Rob's Blog

December 5th, 2022 · Football (American)

We remember the gentle giant and his contribution to football throughout his life and career

On November 4, 2022, the team spokesman for the Washington Commanders verified the rumors of the passing of All-American defensive tackle legend Dave Butz. He was a star player for the Washington side from 1973. Dave was 72 at the time of his death.

Dave was one of the top 90 players in team history. He was also named to the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team at their 70th anniversary earlier in the year. His death was a shock to many people, and he received a flood of heartwarming messages from fans and players. The Gentle Giant was a force to be reckoned with; his name is featured on the Ring of Fame at FedExField.

Who was Dave Butz?

From 1973 to 1988, Dave Butz was among the largest players in the NFL. Standing at 6’8″ and weighing around 300 pounds for the majority of his career, he was a football giant, especially in the 1980s, when he was always the biggest man on the field. Dave’s form was impressive at his age, which was a testament to his excellent health and quick healing from injuries. In his 16-year career, he was instrumental in helping the Redskins reach the Super Bowl three times, and they won twice. The first win was in 1982, and the second time was in 1987. He retired a year later, in 1988, when he was the oldest starting player in the NFL.

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David Butz was born on a farm in LaFayette, Alabama, on June 23, 1950. He moved to the suburbs of Chicago, where he played football at Maine South High School in Illinois. There, he was a two-time high school All-American champion. He was a well-rounded sportsman and often received recognition for his skills. Dave was also a record-setting Illinois High School discus champion and an outstanding basketball player. His basketball skills even landed him scholarship offers as well. Ultimately, he chose to follow his passion for football and played college football for Purdue University, where he was named a 1972 finalist for the Lombardi Award. He was also a first-team “All-Big Ten” member, which then allowed him to participate in both the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl, where he was named the defensive MVP.

His Career

Butz was drafted as the fifth overall pick in the 1973 NFL Draft’s first round. He went to the St. Louis Cardinals, where he played for two seasons until 1975. A mistake in his contract granted him free-agent status, and George Allen, who was the Redskins coach at the time, quickly signed him. This was controversial since the NFL mandated that the Redskins provided the Cardinals with two first-round draft picks each in 1977 and 1978, as well as a second-round pick in 1978, as recompense. Dave’s career saw him play 16 seasons, record 64 sacks, and play in 216 regular-season games, only missing 4 games.

His reluctance to miss games led him to a famous and interesting story. In October 1987, he checked out of the hospital to participate in the Redskins’ game with the New York Jets. Even though he wasn’t yet back to peak health, he made a game-saving sack of Ken O’Brien, which stopped the Jets’ drive towards the end of the game and saw him receive the game ball. As soon as the game was over, he checked himself back into the hospital.

Dave Butz Accomplishments

  • NFL defensive player for the year 1983
  • Inducted into the St Louis Hall of Fame in 2017
  • 2 Super Bowl rings XVII and XXII, 1982 and 1987 and 1 runner up award
  • Elected as one of the 70 Greatest Redskins in franchise history 
  • A part of the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team. 
  • Purdue Boilermakers’ Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame – 2004,
  • Purdue’s All-Time Football team in 2004 
  • 2014 election to the College Football Hall of Fame.

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November 10th, 2022 · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

World Cup is the biggest and most-watched sports event in the world, and it’s the only showcase event, drawing massive global attention. No matter what everyone calls it, no other sporting event comes close to equating the extreme passion for the beautiful game.

Nothing beats the feeling of being the best in the most sought-after sport in the world, and getting crowned champion with a beautiful trophy! What else does a nation want, this tournament has a way of enabling people to puff out their chest by giving them license to say ‘this is our team’ and having some pride in their nation,

This time around, spectacular moments like these will be witnessed from the ‘Land of Arabs’ for the first time in the history of the world cup. The tournament commences on November 20 and will continue till December 18, 2022.

