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Tablet Use Leading The Way In Sport

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Coach Using iPad

Tablets in sport have been big news this year, but the Lance Armstrong and members of the Jamaican sprinting team cases are neither here nor there as we take a look at the other form of tablets enhancing an athlete’s performance.

For a number of years now, they have been sneaking into games across the world. But 2013 saw the use of tablets reach epidemic levels. Of course, we aren’t talking about oxilofrine or erythropoietin, but the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 and Apple iPad.

And it seems to be working. We are currently entering a golden age in technology, with more advanced products than ever before available on the market. The high-powered processors and high definition graphics of today can comfortably cope with live streaming, alongside a whole range of analysis programs.

The NBA is just one organisation that have embraced technology, signing a $100 million deal with Samsung to bring technology courtside. The three-year deal with the Korean tech giants will provide the basketball league with monitors for officials, on top of team coaches and backroom staff play-making tablets. Teams in the NFL have already been reaping the benefits of the tech since the beginning of the last campaign.

The Denver Broncos swapped their chunky playbooks for iPads back in the off-season of 2012, and they’ve stormed the NFC this season scoring the most points, touchdowns and first downs in NFL history. That’s not to mention the revival of 37-year-old quarterback Peyton Manning, who finished the season with a record-breaking 55 touchdown passes.

Coincidence? Unlikely.

The way the Broncos have adopted the iPad is something to be admired. A photograph of Manning went viral towards the end of the regular season with the former Colt wearing a helmet and studying an iPad whilst icing his ankle in a cold tub. And however wacky that may look, it goes to show the impact technology has had on training.

Having to sit out of practice with an injured ankle, the Sheriff kept his helmet on to listen to play calls from Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase, whilst watching the game tape from his iPad, allowing him to mentally participate and prepare for the next game.

But while the tablet is making headway in practice, it’s also making its way onto the sidelines. Teams in both the NBA and NFL have ditched the hundreds of pages that make up a playbook for iPads that now not only include the plays, but diagrams, videos and analysis that can be viewed whenever, wherever.

The Baltimore Ravens used the digital playbook to mastermind a victory over the 49ers in Super Bowl 47, and the Broncos are well on course to do the same.

However, significance of the tablet doesn’t just lie in professional sport. With thousands of apps readily available to download, amateur athletes and hobbyists can also benefit from the technology. Apps such as Coaches Eye are regularly used by coaches for local sports teams, and priced at only a couple of pounds it can be a worthwhile investment. Similarly, other titles such as Spuddy and the Freebets Logo Quiz helps sports enthusiasts with everything from finding a sports buddy to putting their sporting knowledge to the test.

It’s expected that NBA teams will see major changes to how they operate with the introduction of technology and it’s likely that tablets, already being used in the NHL, MLB and MLS will continue to make their way into other sports at the highest level around the world.

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I Just Came Back From The Final Four In San Antonio, And It Was Incredible!

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2018 Final Four in San Antonio

Back in March, our friends at Buick (an official sponsor of the NCAA) invited us to take part in their March Madness Buick Bracketball Challenge, pitting me against a group of my peers as we battled it out for bragging rights… and a trip for two to the Final Four!

Talk about some high-stakes! According to the rules, whoever managed to outlast any bracket busters and secure a top spot on the leaderboard would win a trip to San Antonio for the Final Four games, complete with tickets, a hotel room, and a Buick loaner to get around town.

Game on!

The only problem? I’ve never actually participated in a March Madness bracket before, so my odds were slim to none. But I decided to give it a shot anyway, going with some of my favorite teams, and picking my beloved Villanova for the win.

Virginia’s first-round upset by UMBC was a HUGE blow to me (and pretty much everyone else), as I had them facing off against Villanova in the end. But amazingly enough, my other picks performed much better, and I was holding steady in the top 5 for much of the series.

Buick March Madness Bracket

After the Elite 8, I got an e-mail that was a total game-changer – “You’ve landed yourself a top spot in the Buick Bracketball Challenge leaderboard and will be headed, along with a guest, to San Antonio for the Final Four games next weekend on behalf of Buick!”

My jaw about hit the floor. I was going to the Final Four!

Buick was awesome, hooking us up with some incredible seats for the games (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was actually sitting in the same section as us, only MUCH closer to the court), a hotel room within walking distance of the Alamodome, and a Buick Enclave to get around town.

Guenther House

San Antonio is such a cool town, and we made the most of our time there exploring the city. The guy sitting next to us on our flight suggested that we check out The Guenther House for breakfast. The food was amazing (their waffles are like nothing you’ve ever had before), and it’s a really unique venue, an old flour mill from the 1800s.

Rally On The River

After breakfast, we made our way downtown to the Riverwalk for the Rally on the River, where the team bands took to the water for a floating Pep Rally. People’s excitement levels were off the charts, it was really something to witness. We walked the length of the Riverwalk, taking in the sights and just people watching..

