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Friday, May 30, 2008

The 50 Hottest Female Athletes Of All Time

When we made a list of the hottest female athletes earlier this year, we realized there was something missing. And that something was all the hot female athletes that came before the 2000’s. Sure they might not have bared quite so much skin, but there were tons of foxes playing sports back in the old days when the Olympics were still the highlight of an entire year.

Sure we still have plenty of modern day athletes on our list (you can’t beat the present for hot female athletes ultimately, just look at the LPGA today vs. 20 years ago), but we tried hard to remember all the gems from decades past.

We stopped at 50, but could have easily gone to 100, and we were faced with tons of tough choices. Ultimately physical attractiveness was the number one requirement for inclusion, but we also tried to look at career success and historical import a little bit as well. We at PopCrunch hope you enjoy the list.

Browse The 50 Hottest Female Athletes Of All Time

All-Time Hottest: 50-41 ->

All-Time Hottest: 40-31 ->

All-Time Hottest: 30-21 ->

All-Time Hottest: 20-11 ->

All-Time Hottest: 10-1 ->

What's Hot At PopCrunch

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Rooney's rage 'threatens team-mates' warns Capello

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Wayne Rooney stamps on Ricardo Carvalho during the 2006 World Cup quarter-final against Portugal

Wayne Rooney's temper and volatility on the pitch are worrying Fabio Capello to the extent that he will speak to the England striker about curbing his aggressive tendencies. Indeed the England manager had to talk to Rooney at half-time during the 2-0 victory over the United States on Wednesday evening, telling him to calm down after a reckless first-half challenge that could have led to a dismissal.

The warning went unheeded, however, and Rooney was cautioned after the break for another tackle before being withdrawn, in a substitution that was planned before the game, after 79 minutes. However such is Capello's concern over Rooney that he admitted afterwards that the Manchester United striker has even endangered team-mates in training.

As the 22-year-old prepares for his stag party in Ibiza – he did not travel with the England squad to Trinidad yesterday – Capello conceded that the temper that Rooney claims is under control again threatens to derail England. As Rooney approaches the second anniversary of his stamp on Ricardo Carvalho that brought him a red card in the World Cup quarter-final against Portugal, Capello, although generally happy with the player he regards as England's special talent, said that his petulance had to stop.

There is also confusion around the readiness or otherwise of Michael Owen to play in the two end-of-season friendlies, including Sunday's game against Trinidad and Tobago. The Newcastle striker had withdrawn from the squad on Friday with what was described as a "contagious virus". However, he was present with his wife Louise at Wembley on Wednesday to watch the USA game. The Football Association received a doctor's report two weeks ago about Owen's health and it was decided it would be too dangerous for him to train, and possibly infect, his team-mates.

However Owen has clearly recovered since then and Capello was aware of his presence at Wembley. Tellingly however, having ruled him out of his plans, the manager had no intention of calling Owen up which appears to indicate that the 28-year-old is not central to England's future and may be relegated to a peripheral role. Although he failed to score, Capello is understood to have been pleased with the performance of Jermain Defoe, who played as the most advanced striker, with Rooney behind him. The Portsmouth forward's movement and link-up play impressed Capello as did his pace. It is likely that Theo Walcott will also be given an opportunity against Trinidad & Tobago.

The England squad was trimmed yesterday before it flew out for that friendly fixture, with seven of the Champions League final players – Rooney, Owen Hargreaves, Wes Brown, John Terry, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and Ashley Cole – left behind because of their exertions in Moscow. Rio Ferdinand did make the trip, partly because he was desperate to remain in the squad and is keen to continue to stake his claim to the captaincy, as did Wayne Bridge who did not play in the European Cup final.

Capello is also understood to have been very pleased with the contribution of Steven Gerrard on the left side of midfield. While he accepts that Frank Lampard's performance was hampered by tiredness it appears the Chelsea midfielder has an uphill task to force his way into the team, especially as Gareth Barry again impressed. Capello was happy with the overall performance and England's ability to put pressure on opponents who, though poor, were, the Italian believes, made to look poor by his team and tactics.

