About Sports and Photography

About Sports and Photography

This blog is mostly about awesome outdoor activities and Nature pix.

Many of you know that Bulldog here is a major sports nut, too.

And when I get good shots of a sporting event, they just might end up here.

It’s all outdoor photography, right?

I’m a big fan or the University of Central Florida. The UCF Softball squad hosted the Shockers of Wichita State last week. And I got some good photos out of it!

The banner photo is of a Shockers hitter just before the bat makes contact. It’s a keeper!

The next shot shows UCF ace pitcher Alea White. Alea is a junior and is really making her mark on UCF’s program. If she finishes strong this year and has a good senior season, she’s on pace to eclipse Shelby Turnier’s record of 80 career wins.

Bunting is not a technique used that much anymore in baseball. It’s still a big deal in softball, however. In this next photo, a Shockers hitter is showing the fans how it’s done.

Ultimately, the Shockers bested my Knights, 2-1 in a very close contest. It was a hard-fought one, and I got some good pix!

What more could a fan ask for?

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credits Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Super Bowl LIII not so Super!

Super Bowl LIII not so Super!

Pretty much every American and half the Earth’s population knows that Super Bowl LIII is over and that it was… well, let’s put it this way: it was lackluster. Sub par. Not the best ever.

But for this dog, it was still the Super Bowl.

I must state at the outset that I wasn’t neutral. I’m a Patriots fan. I’m first-and-foremost a Bucs fan, but I’m not the kind of dude who thinks that you must love the home team and hate the other 31! I’ve never been of that mindset.

I like the Pats for two main reasons: the first is that they’ve achieved a level of excellence that is unmatched in the history of the NFL.

The second is that my family lived in Cape Cod when I was just a wee lad–basically my kindergarten and first grade years–and those two years were pure magic! I’ve adapted quite well to my sub-tropical existence here in Florida, but I’d go back to Cape Cod in a heartbeat if I could pull it off.

So yes, I was pleased with the outcome even though the game was a bit of a yawner. And no, I don’t like Tom Brady’s outlook on what’s happening on the political scene. It’s an issue. But I can plainly see that he is–by any measure–the greatest quarterback of all time.

All-in-all, the 2018 NFL season was good. We saw Patrick Mahomes explode into superstardom, Drew Brees had a stellar year at the age of 38. Some of the playoff slots were contested right up until the final whistle of the regular season. It was a memorable year. I’ll take it!

And as far that usually-super but this-year-not-so-much contest that capped off the year: yeah, I’ll take that too! The Pat’s defense proved that it’s much better than anyone thought, Brady’s the GOAT and we can all anticipate another top-shelf, amazing, hell-yeah, Super season come September!

Oh yeah, the final score was 13-3.

But you knew that!

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

France defeats Croatia 4-2 in World Cup Final

France defeats Croatia 4-2 in World Cup Final

If you’re a soccer fan, you just may have heard, but the French bested Croatia 4-2 this afternoon and are the new World Champs!

Il n’y a aucune plus grande gloire dans le monde sportif! Vive La France!

I’m not a fanatical soccer fan, but I’m glad to see the world’s most beloved sport become hugely popular here in the states. And the World Cup is a monster story every year, of course.

Orlando is trying to get a piece of the World Cup again for 2026. The bid is being taken seriously; folks who follow such things say the Florida’s effort has a sporting chance. Having an MLS franchise here now certainly doesn’t hurt!

It was awesome back in 1994 when Orlando hosted three or four prelim matches. (There were several other sites in the U.S., as well.) And I’d love to see us land it again for the big festivities eight years from now!

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

 

Ben is not the owner of this awesome photo and thinks it’s covered by Fair Use.

 

USA takes Olympic Hockey Gold

USA takes Olympic Hockey Gold
USA  players are about to make a big “we won the Gold!” dogpile in the above photo

Our womens’ hockey team prevailed in the Gold Medal game at 3 AM today and Bulldog saw the last hour of it! Including an overtime period and that INSANE shootout that won it for us!

If you’re not a hockey fan, know that I do cover some of the bigger sports stories here, especially ones like this that fit into larger stories. This game was nuts! Truly it was.