If you want to watch the FIFA World Cup live online and don’t know how to go about it, we have you covered. In this blog, we will teach you how to watch the FIFA world cup Qatar 2022 live stream from anywhere in the world:

football fans around the world are eagerly waiting for the next World Cup

Where to watch the FIFA World Cup 2022 live stream 

Sling TV

Sling TV is the best option to stream the FIFA world cup inside the US if you don’t have cable. The streaming service offers you the cheapest subscription with a 7 days free trial, so you can’t miss any moment of the exciting tournament live without worrying about the cable. The best part is you could even use Sling TV from outside UK, by using a VPN to connect to a US server and directly stream FIFA World Cup

BBCi iPlayer

BBC iPlayer is the official broadcaster in the UK for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and will broadcast every fixture from the tournament. However, the in-demand streaming service only works inside the UK due to certain geo-restrictions.

Fortunately, to access BBC iPlayer from anywhere, you need to have a UK IP address and this is where a high-speed VPN can help. Just follow these simple steps to stream the FIFA World Cup live on BBC iPlayer:

  1. Get a VPN subscription.
  2. Download the app for your device and connect to a UK server.
  3. Go to BBC iPlayer and log into your account or sign up.
  4. Enjoy live streaming the FIFA World Cup 2022 for free from anywhere!

FIFA World Cup 2022 – Groups

  • Group A. Qatar. Ecuador. Senegal. Netherlands
  • Group B. England, Iran, USA, Wales
  • Group C. Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
  • Group D. France, Australia, Denmark, Tunisia
  • Group E. Spain, New Zealand OR Costa Rica, Germany, Japan
  • Group F. Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
  • Group G. Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
  • Group H. Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea

Final Words

Watch the FIFA World Cup 2022 live without any worry, no matter where you are in the world by accessing BBC iPlayer or SlingTV with the help of VPN. By switching your virtual location to the UK or US, you can access BBC iPlayer or SlingTV hassle-free to stream your favorite FIFA World Cup matches live online. Over 140+ broadcasters will cover the FIFA World Cup 2022 in different countries. For instance, BBC and ITV are going to show the tournament in the UK, while MatchTV and Channel One are the official broadcasters in Russia. However, the end goal is to enjoy and cherish the thrilling moments of the world cup by supporting your national team.

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September 15th, 2022 · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

I am loving seeing the Socceroos listed on the Team Nicknames of the teams for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, particularly as it is my national team, Australia. It’s a pretty unique name too, unlike some of the other national teams who will be competing at the Qatar World Cup.

There is a group of teams that basically don’t have a nickname, they just have a variation of the term ‘the national team‘ in their respective language (e.g. Germany, Iran, Switzerland). Equally uninspiring, many nicknames are derived from national colors – such as the Blues (France), Blue (Serbia), the Crimsons (Qatar), Orange (Netherlands) and the Tri-Colors (Ecuador, Mexico). At least some add a bit of spice to the color name game, such as the Red Fury (Spain), Red Devils (Belgium), and the Black Stars (Ghana).


Not all the names are so bland. If you could create a nickname, wouldn’t you want one that would strike fear in the opposition, like the Fiery Boys of Croatia, Danish Dynamite (Denmark) and Samurai Blues (Japan).

If animals strike fear in you, look out for the Eagles of Carthage from Tunisia, the Green Hawks of Saudi Arabia, the Asian Tigers of South Korea, and the Dragons of Wales.

There are also lions to contend with the Three Lions of England, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, the Lions of Teranga from Senegal, and the Atlas Lions of Morocco.

However, a fearsome team nickname does not necessarily equate to success, as one of the most successful teams is commonly known as the Little Canaries (Brazil). Watch out for them!

See our list of All National Football Team Nicknames.

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July 25th, 2022 · Football (Soccer)

With Real Madrid’s 1-0 victory over Liverpool in Paris, the curtain has been drawn on the 21/22 season. But the glory of sport is that there’s always next season. The Premier League will be back, the Champions League will return, and we’ve got the novelty of a winter World Cup to look forward to. And even though it’s a year until we’ll discover who’ll be the champions of England and of Europe, there are still five absolutely amazing matches to look forward to before we say goodbye to 2022.

