Quality Sports Fan Gear News

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New NFL Rules for 2013-14 season

It was just a matter of time until the NFL passed a rule banning the use of the crown of the helmet for running backs. Ever since the NFL passed rules banning defensive, or other players, from spearing another player with their helmet, everyone has been saying - what about running backs?

Running backs are only allowed to use the helmet inside the tackle box. The tackle box is the area on the field that extends between the offensive tackles on either side of the offensive line.

When the no helmet rule was first implemented by the NFL, I thought it was just down right stupid, but my opinion has been evolving on this. While it is inevitable that player are going to get hit by the helmets of other players, and players will still get injured, this rule will reduce the number of brain injuries that would have otherwise occurred. Accidents are still going to happen, and bodies in motion are still going to be unstoppable in a lot of cases, which will still lead to injury.

Now I’ve read a lot of comments on sports blogs and sports news sites from fans who keep saying - when are they just going to make it flag football?The answer is never. The NFL is a money making behemoth, and they are never going to water down their product to the point of where it won’t be exciting to watch. But as with everything in life, the rules should change for the better, whether it is sports or politics and the law. And the rules should change to protect football players who have families and children, so that after they are retired, they have a chance to enjoy watching their kids grow up. Many retiring football players have young children, and I’m sure they would enjoy being able to attend their football games, and be happy to see them not being allowed to plow their sons heads into another player, just because that is they way it always was.

There are a few other rules that have been passed, and more still being discussed, but they are relatively uninteresting. You can read more about them here - NFL rule changes 

Gregg Olinger

Owner, Quality Sports Fan Gear

Top 10 Female Athletes

In honor of history being made this past weekend, I decided to put together my list of top 10 female athletes.

10. Serena Williams - she became the first of the two sisters to win a Grand Slam title in 1999. Between her and the older Venus, she has a 6-2 record. Regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, she has won 30 Grand Slam titles.

9. Mia Hamm - The world’s all time leading scorer, Mia Hamm is one of the greatest to ever play the game. She has 4 NCAA titles, 1 gold medal, and two world cup championships.

8. Michelle Akers - She starred in the 1991 & 1999 Women’s World Cup victory by the United States She is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame and was named FIFA Female player of the Century.

7. Steffi Graf - She was ranked No. 1 in the world for 186 consecutive weeks, from August 1987 to March 1991, and for 377 weeks overall, both of which are still records. She has 22 major titles, and took home more than $22 million in career winnings.

6. Wilma Rudolph - Wilma Rudolph’s greatest odds was learning to walk on her own. As a child, Rudolph (the 17th of 21 children) was stricken with polio, scarlet fever and double pneumonia. By the age of 16 she entered the 1956 Olympics where she won a bronze medal. And in the 1960 Rome Olympics she won gold.

5. Billie Jean King - She had 39 Grand Slam titles & 695 match victories over a career that spanned more than two decades.  King became the first female athlete to take home more than $100,000 in annual prize money in 1970. She is most famously remembered as having beat Bobby Riggs in a tennis match.

4. Annika Sorenstam - she won 90 international tournaments as a professional golfer, making her the female golfer with the most wins ever. She won 72 official LPGA tournaments,10 majors and 18 other tournaments internationally. Annika tops the LPGA’s career money list with earnings of over $22 million—over $8 million ahead of her nearest rival.

3. Jackie Joyner-Kersee - Joyner-Kersee is a three-time Olympic gold medal winner, winning the heptathlon and long jump in 1988 and the heptathlon again in 1992. She has four world championships - two in the long jump and two in the heptathlon - and repeatedly set world records in the latter event. Joyner-Kersee holds the top six scores in heptathlon history.

2. Babe Didrikson Zaharias - She has had 2 hall of fame careers. One in track and field where she won gold medals and broke records, and another in golf where she had 35 career victories including 10 majors. The Associated Press had named her the Greatest Female Athlete of the First Half of the 20th Century.

1. Danica Patrick - The most successful woman in all of racing, she is the only woman to win an Indy Car Series race, and as of this past weekend is the first to win the pole position for the upcoming Daytona 500.

Now I know she probably doesn’t REALLY deserve the #1 spot on this list. But, if she actually wins the Daytona 500, I might just keep here there.

Racing is a hard sport. People who don’t know much about it just think it’s like driving to work, only really fast. It takes a lot more than that. It takes physical strength and conditioning. 

If you’ve ever been at the beach in the summer on a 98 degree day for hours and felt your self sweating to death and your heart pounding because if the overwhelming heat. That is mild compared to being in those suits driving for 500 miles in a sweat box. They don’t have AC in those cars, folks. And the open windows don’t do much for them either with the helmets on.

So good luck to Danica. Personally I’d like to see her win!

Gregg Olinger 

Owner, QualityMemorabilia

New NCAA football rules

The NCAA has announced new rules regarding football. If the NFL can come up with dumb rules, you can count on the NCAA to follow suite and then some.

Mike Tuck of Sports Talk Florida wrote a good article outlining the 10 new rules. I won’t go into all 10, you can read them on the page I just linked to, but I need to say a few things about some of the dumber ones.

1. Targeting - This rule, which you can read the details here,  has been a subject of controversy in the NFL with head blows, and with the number of concussions in both NFL and NCAA. This rule will actually get players ejected from the game, and possibly portions of the next game. This is just nuts. Most incidents of helmet crashes are accitdental anymore, and when you have two moving targets that are going to eventually collide, it’s gonna happen and it’s gonna be an accident.

I think it is wise to do what one can to reduce as much as possible. Notice I did not say eliminate. That’s because you can’t eliminate it. It’s a violent physical sport. It’s gonna happen, and it’s gonna happen by accident. Players would be protect themselves best if the NCAA would mandate that each team have training in place that will teach their players how to avoid these incidents as much as possible. Not legislate and penalize accidents.