As for Rooney, Capello would at first only admit that he "did one very strong tackle, nothing more", presumably referring to the first-half challenge on Ricardo Clark that could have warranted a red card but which Greek referee Kyros Vassaras chose to punish only with a free-kick. Later he agreed that Rooney's behaviour had to change.

"Yes, I have to keep him on the pitch for 90 minutes and so I have to speak with him," he said. "I have to speak with Rooney and explain to him that he mustn't do these tackles. Yes, sure, of course I will speak to him. Not now, but in time. The next time I see him [August], I will talk to him."

The second challenge, on Frankie Hejduk in the 76th minute, did earn Rooney a booking to which he responded with an angry gesture towards Vassaras. "I saw the same thing from him in training," Capello said. "On Tuesday in the last session, it was the same. It is normal for him and I told him that. I was worried for the other players."

It was not entirely clear, with Capello now conducting his press conferences in English rather than Italian, to what extent he was worried about the threat to his other players, but the message was blunt enough. England's training sessions are known for their full-bloodedness but it seems Rooney has exceeded the limits. Capello's defence of his player's essential, committed nature led to him also admitting that the two challenges were probably worth a sending-off when combined.

"You cannot play without commitment and when you need to play, with that commitment, you tackle very hard," he said. "That is something I think he showed. He did very, very hard tackles, both possible yellow cards, but neither of them worthy of a red card. He got a yellow at the finish. I think it is a normal game for him."

Capello compared Rooney to the Real Madrid veteran Raul who he said he worked with as a young player during his first stint with the club in the 1996-97 season. It was not immediately obvious what similarities he saw between the two players, his main point being that he encountered both of them at crucial moments in their development.

"I think that when you are a manager or coach and when you see that a player is coming back and trying to do everything, you have to speak with him," Capello said. "He is young and he is a good player."

Asked whether he had managed a player like Rooney before, Capello said: "Only defenders – not forwards. One I can think of is Raul, who was very young when I was in Madrid for the first time. He was different but he was also a good player and when he had a sniff of the goal, he scored. Like Rooney he was a very generous player. I spoke always with the players including him. What you say depends on the moment. This is my work."

Red mist moments: Rooney's costly losses of temper

Portugal 0 England 0 (Aet; 3-1 on penalties; 01/07/2006, World Cup quarter-final, Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Struggling for match fitness, a frustrated Rooney damaged England's World Cup hopes after being sent off after 62 minutes for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho, becoming only the third England player to be sent off at the World Cup finals. England lost the game on penalties, and Rooney was suspended for two games and fined £2,400 by Fifa.

Spain 1 England 0 (7/11/2004, friendly, Madrid)

Hauled off by Sven Goran Eriksson after 41 minutes to prevent him being sent off, having already been booked after clashing aggressively and petulantly with Joaquin, Iker Casillas and Carlos Marchena. Upon being substituted, Rooney threw to the ground his black armband worn in memory of the recently deceased Emlyn Hughes and Keith Weller.

Northern Ireland 1 England 0 (07/09/2005, World Cup qualifier, Belfast)

Booked for a reckless challenge on Keith Gillespie, Rooney argued furiously with his captain David Beckham, who tried to calm him down.

England squad for Trinidad

Goalkeepers: David James (Portsmouth), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Joe Lewis (Peterborough).

Defenders: Wayne Bridge (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), Stephen Warnock (Blackburn), David Wheater (Middlesbrough), Jonathan Woodgate (Tottenham).

Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Aston Villa), David Beckham (LA Galaxy), David Bentley (Blackburn), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham), Ashley Young (Aston Villa).

Forwards: Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Dean Ashton (West Ham), Peter Crouch (Liverpool), Jermain Defoe (Portsmouth).

Released players: John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole (all Chelsea), Wayne Rooney, Owen Hargreaves, Wes Brown (all Manchester United).

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Acupuncture’s Evil Twin: The Dim Mak Death Touch

Image via brtsergio

Enter the Dragon was his last completed film. Six days after it was released, Bruce Lee, one of the biggest icons of martial arts cinema died a sudden and mysterious death. But was he the victim of the legendary dim mak touch of death as many of his avid fans have claimed?