#5: The Community Shield (July 31)

Yes, you read that right. The Community Shield is one of the biggest matches left this year. Yes, it’s a glorified friendly, and yes it doesn’t count as a trophy, but this year’s Wembley curtain-raiser has something very important. Narrative.

FA Cup winners Liverpool took Premier League champions down to the wire on the last day of the 21/22 season. So this game will raise all sorts of questions ahead of the 22/23 contest. Will Mane remain at Liverpool? Will Klopp be able to reinvigorate a team that went from quadruple hopefuls to double losers in the space of a week? Will Erling Haaland prove to be the game-breaker that takes City to an absolutely uncatchable level?

We’ll learn a lot from this game. If Liverpool seems weaker and City stronger, we might learn that the Premier League title is almost a foregone conclusion.

#4: The North London Derby (TBC)

For decades, Arsenal fans celebrated a unique holiday. St. Totteringham’s Day. The day of the season that it was mathematically impossible for the Gunners to be caught by their North London rivals. But for the past six seasons, it’s Spurs who’ve finished above their rivals in the league. It’s Spurs fans who’ve needed Champions League tickets while Arsenal has been making do with the Europa League.

Can Tottenham secure a seven-year streak of finishing above Arsenal? Or is it time for an Arsenal resurgence? The first North London Derby of the season will give us some indication, even though form and history suggest the home side usually triumphs. Arsenal hasn’t won an away derby since 2014, and Spurs need to go back to 2010. Will that change in 2022? 

#3: The Women’s European Final (July 31)

Women’s Euros tickets have been selling in record numbers, and the final at Wembley is expected to host a capacity crowd. Defending European champions the Netherlands have dropped in the world rankings of late, and pundits are tipping Spain and France for the title. But England’s Lionesses aren’t far behind in the odds, and they’re comfortably ranked as one of the ten best teams in the world.

Manager Sarina Wiegman will be looking to her men’s team counterpart for inspiration. Gareth Southgate took a mostly unfancied England’s men’s team to the final of the 2020 Euros, so the women must be hoping to go one better. Football may just be coming home – and from a slightly unexpected direction.

#2: The Manchester Derby (TBC)

If the Community Shield will tell us a lot about the eventual destination of the title, the season’s first Manchester Derby might tell us something about the long-term prospects of a team who expects to be perennial challengers.

City is the finished article. An established manager, a settled team, and one of Europe’s most promising – and effective – young strikers. They expect to win the league. They expect to win the Champions League. They’ll expect to win the season’s first derby.

If ten Hag’s Red Devils can make sure that expectation comes to nothing, we’ll have some idea of how his much-needed rebuild is progressing. City strolled through an uninterested United midfield as they strolled to a 4-1 win last time out. A committed, professional – and perhaps victorious – performance from the red half of Manchester would be a massive statement.

And with Erling Haaland out for revenge against a team whose volatile ex-captain crippled his dad, there’s a hefty dose of personal narrative in play too. Definitely worth getting your hands on Manchester United tickets.

#1: The 2022 World Cup Final (18 December)

It had to be. Everyone wants World Cup tickets, and everyone wants to see their team in the final. This year’s competition is incredibly hard to call. Defending champions France were shambolic at the Euros, while Euro runners-up England can call on even more young talent than two years ago. Brazil will always fancy their chances, while Argentina and Portugal know this is the last chance for Messi or Ronaldo to win the ultimate prize. 

And then of course there are the unknowns, the dark horses. Hosts Qatar will benefit from a home advantage in very difficult conditions, Senegal has a team that’s quietly packed with top-level talent, and Denmark will rally around their returning talisman Christian Eriksen. 

No matter which two teams are fighting for glory, the World Cup Final will be a must-watch, can’t-miss affair. It’s the biggest match left this year.

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November 10th, 2021 · AFL, Fitness Testing, Sports Nutrition

In a controversial move, the Australian Football League (AFL) have removed skinfold testing from the annual combine test battery, over mental health and body image concerns.