The Alamo

Of course, we had to visit The Alamo (no sign of Pee-Wee’s missing bike), which was located right down the street from our hotel. As the day went on, it got pretty warm, so we decided to escape the heat and check out Fan Fest. There were tons of cool exhibits here, and Buick had a huge activation as well, complete with a basketball court, a bunch of vehicles on display, and their Fandom University.

Before long, it was time for us to make our way to the Alamodome for the first two games, and it was a memorable experience for sure. Devoted fans were out in full force rooting on their teams, and the action on the court was intense. Michigan put an end to Loyola’s Cinderella story, and Villanova was on fire, making short work of Kansas with 3-pointer after 3-pointer.

Monday night’s game was one for the record books, with Villanova decimating Michigan and taking home the win with a score of 79-62. ‘Nova was on fire all night, and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end this amazing weekend.

Buick line-up at the Final Four

Thanks again to Buick for an incredible experience, it’s one I won’t soon forget!

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Harry Kane Achieves The Century

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Photo credit: Harry Kane / Instagram

Harry Kane is comfortably one of the best strikers in world football right now. He has started this season in the rich vein of form that he finished the last, and so far the 24 year old has hit 31 goals in 32 games in all competitions. It’s set to be another hugely impressive campaign for the 24 year old Spurs striker, as Kane prepares to feature for England at the World Cup in Russia in the summer; and it’s also very likely that he will skipper the Three Lions too.

You could say that this has been a year to remember for Kane for a lot of reasons. It wasn’t so long ago that we were talking about his surpassing Alan Shearer’s record for scoring the most Premier League goals in a calendar year (36) when he took his tally in 2017 to 39, after a superb hat trick against Southampton in a 5-2 victory for Spurs. Kane had another target in mind, the Premier League 100 club.

Kane headed into the game at Anfield knowing that he only needed one goal to reach the landmark of 100 Premier League goals. While Spurs had beaten Manchester United last time out, Kane drew a blank in front of goal, but he wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity again, or was he? Spurs were actually behind in the game through Kane’s main rival for the Premier League golden boot, Mohamed Salah, before Victor Wanyama got them back on level terms with a powerful effort from distance. In the 87th minute, Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius was adjudged to have fouled Kane, with Spurs awarded a penalty as a result.

This was the moment, it was Kane to take the spot kick to score his 100th Premier League goal but he remarkably missed it, with Karius saving it. Salah then added a second for Liverpool just a few minutes later, and it looked like Kane’s day would be put on hold once again, before Spurs were awarded another penalty. The Spurs striker made no mistake this time, equalizing for Tottenham to make it 2-2 and scoring his 100th Premier League goal in the process. He managed to hit 100 in just 136 games, with only Alan Shearer completing the feat quicker (124).

Kane recently overtook Teddy Sheringham to become the all-time leading Premier League goal scorer for Spurs and he’s the only likely candidate to break Alan Shearer’s all time Premier League goals record too. He currently stands at 24th on the list with 100 alongside Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier and has 160 more goals to score to equal Shearer’s record that has looked unbeatable at times. Anyone who has the feeling that Kane can go on to squash a few more records, should have a look at the betting.com online betting news site, to ensure you get the best odds and bonuses on offer.

The best chance of someone equaling it and then surpassing it rests with Harry Kane. He’s the right age at 24 and still has plenty of time to do so. He’s scoring goals for fun and you could even say that he hasn’t even hit his peak yet. If he continues as he is now, he will undoubtedly become the all-time leading Premier League goal scorer within the next few seasons.

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The Grand National: The Race That Stops A Nation

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Bangor on Dee horse racing” by Paul (CC BY-SA 2.0)

There are many big horse racing meetings and races in the UK, but one race stands above all the others as the race where everyone places a bet, and everyone stops to watch it. That race is the Grand National, an event that takes place in April (the 2018 edition of this fantastic contest will take place on April 14th) so mark that day in your calendar as one to remember.

The build up to this unique test for horses is huge, and there are many trial races where horses will battle it out against each other to prove they are worthy of taking their place in the 40 strong field that will head to post on the day of the race. What makes the Grand National unique is the challenge of both the distance and the fences that require jumping.

The fences that the horses jump are extremely unique, and they require a special horse to just get around the course safely, let alone win the race. Then, there is the test of the distance, which is four miles, two and a half furlongs, a huge test of stamina and one that certainly favors the bravest horses and jockeys out there.


2011 Grand National winner Ballabriggs” by Carine06 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Betting on the Grand National is huge, and many people will place their bets either on the day of the race or well in advance. People who only bet once a year will turn out in force to head to their local bookmaker and place their bets, before sitting together as a family to watch the fantastic spectacle live on TV. Oddschecker has many free bet offers for the Grand National available already and many people will have already placed their bets on the race, such is the importance of the event.

The favorite for the race right now is Blaklion, a horse who finished 4th in last season’s race. That experience will have done him well, and he has proven that he has the ability and heart to jump around these fences not only once, but twice before. That puts him in pole position and he looks to have a great chance of running well in the race.

Last year’s winner, One For Arthur, will unfortunately not try to repeat his heroics of last season as he has been ruled out of the race due to injury, leaving the door open for a new champion.

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