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Super Bowl XLV

U.S. Steel Has Zero Sympathy for Steelers Fans Who Miss Work

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in this weekend’s Super Bowl. (Did you hear?) The city is, understandably, excited. The company from which the team takes its name, however, not so much.

According to a memo sent out by the management of U.S. Steel, employees who miss work on Sunday or Monday without a good reason will face “severe disciplinary action.”

USW International vice president Tom Conway isn’t taking the news lightly. Read more

WPS Unveils The 2011 Uniforms

Women’s Professional Soccer might not survive much longer, but the league will look good while going down in flames (or surviving, who knows!)

WPS and PUMA launched the uniform line for the 2011 season at an event on Thursday. Players including Alex Scott, Leslie Osborne, Tasha Kai, and Allie Long were on hand to show off the new kits.

“For three straight years now, we’ve seen the best of sport performance and style come together on the field with PUMA’s custom WPS uniforms,” WPS CEO Anne-Marie Eileraas said in a statement. “This year’s team kits are no different. In this World Cup year, PUMA’s founding partnership with WPS and its on-going support of women’s soccer is crucial to the growth of the game both in the U.S. and internationally, given the league’s global appeal as the best soccer league for women in the world.”

While we wish the uniforms were a bit more like the NFL-as-soccer-jerseys, we like what PUMA’s done.

A Roadmap for Your Sports Documentary Fame

Pelada, the little soccer documentary that could, went from a movie no one had heard of to a movie almost no one had heard of, but one that was getting excellent reviews by almost all who saw it and is loved in the soccer community.

On IndieWire, co-director and producer Ryan White discusses how he and his team accomplished the feat.

One piece of advice: Pick the right festival.

SXSW is the perfect type of festival for films that don’t really have that profile yet – it felt like audiences were out to find films they had not heard any buzz about. Jim Dobson did our publicity and we got a lot of great coverage through him. Peter Debruge from Variety happened upon a screening and wrote ‘Pelada’ a great review, and that was our first review in in a big publication – it got us a lot of phone calls.”

There is plenty more good advice in the interview. You know, in case you have a sports doc sitting around gathering dust.

Bill Simmons Gets Caught Up In The Blake Show

Bill Simmons really likes the Los Angeles Clippers.

If I didn’t know any better, I would say he was at the TD Garden rooting on his Boston Celtics.

Speaking of which, the Clippers next home game? The Boston Celtics.

Decisions, decisions.

[H/T The Big Lead]

Few Watch Nadal-, Federer-Less Australian Open Final

Neither Roger Federer nor Rafael Nadal reached the final of the Australian Open. Not surprisingly, ratings suffered.

“The Novak Djokovic/Andy Murray Men’s Final drew a 0.4 and 563,000 viewers on ESPN2 early Sunday morning, down 33 percent in ratings and 31 percent in viewership from last year (Federer/Murray: 0.6, 817K), and down 50 percent and 43 percent, respectively, from 2009 (Nadal/Federer: 0.8, 982K).”

However, that’s not the most concerning part.

In 2008, neither Federer nor Nadal reached the final, but almost 700,00 people watched Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga battle it out Down Under. While the ratings weren’t Nadal-Fed numbers, they were significantly better than the 2011 final. Should ESPN be worried interest in the Aussie Open is declining?

Akron Does College Soccer Right, On and Off the Field

Caleb Porter is creating a college soccer dynasty at Akron. His Zips have contested the last two College Cups – winning the 2010 edition – and have sent 11 players to Major League Soccer in the past two years. The ’10 squad might go down as the best in the history of the game.

But Porter’s team has some even more impressive statistics off the field.

“In 2009-10 they posted a team GPA of 3.33, eighth best in the country, and the semester the Zips won the 2010 College Cup they posted a 3.51 team GPA,” Jeremiah Oshan writes on Sports Nation. “In Porter’s five years at Akron, seven Zips have been named Academic All-America and 16 have been named Academic All-Conference.”

And the students aren’t getting by with easy majors, either. Kofi Sarkodie, the No. 7 pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, was ESPN’s Academic All-American of the Year and earned a 3.96 GPA while majoring in biology. Perry Kitchen, the No. 3 pick, led the seven drafted players with a 3.945 GPA in his only year in college. Ben Zemanski, who was drafted last year, came away with a degree in mechanical engineering.

As we watch the chaos of National Signing Day, it’s refreshing to see some college sports programs are still about sports and school.

Photos: Super Bowl XLV Media Day

ARLINGTON – Super Bowl Media Day is part sporting event, part spectacle.

Here’s a look at both from Cowboys Stadium on Tuesday.

Photo Evidence Of The Back Of John Clayton's Head

ARLINGTON- In case you were wondering about John Clayton and his ponytail, this should end the debate once and for all.

No ponytail.

The Anatomy of A False Rumor

January 31 is always a crazy day in the soccer world because the transfer market closes in England and a number of other countries. (Essentially, it’s the last opportunity for players to move to those leagues until the summer.)

Monday was no different, with action taking place right up until the midnight GMT deadline. One of the players involved was United States star forward Jozy Altidore.

The 20-year old landed in Turkey, but it wasn’t without a bit of shoddy reporting.

The Associated Press posted a story saying the young American forward was headed to Spanish club Levante. The AP’s story was incorrect, and they’ve since posted a retraction.

So where did the AP get the news? Read more

Peter King Misunderstands Roger Goodell: All NFL Players Dislike Ben Roethlisberger

We started the week with Peter King‘s Monday Morning Quarterback column in which the scribe quoted Roger Goodell discussing the Ben Roethlisberger situation. King asks how many players the NFL Commissioner spoke with when trying to determine the quarterback’s punishment, and he responded with the following:

“I bet two dozen [Steelers] players … Not one, not a single player, went to his defense. It wasn’t personal in a sense, but all kinds of stories like, ‘He won’t sign my jersey,’”

King inserted the parenthetical because he thought Goodell was talking specifically about members of the franchise that will play for the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Whoops. Read more