Known in Cantonese as dim mak and in Japanese as kyusho jitsu, the touch of death is legendary among martial arts nuts. The idea behind the death touch is somewhat mysterious: apparently there are several “meridians” or body lines where “chi” or energy flows through. According to Dr Cecil Adams, “A blow or squeeze applied to certain pressure points on these lines will supposedly put the whammy on the victim’s chi, leading to incapacitation or death.” Medical journals have even reported numerous incidents where seemingly mild trauma to the described dim mak pressure points results in disproportionately serious injury. But is this all a load of baloney? Is dim mak real or not?

Never take your eyes off your opponent… even when you bow” Bruce Lee

The guys over at Martial Development, point out that dim mak does not actually signify “death touch” as many budding westernized ninjas would have us believe. In Cantonese it means something more like “press artery.” Their argument therefore is “Anyone can press an artery right?” They then push home their point by stating that dim mak is not synonymous with pressure points, but arteries and that skilled operators who have mastery over their art can use it against their opponent. Dim mak in their eyes therefore, is like reverse acupuncture, its evil twin. It can be use to cure and to kill.Equally, Dr Michael Kelly, graduate of the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and author of Death Touch: The Science Behind the legend of Dim Mak has spent years studying the medical effects of dim mak and has found numerous cases to support the validity of the martial art. The book covers delayed deaths resulting from dim mak, knockouts and attacking internal organs, all explained through modern medicine.Are there any Medical Explanations? and where are these points supposedly located?pressure points
Don’t try this at home kids! Images by
Commotio Cordis

Commotio Cordis or cardiac concussion is where the heart rhythm is interrupted by a blow, which isn’t of lethal force, yet nonetheless causes heart failure without any structural damage. To inflict this on an opponent would be notoriously difficult, because of the 15-20 millisecond window in the heartbeat cycle where this would actually work.

Rupture of the carotid artery

This carotid artery is located in the neck and carries blood to the head. Any pressure on the carotid sinus (a very sensitive area) could rupture the artery causing a stroke, paralysis and even death. This can be caused by a karate chop or something minor like playing a musical instrument.

Who practices the death touch?

Dr Kelly argues that in the past, knowledge of martial arts was taught only to the most advanced and trusted students. The true nature of the secret martial art therefore remains shrouded in secrecy. The potential application of knowledge after all is power. Now with the internet and numerous books various supposed Dim Mak masters have emerged. Here is a video of them in action:

Ok, But Could Dim Mak be Fake?

Quite possibly. Some of the Kung-Fu masters, claiming to possess the ability to practice the death touch have been exposed as frauds. I’m still skeptical. After all, although many have claimed Bruce Lee’s death to be caused by dim mak and inflicted by Kung-Fu masters who were angry at the icon for revealing their secrets, a more plausible explanation is that he died of a cerebral edema caused by a painkiller. The myth of the death touch could therefore fuel the legend.

On the other hand, it is quite plausible that with intense practice and knowledge, one could be trained to learn dim mak, but I don’t think it’s the precise art some Kung Fu masters profess it to be.

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Doug Collins to be named Bulls head coach

Doug Collins will become the next Bulls head coach, according to multiple league sources.

A deal is expected to be announced "sooner rather than later," likely after the Western Conference finals series Collins is working for TNT concludes. The Los Angeles Lakers lead the series over the San Antonio Spurs, 3-2, and it could end tonight.

Collins released this statement through TNT: "I have spoken with Bulls management recently about their head coaching vacancy and will resume conversations after the conclusion of my work for TNT in the Western Conference Finals. There is no agreement in place."

Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf told WSCR the team will continue to interview candidates. "We had one telephone conversation and one meeting and no agreement has been reached," Reinsdorf told the radio station.

Bulls general manager John Paxson’s statement also belied what sources said is all but a written contract.

"I have been in contact with Doug Collins in regard to our head coaching position," Paxson said. "Contrary to some reports that are currently out there, we have not reached an agreement. Right now, his commitment is covering the Western Conference finals for TNT. When that series concludes, we will continue our dialogue. In the meantime, I will continue to talk to other candidates and review our options.”

