“The first event I ever announced was a women’s gymnastics meet at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln,” said Rick Allen, lead announcer for NASCAR on NBC. “The guy who was supposed to do it didn’t show up. And I just happened to be hanging around, so I did it.”
As the then-reigning back-to-back Big Eight (now Big 12) Conference decathlon champion for the Cornhuskers, as Allen was in 1991 and 1992, why wouldn’t you be hanging around the women’s gymnastics team? If charisma was a sport, he’d still be leading the league.
Allen’s affable, smooth, confident tone on the air transitions just as easily outside of the booth to the confines of the NBC Sports tent where we talked about his job as the voice of NBC Sports’ rejuvenated NASCAR franchise.
“Nothing about this position is easy, but I am privileged and very excited to be here.”
He joined Fox Sports in 2003 and served as play-by-play man for Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity races until last year. Former NASCAR driver Jeff Burton and former crew chief Steve Letarte join Allen in the booth.
“NASCAR is seen as a guilty pleasure by a lot of people. We’ve all heard the jokes about endlessly turning left. But there is so much more to it. We want to explain and explore the strategy. Think about it in terms of football. If you run the ball on first and second down, you’re setting up a downfield pass on third down to the tight end. There is every bit as much strategy in NASCAR.”
The Ball Up “Search for the Next” is completely different from its predecessors. It’s a 10-city tour looking for the best undiscovered player in the country that culminates in $100,000 and a roster spot for the tour’s winner.
In 2003, the most popular streetball player in the world right now, The Professor, was one of them.
While attending an And1 Mixtape Tour stop in Portland, Oregon in 2003, the 5’10,” 155-pound 19-year-old Professor competed in an open run competition prior to that evening’s game and did well enough to get invited back that evening to square off against Team And1.
“Yeah, true story. We would’ve been fully content just watching the game,” said Professor about the experience. “I got there early and saw that there was an open run going on and that there was a chance. I hopped in as soon as I could and showed them what I could do.
“And next thing I know, I’m selected to play against the And1 Mixtape Tour team. I got the crowd excited again a few times in that game, and then that night, they asked me to go on tour with them, and I was just shocked.”
Ball Up started in 2009 and took the concept of touring streetball to a new level.
“The whole experience has been a blessing. I’ve been able to travel the world, got to call basketball my job thanks to the company giving me my first contract in 2003. So I just feel really blessed to be in this position and that Ball Up wanted to start this movement up again.”
The Professor is humble, but let’s not forget how sick he is.
Wrestling fans are often left awestruck by their heroes wrestling moves and skills. Their athletic ability, however, is only one part of what makes these individuals truly great. The lives that each Olympian led prior to becoming a legend contributed to developing inner and outer strength. You’ll find that many of these champions survived much adversity, which built their character. If you take a close look at the lives of these individuals, you’ll find some interesting commonalities. In researching the athletes’ histories, you’ll find instances where the men persevered against great odds. You’ll find men who overcame dyslexia, bullying, poverty, accidental injuries, and cancer. You’ll learn that they developed their strength and toughness by working hard on farms throughout childhood or in shipyards during early adulthood.
If NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith admit to doing it, then there’s no shame in admitting you have, too. So go ahead and unburden yourself – 80% of men have used their girlfriend, wife or spouse’s haircare products.
“We’re all guilty of getting lazy and grabbing whatever the girlfriend or wife is using,” admitted Earnhardt Jr., as he forced a room of roughly 40 men to confront a grim reality about themselves.
“And, you know, that stuff’s not made for men: It’s not made for your hair. Guys out there, stop being lazy. Get the haircare products for our hair and for our needs.”
The numbers are appalling. 70% of men are interested in their own personal style, yet only 20% actually use products made for men.
But Suave Men wants to change that. And they know that education leads to prevention, and ultimately, choices a man can be proud of.
The “Suave Men Heritage and Hair: A Discussion with the Icons of Speed and Style,” took place on the eve of the NASCAR XFINITY race in Brooklyn Park, Michigan.
American Pharoah was leading the entire race, but many fans had to be holding their breath as this marvelous colt made the final turn into the home stretch. Could he hang on, or would we witness another Triple Crown disappointment at the Belmont Stakes?
But as trainer Bob Baffert later explained, jockey Victor Espinoza hadn’t even unleashed American Pharoah yet while the other jockeys were frantically pushing their horses to try and overtake the favorite. Once unleashed, American Pharoah ran away from the field and revealed why the Triple Crown is reserved for truly special horses.
The Triple Crown is supposed to be hard, and that makes American Pharoah’s performance and accomplishment even more gratifying.