The skinfold test is a body composition assessment that is used throughout the world, and has been performed at the annual Draft Combine for over 20 years. It forms an important part of the player’s overall assessment at the combine, which includes testing in areas such as medical, physical, psychological and skills.

The test determines the player’s body fat percentage by measuring the thickness of a pinch of skin at multiple sites of the body. It is very useful to know the level of excess fat a player is carrying because excess body fat would affect the AFL player’s ability to jump vertically, move freely around the ground, and the extra weight can increase fatigue, which are all important aspects of the game of AFL. The sports science staff at a football club would like to know if a player is carrying extra weight that he could potentially lose, a worthwhile and often an easily achievable task.

AFL Game
A low body fat level enhances a player’s jumping ability

The decision to remove skinfold testing at the combine has been widely criticised by both players and AFL club officials. If the players are being body-shamed based on their skinfold test results, then that is a problem. The answer? Stop the body shaming, don’t stop this important part of the player assessment.

It seems like a case of blaming the tool. It may just be the way that the test results are presented to the players. Tell the players why it is important to measure this (and it is). Educate the players on the personal benefits of having skinfolds measured, and how it can enhance their physical performance and consequently the team’s performance.

Skinfold testing should be considered the same as any other component of fitness testing, as a chance to identify which areas they can improve to become a better player. If their 2km time trial is slow, extra work on the track is required, if their vertical jump score is low, a bit of extra leg work in the gym, if they are carrying a bit too much extra body fat, the sports dietitian can guide them to make changes to improve their diet. The aim of all of this is to improve the player, not to shame them. It is an opportunity to improve, not an opportunity to put them down.

I don’t think there is any chance of the test being put back on the combine tests list. It is going to leave the clubs to use other methods to estimate body fat of their potential draft picks, such as using the height and weight measurements to calculate BMI, and we know how badly that works as a measure of body fat in muscular individuals (like football players!). If the clubs see value in the skinfold test, it will probably stay as one of their assessments within the club for the time being, they just won’t have that information at hand when they are looking for new recruits.

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July 24th, 2021 · Olympic Games, Sport

One of the new sports at the Olympics is skateboarding. The Olympics are clearly looking to make the Olympics more appealing to the younger generation, with the addition of sports such as surfing, and sports climbing and 3×3 basketball. The skateboarding event is another.

The Olympics has not seen a sport like skateboarding, though it has been a regular event at the X Games, and has recently made an appearance at the Asian Games.

At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics there are two events in skateboarding, street and park, for men and women.

Park Skateboarding Event

In the park skateboarding event, skaters perform tricks on a course called a “combination pool,” which is like a familiar skate park containing bowls and pools in a complex combination with ramps and course bends. The smooth bowls have steep curved inclines meaning skaters can achieve massive height and have the freedom to put together a run as they see fit. The competitors perform three 45-second runs, and their best counts as their final round score. Some factors in working out the scores are: degree of difficulty of tricks, height, speed, originality, execution, and the overall routine.


Street Skateboarding

In street skateboarding, the skaters perform tricks on a street-like course with stairs, handrails, curbs, benches, walls, and slopes. They are free to choose whatever route they want around the course. In each round, the skaters will perform two 45-second runs and five tricks. The competitors are scored for the difficulty and the originality of their tricks.

Check it out

Day 2: Sunday 25 July 2021 – Men’s street Prelims Heats/Final
Day 3: Monday 26 July 2021 – Women’s street Prelims Heats/Final

Day 12: Wednesday 4 August 2021 – Women’s park Prelims Heats/Final
Day 13: Thursday 5 August 2021 – Men’s park Prelims Heats/Final

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May 21st, 2021 · Olympic Games, Sport

Karate is a new sport on the Olympic program, making its debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games along with four other new sports. It is no surprise that this Japanese sport has been able to slip into the Olympics in Tokyo, but its time on the program may be short-lived.