A source close to Collins said the statement was window dressing and that Collins had agreed to take over as Bulls head coach. The source said Collins’ son Chris would not be joining his father’s Bulls staff.

Brian James, who has been an assistant to Collins at both Detroit and Washington, would be on Collins' staff.

James, who was last an assistant at Milwaukee, owns 10 years of NBA coaching experience, four as a lead assistant. He has been to the playoffs in five of his 10 seasons as an assistant coach.

The imminent hiring of Collins was the buzz of league coaches and executives at the NBA predraft camp in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

It surprised some since Collins had rebuffed an overture by the Phoenix Suns to fill their head coaching vacancy created when Mike D’Antoni left to take the New York Knicks job.

"I know Doug's got the itch [to coach again]," a league source said. "I think the Bulls' youth intrigues Doug more than the Phoenix [Suns] situation. He's a teacher first and foremost. That's what he likes to do. He might have been leery about taking on a more veteran team, including dealing with Shaq."

More than one NBA type wondered how Collins would wear on a young team. Collins, as affable and relaxed as any off the court, is known to be emotional and high-strung when coaching.

"If you knew Doug as a coach, he’d make you nervous if you were just standing net to him," one coach said.

The reunion of Collins and the Bulls was first reported late Wednesday by KTAR radio in Phoenix. Collins has a home in nearby Scottsdale.

"The winds were certainly blowing that way Wednesday," a source said Thursday.

Paxson played coy Wednesday when asked about his coach search.

"I’ll probably talk to one new person, other than that, I’m going to talk to a few guys I’ve already spoken to," Paxson said of his schedule this week. "But I’m still looking. I’d like to have a guy in place sooner rather than later and I’m confident I will.’’

One NBA source said he wouldn't talk on the record about Collins until a contract was signed. ``Because knowing Doug, he could change his mind."

Speculation is Paxson will want Collins to hire one of his other coaching candidates as an assistant. Collins could then groom that man to take over as head coach though — James could also grow into that role.

Paxson met last week in Los Angeles with Lakers assistants Kurt Rambis and Brian Shaw. Utah assistants Tyrone Corbin and Jeff Hornacek, former Minnesota head coach Dwane Casey, and Sacramento assistant Chuck Person also interviewed last week. Former Knicks guard Mark Jackson, currently an analyst for ESPN, also interviewed with Paxson. Current Cleveland Cavaliers guard Eric Snow is also said to be of interest to Paxson.

Paxson wanted to hire Collins as an assistant coach in 2003, a move which was vetoed by then head coach Bill Cartwright. It was then that Paxson characterized Collins as a brilliant basketball mind. Reinsdorf also has high regard for Collins, despite having fired him from the Bulls in what was a controversial move at the time.

Besides Detroit, Collins coached Michael Jordan on the Washington Wizards.

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These 10 guys aren't earning their paychecks

You can't be a disappointment without falling painfully short of expectations, and this year's crop of early tank jobs is no exception.

If you want to get specific and toss around culpability, then there are main offenders to be found. Since, in this space, we reputedly love nothing so much as going negative, we're going to take a look at the players who have, to date, most effectively shanghaied their teams' hopes of contention.

In all instances, these are established players who should be faring better than they are. More specifically, these are the players who, while not alone in their offenses, have done their level-best to reduce their employers from national contenders to forgettable also-rans. These are the guys who must step it up in a hurry:

1. Andruw Jones, Dodgers

Yes, Jones is presently on the disabled list after undergoing knee surgery, but that's merely the start of his problems. On the season, he is batting .165, is on pace for just seven home runs, and has played sluggish defense in center. At the time, Jones' signing looked like a sensible value addition on the part of GM Ned Colletti, but it's turned out to be a low-grade disaster. Perhaps it's the knee, perhaps it's a lack of conditioning — whatever the cause, Jones has seriously hurt the Dodgers' chances thus far. It takes a lot to make Juan Pierre look like an upgrade, but Jones has somehow done it.

