana Brewster

Obama tweets apology to USWNT, quotes Abby Wambach

Obama tweets apology to USWNT, quotes Abby Wambach

Earlier in the week, members of the U.S. women’s national expressed their desire to have President Obama attend their World Cup final against Japan. But since he has the small matter of the country’s budget crisis to solve, he couldn’t make it over to Germany for the game and sent Jill Biden and Chelsea Clinton instead.

On matchday, Obama tweeted an apology and well wishes to the team, then gave Abby Wambach’s brand new Twitter account a shoutout, along with a quote from the U.S. striker. Though it would have been nice to have the President at their match live and in person, having him quote their leader isn’t half bad.

Update: Here’s the official White House photo of the Obama family watching the final, as tweeted by Barack…

Obama tweets apology to USWNT, quotes Abby Wambach

Looks like a match snack of chips and salsa. And a few troubled expressions over the U.S. hitting the post so many times.

Photo: Peter Souza

Cindy Crawford Mariah OBrien Uma Thurman Alice Dodd Kate Walsh

Runaway bride! Man in wedding dress interrupts Braves game

Runaway bride! Man in wedding dress interrupts Braves game

I now pronounce you … arrested for trespassing?

A honeymoon in the hoosegow was likely on tap for this male Atlanta Braves fan after he ran onto Turner Field in a wedding dress. The incident occurred during Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Washington Nationals and provided the home crowd of 42,456 people with one of its only reasons to cheer all night.

Though the bride was quickly divorced from his dash by ballpark security, the lessons from the incident were clear: If you want to separate yourself from all the other buffoons who interrupt baseball games these days, it helps to be dressed as a woman on her wedding day.

It also helps to wear appropriate footwear:

"That was a pretty good open -field tackle, too [by security]," Nats manager Davey Johnson told the Washington Post. “I’m just wondering was he getting married, or is he going to the wedding or coming from it. I don’t know.”

There’s no official MLB.com video on this one ? the league presumably doesn’t want to encourage any copybrides ? nor are there any clear videos on the YouTubes.

YouTube, however, does have plenty of post-dash hee-hawing from excited and camera-toting Southerners, so it’s definitely worth a search.

Anyone know how to remove grass stains from virgin white?

Runaway bride! Man in wedding dress interrupts Braves game

Yamila Diaz Alicia Keys Tyra Banks Vanessa Hudgens Sarah Michelle Gellar

What if tennis players went to Hogwarts with Harry Potter?

British teen tennis sensation Laura Robson is so excited for the release of the final Harry Potter film that she Tweeted a picture of herself dressed in a Gryffindor scarf and Harry Potter glasses:

What if tennis players went to Hogwarts with Harry Potter?

That got me thinking; if the biggest names in tennis went to Hogwarts and sat under the Sorting Hat, in which house would they be placed? Because it’s a Friday in July, I was able to ponder this question for a lot longer than any grown man should. The decisions are below.

(Note: I pulled the house descriptions from Wikipedia because I’m not actually dorky enough to have the first Harry Potter book sitting on my bookshelf — just the sixth and the seventh. Also, Robson’s pose? Fantastic. She earns top O.W.L.s for that and her self-deprecating Tweet.)

Gryffindor (courage, bravery, loyalty, nerve and chivalry)

Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Francesca Schiavone, Andy Roddick, Laura Robson (if you want it, you get it)

Ravenclaw (intelligence, creativity, learning, and wit)

Venus Williams, Novak Djokovic, Vera Zvonareva, Andrea Petkovic

Hufflepuff (hard work, tolerance, loyalty, and fair play)

Rafael Nadal, Kim Clijsters, Andy Murray, Caroline Wozniacki, Juan Martin Del Potro

Slytherin (ambition, cunning, leadership, resourcefulness)

Serena Williams, Robin Soderling, Victoria Azarenka, Stanislas Wawrinka (the first email I get complaining about putting Serena in Slytherin will be returned with a howler)

Mary Elizabeth Winstead Piper Perabo Anna Kournikova Esther Cañadas Kate Beckinsale

Paris Hilton causes a stir at Pacman press conference

Paris Hilton causes a stir at Pacman press conference

Everyone loves Manny Pacquiao, even American socialites. Paris Hilton and her sister Nicky were ringside for the Pacman’s defeat of Shane Mosley. After the fight, she made an appearance at the postfight press conference.

The Hilton sisters sat alongside Pacquiao’s wife Jinkee. Paris spoke for a few seconds and said she enjoyed the fight.

The fight game has fallen off in the celeb world. Not as many big-named Hollywood folks are coming to the mega-fights. Tyrese Gibson sang the U.S. National Anthem, Charice did the Philippine anthem and Jamie Foxx was in attendance to sing “America the Beautiful.”

LL Cool J escorted Mosley out to the ring by lip-syncing “Momma Said Knock You Out” and Pacquiao was accompanied by Jimi Jamison doing “Eye of the Tiger.”

According to the Las Vegas Sun, George Lopez, Michael Strahan, Brandon Jacobs, Nicole Murphy and David Foster were also in attendance.

Missy Peregrym Sarah Gellman Eliza Dushku Bonnie Jill Laflin Joanna Krupa

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