Hey there sport fans. It's been exciting year so far regardless of what type of ball you like to see moved around a field.
Watchers of The Sport of Kings saw the comeback of one of that sport's all time legends who fell from grace a while back. Tiger Woods may not be as exciting as he was in his earlier years, but he's proven, with 5 PGA tour wins under his belt, that he is still a force to be reckoned with.
Those who cotton to soccer (European football) will happily point out that North America's Major League Soccer continues to expand as the sport gains acceptance and respect in the U.S. So far there are 20 clubs in U.S. and Canada and they are not bad, especially with the U.S. Men's National Team grabbing the Gold Cup from Panama in a highly publicized match.
Football (American style) watchers always have a lot to keep them busy. When in season there's the games, tailgate parties, games, house parties, and... umm, games. Off season there's fantasy football which I will freely admit to knowing little about.
And, of course, there's baseball. I never was a fan of baseball, watching or playing. Like many American kids I've had my turn at bat, watched a few major league games (Memorial Stadium in Baltimore), and publicly rooted for the Orioles even when I wasn't living in B-more. But that's about as far as my indulgence in the sport has gone, and it will likely go no further. I have great respect for those who can play the game well, but that's about it.
I like a good boxing match, I like to watch football, basketball, and soccer highlights, but not the games. I don't care about teams, who's winning, losing or why. It was just something I've not developed a taste for.
I know many of you eat that stuff up like Sunday morning pancakes—regardless which sport you fancy—and keeping track of your favorite teams and players is a must. And if that's what you're about then you've come to the right place. I've got three free apps that might fill the gap between games and plays and keep you up on the latest. So let's get to it.
Team Stream [17.8 MB, all iOS devices iOS 5.0 or later, Maker: Bleacher Report]
Keeping up with a favorite team and player is an obsession to some. For those folks who read team and player stats as if it were a good Gresham novel may I present Team Stream.
Think of it as real time Sports Illustrated. You get news, scores, stats and more in a colorful, easy to use ad-supported app.
Despite the name, Team Stream can keep you up to date on nearly any major sport, even those that don't have teams. Keep track of Tiger's winnings, Sharapova's serves, or Mayweather's weight with updates that can flag you with notifications. Lots of categories to pick from. Lots of news to look through. All presented in a user friendly app.
If you are into sports news Team Stream is your app.
Sports Republic [14 MB, all iOS devices iOS 5.0 or later, Maker: Mobiles Republic]
Ah, now here's a sports news app that's just downright sporty. Sports Republic lets you keep track of darn near every major sport there is. They even have cricket. Cricket!!!
But it doesn't stop there. You can track news items in a particular sport. For instance, you can track articles on NFL quarterbacks, on particular athletes like David Beckham and so on. If that wasn't enough you can search articles on darn near anything sports related, and it's all presented in an extensively customizable interface.
You can select which topic will send you alerts, how to share your news, you can even set "Silent Hours" during which the app won't send any alerts. (I wish all apps gave that option.) It even has a "Night Mode" which dims the screen.
The articles are all top notch that include color rich photos and links to the actual articles on the web. Yes, the app is ad supported, but who cares? The ads are wee and never interfere with what you're reading.
You've found your app sports fan, and it's called Sports Republic.
Sporting News [27.2 MB, all iOS devices iOS 5.0 or later, Maker: Sporting News]
Ok, I said Team Stream was like real time Sports Illustrated, and after a fashion it is, but if you want a magazine-like experience (and who doesn't from time to time) then grab Sporting News.
Sporting News is an e-zine that gets updated twice daily and it appears in your Newsstand app, and it's ABSOLUTELY FREE!!
This isn't some web aggregated article app, Sporting News is a real mag, with real stories and real pix. It gives you scores, schedules and stats, sure, but it also gives recommended games to watch and where to watch them, recommended articles, recommended links and lots more.
And photos? Oh man! Beautiful pix that make you feel you were right there.
I have noticed that the Sporting News interface can be a bit clunky and confusing at times. Even so, if my iPad is to replace paper mags, Sporting News is how it should be done. Get this.
And that's a wrap for this week.
This week's Free App of the Week is Doodle Fit 2: Around the World. It's a puzzle app with a twist.