2. Justin Verlander, Tigers

The Tigers in 2008 have been a veritable superfund site. Expected to contend for "best team in baseball" honors, Detroit is instead languishing at the bottom of the none-too-impressive AL Central. You can point to any number of guys who aren't getting it done, but Verlander, the Tigers' ace, stands out. This season, Verlander is toting around an RA (runs allowed per nine innings) of 5.82, and he's been even worse than that away from Comerica Park. With Dontrelle Willis laid up and Kenny Rogers circling the drain, the onus is on Verlander to improve in a hurry.

3. Travis Hafner, Indians

Think the Tribe is battling a case of buyer's remorse on Hafner's contract? Despite a down year in 2007, the Indians inked Hafner to a four-year, $57-million contract extension with an option for 2013. He's rewarded their faith by performing even worse in 2008. To date, he's hitting .217 AVG/.326 OBP/.350 SLG. Sure, he's been playing despite an ailing shoulder, but unless he starts producing, the Indians are going to have trouble repeating as division champs. Ditto for Casey Blake and Asdrubal Cabrera.

4. Robinson Cano, Yankees

Coming into 2008, Cano boasted a career batting line of .314 AVG/.346 OBP/.489 — quality numbers for an up-the-middle defender. However, this season he's been lost at the plate (.276 OBP). You can point to other reasons for the Yankees' struggles — Alex Rodriguez's injury, the rotation, Derek Jeter's drop in production and customarily poor defense, the lack of reliable middle relievers not named Joba Chamberlain — but Cano's troubling decline has a lot to do with it. Fixing the Yankees is an exercise in triage at this point, but what's certain is that Cano must improve going forward.

5. Brett Myers, Phillies

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Myers doesn't have the best track record as a human being, and this season he's got the numbers to match. His RA stands at 6.34, and, in a related matter, he's coughed up 15 bombs in just 65.1 innings. The Phils were banking on Myers to stabilize the rotation behind Cole Hamels this season, but he has failed miserably. Philly doesn't have much in the way of in-house replacements or trade-able young talent, so it's on Myers to get better.

6. Carlos Delgado, Mets

Delgado declined last season, but a modest production spike in the second half raised hopes that he'd improve in 2008. That's not happening. At present, Delgado is batting .215 AVG/.294 OBP/.387 SLG, while the average NL first baseman has a batting line of .271/.358/.478. As you can see, that's a serious production deficit. Delgado is 36 years of age, so drastic improvement isn't likely. However, the Mets need him to achieve at least adequacy. It's simply hard to win when you're getting such poor numbers from a power position like first base.

7. Eric Gagne, Brewers

As hard as it is to believe this, Gagne has actually been worse as a Brewer than he was as a member of the Red Sox in 2007. The defrocked Milwaukee closer has an RA of 6.98, and he's walked 16 batters in 19.1 innings. Oh, and he's also on the DL with shoulder tendinitis. The bullpen has been a problem throughout Ned Yost's tenure in Milwaukee, and unless Gagne can get healthy and begin finding the strike zone the Brewers won't catch the Cubs, Cardinals and Astros.

8. Brad Penny, Dodgers

Andruw Jones isn't the Dodgers' only problem. Penny was one of the NL's best starters in 2007; this season, however, he's been anything but. An RA of 5.45 at the front of the rotation doesn't cut it, especially when you're trying to keep pace with the Diamondbacks. If the opposite side continues abusing Penny to such an extent, then those numbers aren't going to improve.

9. Jeff Francis, Rockies

The reigning NL champs are struggling, and Francis shoulders much of the blame. In 2006 and 2007, Francis appeared to be headed toward ace-dom, but this year he's taken several steps back. Coors Field doesn't explain away a 6.18 RA, and that's to say nothing of the fact that Francis has actually been worse on the road this season. Unless Francis can do a better job of spotting his off-speed stuff against right-handed hitters, he'll continue to struggle.

10. Trevor Hoffman, Padres

The master of the change-up is having a rough go of it in 2008. At this writing, Hoffman has a 4.86 RA, and that's despite having logged the majority of his innings in baseball's best park for pitchers. For a team as bad as the Padres (they're on pace for 101 losses), there are more than enough demerits to go around. With that said, it's clear that Hoffman's best days are behind him.

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