Karate is a martial art originally from Japan, which involves punching, kicking, knee strikes, elbow strikes, and some open-hand techniques like knife-hands, spear-hands, and palm-heel strikes.

For some, karate may seem similar to the Korean martial art of taekwondo, which is also on the Olympic program. There seems to be a high number of combat sports on the Olympic program: karate joins boxing, Judo, taekwondo, fencing and wrestling. For fans of martial arts, and there are lots of them around the world, that may not be a problem.

karate chop

What it involves

There are two karate competitions at the 2021 Olympic Games, kumite and kata. There will be eight gold medals up for grabs: six in kumite and two for kata. There will be sixty competitors competing in the kumite competition, and twenty in the kata competition.

In a kumite match, two athletes face each other with small gloves and foot protection, with the goal of scoring points using kicks, punches, strikes, throws and sweeps over a three minutes period. There are three weight classes (men: <67 kg, −75 kg, +75 kg, women: <55 kg, −61 kg, +61 kg). The winner is the first to score eight points more than their opponent, or the fighter with the most points at the end. In the matter of a tie, the contestant that scored the first unopposed point wins. Don’t expect lots of hits, it is not a full-contact sport, the competitors show full self-control in each technique enabling them to stop the motion suddenly only millimetres before coming into contact.

The competitors in each weight category will advance through an elimination round to reach the semi-final, and eventually the gold medal bout.

In the kata competition, competitors are judged on the power and correctness of their techniques. Competitors take turns in demonstrating his or her kata. The result is judged by a panel of judges, each awarding a score based on technical and athletic performance. The two highest and lowest scores are discarded to determine the winner. 

Where to see it

The karate competition will be held at the Nippon Budokan on August 5-7, 2021. The indoor venue located in Tokyo’s Kitanomaru Park hosted judo events at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Make sure you have a look as karate might not be appearing at the Olympics again. The sport has not been included on the program for the 2024 Paris Olympics. It looks like it is literally getting the karate chop.

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May 13th, 2021 · Olympic Games, Sport

Virtual Surfing

With no international spectators at this year’s Olympic Games in Japan, there will be lots of online internet surfing to watch the sporting events and get results. Some sports are even being held online, with an esports demonstration event sanctioned by the IOC, called the Olympic Virtual Series (OVS). The event will involve five sports – baseball, cycling, rowing, sailing and motorsport. It will be an online mass participation event aimed to generate excitement in the build-up to the Olympics. It will take place from 13th May to 23 June 2021, and is available for viewing on the Olympic channel.

Olympic Surfing

Actual Surfing

Yes, there will be actual surfing at the Olympics! For the first time, the sport of surfing will be part of the Olympics. Another new Olympic sport skateboarding was created by surfers, so it seems only right to have surfing in the Olympics too. These new sports are in line with the IOC drive to appeal to the younger generation.

Who is involved?

The Surfing competition at Tokyo 2020 will feature 20 men and 20 women. Of the 40 places available, 18 are reserved for WSL Championship Tour (CT) surfers (10 men and 8 women), with the remaining 22 places determined at the 2019 and 2020 ISA World Surfing Games, the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, and a single slot (each for men and women) for the host nation.

Where to See It

The surfing competition will take place on natural waves at Shidashita Beach, or “Shida”, 64km from Tokyo on the Chiba peninsula, and about 100km away from the Olympic Stadium. There is no set date for the competition, as the program includes a waiting period of 16 days so they can wait for adequate quality waves. Once the event starts, it will take two days to finish.

Four to five surfers will compete in heats lasting 20-25 minutes, though only one rider may ride a wave at any given time. Later rounds the surfers will go head-to-head, one-on-one. The surfers will be judged by a panel of judges, scoring each wave ride on a scale between 1 to 10. They will be judging each manoeuvre on speed, power, and flow, and the degree of difficulty of each manoeuvre will also be factored into it. Their top two scores will be used to determine the best two surfers from each heat who will continue to the next round.

It is sure to be exciting with most of the world’s top surfers attending. Make sure you tune in or surf the web to see history in the making.

