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(This column originally appeared on NewJerseyNewsroom.com.)

The 2012 Major League Baseball season started Wednesday in Japan as the Seattle Mariners defeated the Oakland Athletics 3-1 in 11 innings.

And while baseball is still three strikes and you’re out, four balls is a walk and you have to touch all four bases to score a run, this baseball season will be very different than all the others before it.

In the offseason, the owners and players agreed in to add a second wild card team to each league. The two wild cards will then face off in a one-game playoff, with the winner entering the divisional series and the loser going home, their chance at baseball glory gone in one day, one game.

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(This post originally appeared on NewJerseyNewsroom.com)

(I think it’s fair to say most sports fans have either done this or seen it done on TV multiple times. So think about your own personal experience as you read through this column.)

You’ve just arrived at a ballgame, either after taking a long train ride or driving a long distance and waiting for what seemed like an eternity to park. Paid a lot for that parking spot. Bought food and drink for more than it costs to get an oil change. You sit down in uncomfortable seats without back support. Yet through it all, you’re ready, pumped to see your team play.

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(This article originally appeared on NewJerseyNewsroom.com)

48 hours before announcing who their star recruits for the 2012 season will be, Monmouth University Football announced the star dates on their 2012 schedule.

The Hawks 2012 quest for the Northeast Conference’s berth for the Football Conference Subdivision’s playoffs will begin on September 1st on the road against Lehigh, who made it to the quarterfinals this year.

Highlights also include the University of Rhode Island coming to West Long Branch, New Jersey for the first time on September 8th and a trip up Ithaca, New York to face Cornell for the first time on Oct. 13.

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(This column originally appeared on NewJerseyNewsroom.com)

If you Google the word “concussion” you get 22.8 million hits.

Watch one video on YouTube of the effect concussions can have on someone’s life and it stops you in your tracks cold.

A random search for videos of the effects of concussions on someone brought me to where an elite high school or college soccer player, named Chelsea, has already had six concussions, most likely related to headers and other contact from game action. As the video shows the effects for her have been long-lasting and wide-ranging, and go from having problems in the classroom to not being able to attend parties due to sensitivity to light and sound.

So you’d think that images of people severely affected by these injuries would change the way those under the brightest lights think about concussions, right?

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(This column first appeared on NewJerseyNewsroom.com)

America is fat. It eats too much, doesn’t exercise enough, spends way too much money on health care because of that and no matter what political affiliation or political beliefs you have, the bottom line is this: America is very unhealthy.

Golf, on the other hand, can be extremely healthy. 18 holes is four-and-a-half to five miles. The leisurely stroll in a park is a great social setting as well, and studies have proven that a good mental state can also help lead to a good physical state.

But golf has a problem. It’s being played way too slowly.

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(This article first appeared on NewJerseyNewsroom.com)

“Last time I went was for Jets-Pats. Saw a guy cursing at a little kid and someone threw a bowl of chili at a bunch of teenagers. So yeah, I’d say the crowds there are awful.”

“My first trip to the Meadowlands for Pats-Jets (in 1998) I was 10 and was heckled for wearing my Robert Edwards jersey. Unpleasant.”

Those were two of the responses I got when I posted on my Facebook page that my next column would be about in-stadium behavior. It has gotten seemingly much worse in recent years and unfortunately lives are now at stake.

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(From my NewJerseyNewsroom.com article)

Coming off last week’s team effort in defeating Villanova, Monmouth University football felt like they had gained a lot of momentum and confidence. They showed it today.

Using a fast 17-0 start, the Monmouth Hawks (2-1, 1-0) got a big road win against Central Connecticut State University today (2-2, 1-1), beating the Blue Devils 24-12.

The win snapped the longest winning streak in I-AA at 15 games and in the process gave the Hawks a high quality road win, against the team many predicted to win the Northeast Conference. Needless to say, head coach Kevin Callahan was a happy man afterwards.

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