4. Spiking the football - No spiking the ball in the final 3 seconds in order to stop the clock. Instead, you’re only allowed to run an offensive play.

Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb. Why?? I guess they just want to end the game faster. Might as well just tell them we’ll erase the last 3 seconds if a touchdown hasn’t been scored.

10. More instant replay - this is a good one. More instant replay to fix what the jack asses in the zebra shirts screw up is always good in my book.

Gregg, Owner

Quality Sports Memorabilia

Sports Collectibles

I love collecting sports memorabilia. Being from Pittsburgh, I have quite a few Steelers, Pirates and Penguins memorabilia. While making way for some new items I recently bought for my son, I ran across an old autographed photo I have from Rocky Bleier. It was and is still very special to me because my Father took both me and my brother to that game and sat on the 50 yard line at Three River’s stadium (home of Steelers and Pirates at the time). He knew Rocky personally, and after the game we met Rocky outside the stadium lockers where he personally hand both my brother and I an 8 x 10 photo of him running the ball. So, yes, I know this autographed photo is legitimate. But, it is signed to me personally, so I could never sell it. Not that I would want to.

But authenticity of sports memorabilia is something that every sports collector should be concerned about. There are more and more forgeries all the time, and with technology what it is today, making forgeries may even be easier. And there are memorabilia sites & forums that can help in identifying fakes and forgeries, such as http://www.net54baseball.com. Here is the specific page on their forum with tips for identifying fake sports memorabilia.

Hopefully you’ll never have to worry about it, but it you suspect that you’ve been tricked into buying a fake, you’ll at least have the resources to confirm. It so easy these days with places like eBay selling whatever people want to put out there. Looking at all of the sports memorabilia on eBay, the photos look genuine, but you can’t tell from a photograph.  And who know how many of the photographs themselves got lifted from another site? The best thing to do in this situation is to make sure that you buy from a trusted seller, or one with many good recommendations.


Happy and safe collecting!

Gregg (owner)

Quality Sports Memorabilia

The Big Game

I would have never thought that the Super Bowl match up for this year would have been the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens. Although, that is one of the cool things about football, it’s virtually unpredictable. Well, one can predict with fair accuracy that the supposedly better teams can win, but on any given day, the bad teams can clobber the good teams. I’m not sure why that is. I suppose it has more to do with the fact that as the season goes along, injuries to 1st string players can make a good team a not so good team. And as players come back from injury, a bad team can turn into a good team.

But I do have to say it always seems there is a reason for things and football usually produces a good story. This years Super Bowl story? Two brothers who are the head coaches playing against one another. That’s pretty amazing! I read where John Harbaugh said that he and his younger brother Jim used to fight like crazy when they were younger. I had to laugh because I also have a brother who is 18 month younger than me, and we used to fight like crazy as well. I mean we used to fight with closed fists swinging as hard as we could at each others heads. We’d pick stuff up and throw it at one another. I’m talking like even knives sometimes!! Once we were going at it so hard, that my mother had an antique large glass bottle - I think it was one of those 5 gallon water bottles, but glass - and we flew into it and broke it. It was at the top of the stairs so we almost ended up flying down the stairs form the 2nd floor to the main floor. Talk about competition!!!

We’ll I don’t know if the Harbaugh brothers fought quite like that, but it’s clear that they both are competitive guys, and I’m sure that this game will be a spectacular sight.


Owner, QualityMemorabilia

Quality Sports Memorabilia

First NHL game of the 2013 Season Huge Success

But wait … I said in my last post that the first NHL Hockey game for the 2013 season wasn’t until Saturday January 19, 2013. Well that is still correct. That is the first official game that counts. Last night in Pittsburgh was the Penguins Black and Gold game. It was a team scrimmage - black jerseys against white jerseys - and it was standing room only! Over 18,000 in attendance. And by all accounts it was freaking awesome! Black won 5-4 in a shoot out! For those wondering, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin played for the White team.

The coolest thing about the game was it was free for the fans. And they should have done that after all of the crap they pulled being greedy. But, that’s what makes hockey cool. The NFL would never put on a free show for their fans. I was pissed and about to not get back into hockey. But for once it seems like a professional sports team is trying to do the right thing by their fans.

So, I guess I’m in now. Time to break out the hockey apparel, I guess. Dammit! I almost feel guilty for feeling angry at them. Kind of like feeling bad for getting angry at the puppy for pooping on the rug, then having him come up to you later licking your face and wagging his tail.

Okay, bring it on. Let’s play hockey!



Quality Sports Memorabilia

NHL season set to begin January 19, 2013

Hockey is finally set to start after almost half of the season was cancelled due to the millionaire owners and players haggling over who is going to get more of the millions that hockey brings in from its fans. The question is, how many fans will be left after all of this nonsense?

What happens to all of the people who make a living from hockey in support roles. I’m talking about food vendors, sports memorabilia vendors, ticket takers, parking attendants, etc? What happens to their lost income? Do they get a better deal just like the owners & players got? No, of course not. They just get lost income. And the thing is, without all of them and the average working joe fan, neither the owners or the players would be making a nickel.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do. This is the 2nd time I’ve been subjected to a lockout since I’ve been a hockey fan. The last time I couldn’t stay away. Can I do it this time? Not sure. At a very minimum I’m going to watch a lot less of it. And just before Christmas 2012, I did refrain from purchasing hockey shirts for both of my kids as presents.

I have a feeling I will probably get caught up in the hype shortly after the season gets rolling. We’ll see.

The NHL lists as its first game Pittsburgh VS. Philadelphia @ 3PM Saturday 1/19 on NBC. Should be an interesting match up.




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