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May 6th, 2021 · Sport

I created my list of 7 wonders of the sporting world (greatest athletes). There was some great feedback, including some rightly questioning the lack of female representation on the list.

Although I considered all sports people, men and women, only men made the final top seven list. I would have loved to have included some females, but unfortunately, there was none I considered worthy of the top seven. Sorry but I was never going to just include a female for the sake of inclusiveness, all places had to be rightly earned. Not everyone will agree with my selections, but that is the nature of all such lists, everyone has different opinions. There is no one right answer.

wimbledon tennis

There were females in consideration for the top athletes’ list, but did not make my list of top 7. For example, Serena Williams is one of the greats of tennis, though in my opinion was not greater than Federer. Where she lets herself down in my reckoning is on the role model component. That’s just my opinion. It would be great if there was someone who was worthy of making the list. The reality is that the most anticipated and most-watched sports around the world tend to be male-dominated, and that is what my lists represent. It is not a reflection of the worth of female sports.

The best way I thought to show gender balance was to have a similar list only for females. I think that is better than trying to compare the male and female athletes directly. Here are my top 7, and again apologies if I have left out your favourite, I cannot please everyone.

What constitutes a sporting wonder? It is not just skill and sporting results. A wonder must dominate in their chosen sport, be a good sports person, good role model for the sport, and have worldwide appeal so that their profile is known outside of their sporting circles.

My 7 Wonders of Sport (Women Athletes)

  1. Babe Didrikson Zaharias  (golf, track & field)
  2. Jackie Joyner-Kersee (track & field)
  3. Serena Williams (tennis)
  4. Annika Sorenstam (golf)
  5. Martina Navratilova (tennis)
  6. Mia Hamm (football/soccer)
  7. Fanny Blankers-Koen  (track & field)

Other females that came close were Nadia Comaneci and Ronda Rousey

My 7 Wonders of Sport (Female Events)

  1. Women’s FIFA World Cup 
  2. Gymnastics at the Olympic Games 
  3. Women’s Singles Final at Wimbledon
  4. Rugby World Cup
  5. Netball World Cup
  6. WNBA finals 
  7. Women’s T20 World Cup final 

Here are some related pages on Topend Sports:

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April 30th, 2021 · Basketball, Olympic Games

The Olympics are looking for some street cred. The addition of sports such as skateboarding, surfing, and sports climbing is clearly an attempt to make the Olympics more appealing to the younger generation. The basketball event of 3×3 basketball is another. Without needing to go through the voting process of applying to get a new sport included, basketball has just added another event for Tokyo 2020 and doubled the number of medals available in their sport.

Basketball has been played at the Olympic Games since 1936 in Berlin, though there was a demonstration of basketball in St. Louis in 1904, and again in Paris in 1924. Major milestones in the history of Olympic basketball are the addition of a women’s basketball tournament in 1976, allowing professional players and the original US dream team in 1992, and now the addition of this new exciting version of basketball for men and women.

street basketball game

3×3 basketball (also called streetball or street basketball) is a variation of basketball that is played widely all around the world. The 3×3 form of the game is played with two teams of three players (plus one sub), on half a standard court and with just one hoop. The rules are essentially the same as for full-court basketball, the biggest change is in the scoring. Every successful shot from inside the arc of the court is given a point, from outside the arc is worth two points. The first team to score 21 points, or the team with the most points after 10 minutes, wins. If the score is tied after 10 minutes, the game goes into overtime with the first team to score two points is declared the winner. There are just 12 seconds on the shot clock, and play does not stop after a successful shot, making for fast-paced exciting games that will undoubtedly be a popular addition to the Tokyo Games.

Check it out

At Tokyo 2020 there will be an 8-team tournament, for men and women. All games will be held at the Aomi Urban Sports Park. Pool games will be followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals then a bronze medal and gold medal game.


  • 24-27 July pool games
  • 27 July quarter-finals
  • 28 July semi-finals
  • 29 July bronze medal game, gold medal game

Related Pages on Topend Sports

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