Beating the Canadians is tough in any Olympics or World Championship; this time the stakes were higher because of how they barely edged by us in the 2014 games for the gold. In fact, many are saying that today’s game felt eerily like that one four years ago.

These Winter Olympics have been fun to watch. I’ve seen less than I’d like but have greatly enjoyed what I’ve been able to see.

And for me, this game was the cherry on the top of a yummy Olympic Sundae!

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

 

Screenshot is from Ben but that’s not kosher with copyright laws

 

 

 

Philly’s Eagles notch their first ever Super Bowl victory!

Philly’s Eagles notch their first ever Super Bowl victory!

Last night’s 41-33 win by the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII came as a bit of a shock to many fans. No, not just fans in New England.

The Patriots were favored to win this one, but Tom Brady fell just a wee bit short with that 4th quarter comeback this time. He threw three TD’s and cracked the 500 yard mark, all to no avail.

Brady’s Hail Mary with no time on the clock took one high bounce off a defender’s hands while Gronk tried in vain to get high enough to pull off a miraculous catch. The ball then thudded to the ground two feet into the end zone.

Just wasn’t gonna happen. I think it was just Philly’s year. I’m a long-time Pats fan, but the Eagles truly deserved it. This was, as you may know, their first-ever win in the BIG one!

Philadelphia QB Nick Foles was the MVP and that was also well-deserved; Nick played well when it counted this season and was smoking hot all through the play offs.

Eagles fans are in the process of celebrating as I write this. Celebrating BIG time!

I think the future for the Philly franchise is quite good, it’s a fairly young team.

The future for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick should be pretty damn good if they both want to keep going. Brady is, after all, on the high side of forty. And when he goes, they both will, most likely. Even Gronkowski hinted that he probably will too, when Tom opts out. Yeah, that part of the post-game interviews was fascinating.

Time will tell. What this dog knows for sure is that last night’s game was Super in every sense of the word. For what more could any fan possibly ask?

 

 

Just a bit too full of chips, pizza and beer, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

Yes, It’s September and Football Season Is Starting!

Yes, It’s September and Football Season Is Starting!

I always associate two awesome things with September: the arrival of (slightly) cooler temps and the start of football season.

College football is underway already. This is the first full week of football and tomorrow is a monster game that I’ll be watching no matter what else is going on in the world: FSU and Alabama! It’s gonna be a barn-burner, for sure!

The Pros have been in preseason but starting on this Thursday night, it’s all for real! The Pats and the Chiefs kick off the REAL season on TNF and I’m gonna be tuned in for sure!

I hope you’re enjoying September’s arrival at this moment and that you’re looking forward to good things as we wait for the official arrival of Autumn in about three weeks. We’ll get to see the mercury drop and the hopes of Tampa Bay Buc’s fans rise! Well, that’s the plan, anyway!

 

 

Bulldog Ben Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

 

The Professional Bull Riders Tour came to Tulsa this week

The Professional Bull Riders Tour came to Tulsa this week

Professional bull riding is an insane sport! Mad respect to the cowboys who ride those damn bulls! I caught a Pro Bull Riders tour event this afternoon on CBS while channel surfing and stayed with it to the end. Some good riding in Tulsa this weekend.

And please know that the bulls are not mistreated; this is nothing at all like Bullfighting. The bulls are part of the action and get scored too. Riders don’t want to draw a bull that isn’t top shelf because it would hurt their score. Sort of like “degree of difficulty” for an Olympic diver. Unusual and very interesting sport. My fave bull is “Seven Dust” named because it’s so hard to stay on him for the full eight seconds required to score!

As many of you know, Bulldog is a big sports fan; bull riding is not at the top of my list, but I feel about the sport the way I feel about hockey; the skill level of the athletes is so insanely high–as is the likelihood of mayhem and great bodily injury–that you just have to give them a ton of respect.

The other reason I keep one eye on the sport is that in my early cab driving days I had several fares with riders who were in town for their events. I don’t think we’ve had many of those in Orlando lately, but there were several PBR events in the early aughts at the old Amway Arena. Those were the days!

Anyhow, a tip of the hat to the riders and to the bulls who don’t want to be ridden! And everyone associated with this sport. It’s way down on the list in terms of audience and dollars for the athletes, but it’s one helluva sport!

 

 

Lovin’ the PBR today and waiting for SNB to start, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile