As Washington sports fans hold their breath waiting for Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III to come back, it seems like nothing else really matters (after all, who are they going to root for there? The Wizards?) So when Tiger Woods did an interview with a CSN Washington, a local TV station there, it's only natural the conversation drifted into the one thing Woods and RGIII have in common: Knee surgery.

And the answer that Woods gave, when asked what kind of advice he would give the young quarterback, certainly won't calm the nerves of 'Skins fans.

"For me, did I have to be explosive when I came back? Yes, but only to a certain extent,” Woods said. “I could still hit the ball 30 yards shorter and still win golf tournaments. For him, losing a half a step is a big deal. And no one's gonna be hitting me out there on the golf course.

"That would be fun, though. It’d be aggressive. We used to do that in high school -- full-contact golf -- but that's a different story. I think what Robert's going through, and we saw what [Adrian Peterson] went through and the year that he came back and had, and even Tom Brady. Those were lead leg injuries, too, at least for Tom. Robert, being a trail leg, hopefully he has the power back and explosiveness so he can push off and throw that ball.”

(h/t Washington Post's Sports Bog)

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Jennie Finch makes it look easy.

Whether she's on the softball diamond or the red carpet, Finch is always flashing her mega-watt smile. When she's broadcasting softball for ESPN or doing an interview on TV, she never sounds tired. Quite frankly, it's amazing.

If Finch was to take some time off, it would surely be understandable. The 32-year-old Olympic gold medalist is the mother of three kids all under 10, including a 4-month-old girl. She's retired from softball, but she still works as a broadcaster, spokeswoman and author. And her husband, Casey Daigle, isn’t exactly a stay-at-home-dad, as a pitcher in the San Francisco Giants organization.

So, how does Finch do it all?

"There's a lot of family support,” Finch says. "There's no way that we could pull off what we do without their help. Our family is for sure our first priority, luckily my husband’s going to sacrifice a lot too to allow me to still be involved in the sport and stuff that I love which is being around the game."

Finch has been juggling multiple pursuits since her playing days. Not only was she a star pitcher in the National Pro Fastpich League and a two-time Olympian, she modeled and appeared on several television shows (including "Pros vs. Joes" and "Celebrity Apprentice").

Finch says her mother told her to take things one day at a time, and that's what she does. Finch says she makes sure not to go overboard when it comes to meals, and as a former professional athlete, she knows how important it is to hit the gym.

“Being fit and being in the best shape that I can be helps me be the best mom as well," Finch says. "It’s all about balance. The main key is keeping your priorities in order.”

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Playing professional football for a decade takes more than luck and skill. Staying in the NFL for that long requires a keen understanding of one's body and how to care for it.

James Harrison, the longtime Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker, discussed the extreme commitment he makes to his body during his introductory press conference with his new team, the Cincinnati Bengals.

"You want to stay in this business for a while, you're going to have to take care of your body," Harrison said. "If you want to do that, you're going to have to spend money. It's not cheap."

The 35-year-old Harrison estimated that he spends between $400,000 and $600,000 on his body each year. He says he's tried 150 different masseuses and he's now down to five. He also has a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, a homeopathic doctor, a trainer and a hyperbaric chamber. During the season, all those medical professionals live with Harrison.

Lest people think that Harrison is representative of NFL players as a whole, he said he's earned the nickname "massage whore" from his teammates because of his affinity for rubdowns.

"I've always been what everybody’d like to call -- excuse my English -- is massage whore," Harrison said. "I can’t think of nothing else. They done called me it so long I’m starting to believe it."

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By Wendy Walsh
AskMen

Debating the battle of the bulge is America's favorite pastime. In fact, the weight-loss industry is a cash cow simply because losing weight is so darn difficult and keeping that weight off is often harder.

Until recently, weight-loss experts have focused on behavior as the biggest factor in weight gain and obesity. The conventional wisdom is that people who have weight problems simply eat too much and move too little. But now psychologists have taken an educated look at a long-term study to ask questions about what underlying psychological forces motivate such self-destructive behavior. Could weight gain have less to do with bad habits and more to do with personality type?

More from AskMen: The Secret To Being More Confident

Are you prone to weight gain?
The answer is yes. Using data from an ongoing 50-year study that monitors health, researchers from the National Institute on Aging found that a number of personality traits are directly linked to those prone to weight gain. People with neurotic tendencies -- those prone to anxiety and aggression -- were likely to pack on extra pounds, as were those who enjoy taking risks. Gives new meaning to the "dangerous" dessert cart.

Another group who tended toward plump were cynical, aggressive and competitive people. Picture Wall Street power brokers shoveling in pasta at New York's Cipriani's, or riled-up tailgaters stuffing in Texas barbecue outside Reliant Stadium. Come to think of it, didn't the Grinch have a paunch too?

But the study, which compared personality to weight- and body-mass index, found that, by far, the most powerful personality trait that causes belt loosening across the lifespan is being impulsive. In fact, highly impulsive people in the study packed on an average of 22 extra pounds over the years. Can I say "duh" here? Poor impulse control is the very feature that has people overloading at buffet tables and easily distracted from a weight-loss program. The key to losing fat and maintaining a healthy body weight is consistency. Impulsive people are less likely to stick to healthy routines long enough to maintain weight in the long term.

More from AskMen: Why CrossFit Is Better Than The Workout You're Doing Right Now?

Does culture have anything to do with it?
Some other points about the study are interesting to note. The group of nearly 2,000 were equally divided by gender but were disproportionately white (71 percent) and highly educated (most were college educated or held graduate degrees). This leads me to consider cultural factors. Might the weight gain of whites be largely linked to psychology and the weight gain of some minorities be linked to Mom's Sunday dinners? Family dynamics and food are clearly another piece to the puzzle.

But this fascinating study begs the question: Would psychotherapy be better for sustained weight management than crash diets and sudden workout kicks? I think the answer is a resounding "yes" for those with impulse-control problems. And the side effect of therapy for this population would be improved relationships, as people with poor impulse control are also more likely to have affairs.

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Athletes are attracted to participate in sports at the high school level because of the bonding, competition and the many invaluable life lessons that they learn. Unfortunately, an adolescent body is still in the growing process and subject to a greater risk of injury and consequences than in college and the pros. My 40 years of work with professional athletes makes clear how deep and profound athletic denial about how risks is.

It starts early in life in Pop Warner, AYSO and Little League. Athletes are taught to ignore pain, be stoic and not jeopardize their chance to play. Long-term health is an abstract concern, off the radar. Playing the next play becomes everything. This is why it is critical for athletes and their parents, coaches and trainers to make themselves aware of methods of prevention and the most effective treatment of athletic injury.

Dr. Joseph Horrigan, a world-renowned sports medicine specialist, and his DISC Sports and Spine Center, are attempting to bring light into this murky landscape by holding a series of symposiums on the biomechanics of injuries and their prevention. The first session on concussions was held last Thursday evening and these presentations continue every Thursday through May 9 at their clinic in Newport Beach.

Field experts, such as Nike track and field coach John Smith, Oakland Raiders team physician Dr. Fred Nicola and pioneering neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Bray Jr, will be part of the presentations. The series is titled Coaches and Captains, attempting to change the awareness on high school campuses surrounding injury be involving coaches and player team leaders. These tend to be the role models that athletes take their cues from and any change in this paradigm needs to involve them.

Dr. Horrigan has been a focused for the past 25 years on strength and conditioning, and sports medicine. He was conditioning coach for the NHL's Los Angeles Kings and still is club coach for USA Weightlifting. He trained Jennifer Lawrence for her starring role in "The Hunger Games" and consulted on the film "Django Unchained."

I asked Dr. Horrigan for his motivation in holding these conferences and he replied, "If we help one girl and one boy on each team, in each school, each year from having an ACL tear, one less concussion, one less SLAP tear, one less dehydration case,then we will have achieved something great and worthwhile."

Topics will include "Concussions" (my personal crusade), "Improving the 40-Yard Dash","Shoulder Injuries in Overhead Athletes," "Surprising Symptoms of Back Injuries," "ACL Injuries in Athletes" and "Preventing Dehydration." The last topic continues to be a difficulty as the death of a Grambling State athlete after running 4.5 miles in the summer heat of Louisiana -- a wrongful death suit I testified in -- illustrates. Dr. Horrigan made the point that by the time someone recognizes that they are thirsty, they are already dehydrated.

The health of high school athletes in all sports is a serious concern for the schools, the athletes, and their parents. Some of the consequences not only prevent athletes from continuing to participate in sports at that level, they can lead to lifelong health problems.

The exciting news is that medical and training techniques to prevent and treat these athletes are evolving quickly. These seminars have the potential to raise the level of awareness and push this invaluable
field forward and stimulate a national discussion on these issues.

-- Leigh Steinberg has represented many of the most successful athletes and coaches in football, basketball, baseball, hockey, boxing and golf, including the first overall pick in the NFL draft an unprecedented eight times, among more than 60 first-round selections. His clients have included Hall of Fame quarterbacks Steve Young, Troy Aikman and Warren Moon, and he served as the inspiration for the movie "Jerry Maguire." Follow him on Twitter @SteinbergSports.

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If you're feeling stressed at work or generally unhappy, you may want to consider turning to tango.

A new study by Australian researchers and published in the journal Music and Medicine found that after just a few weeks of tango classes, participants' "satisfaction with life and self-efficacy significantly increased."

The researchers at the University of New England and Australian National University studied 41 people with say they suffered from stress, anxiety and depression. The group spanned from ages 18 to 73 and was 80 percent female.

About half of that group (20) was enrolled in eight 90-minute tango classes during a two-week period while the other participants were put on a waiting list. The dance required synchronization, improvisation and a "strong connection" with a partner. After taking the classes, most participants reported less stress, anxiety or depression. The effects of the dance classes were still evident when these participants were surveyed a month after finishing their tango lessons.

The symptoms for those who were wait-listed, however, stayed the same or got worse.

The authors wrote that the results of their study "indicated that this activity helped the participants to focus on the present moment and mentally switch off from their feelings of stress and distress."

Interestingly, these are not the only health benefits that tango can offer. Parkinson's patients have been found to benefit from the dance as well.

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Even though he's expected to be out for the next few weeks with a back injury, Detroit Pistons rookie center Andre Drummond will be sure to make his presence felt and heard by his teammates.

The 7-foot Drummond will carry a drum around during team practices, with the hope being that pounding on the instrument will help strengthen his core as he recovers from a stress fracture of the fifth lumbar vertebra. Before his injury, Drummond was having a spectacular rookie season and was thought by some to be in contention for Rookie of the Year. Drummond was averaging 7.3 points and 7.5 rebounds in about 20 minutes per game. His 22.6 PER led all rookies.

Now, Drummond is left to deal with an injury the likes of which he has never experienced. But the introduction of the drum into his rehab will allow Drummond to remain with the team until his back heals.

"He is our Ringo Starr," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank told reporters. "I think it is very important that when you are injured in all professional sports to remain engaged. Sometimes in sports when you are injured, you become invisible. I think it is important that we integrate him in everything we do and he integrates himself. Mentally you are preparing like you are playing, but physically you can't play. So you prepare yourself as best you can."

Drummond, who will not need surgery for the injury, was also fitted for a back brace. The hope throughout the Pistons organization is that if Drummond stays true to his musical rehab, the talented youngster won't miss a beat.

(H/T to Sports Grid)

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A New York assemblyman has introduced a bill which, if passed, could ban all children in the state under the age of 11 from playing organized tackle football.

Assemblyman Michael Benedetto's proposed legislation comes as the national debate regarding football is heating up. President Obama recently said he would have to think long and hard about letting his son play football, and numerous former professional football players have joined lawsuits against the NFL.

While the idea of banning football has been brought up at the local level, the New York Daily News reported that Benedetto's state-wide proposal may be the first in the nation.

“I want to protect the children,” Benedetto told the Daily News. "I want them to get an appreciation of the game but I also don’t want them to come out of this wonderful sport in a damaged condition."

John Butler, Pop Warner Football's executive director, told the Daily News that children are more likely to suffer concussions during a skateboarding or biking incident than while playing tackle football.

"This is absolutely the first we have heard of any state doing something like this,” Butler said. “Frankly, it is disturbing."

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If you had a particularly bad case of the Mondays on the day after the Super Bowl, you probably weren't the only one.

Dr. Angelos Halaris, a psychiatrist at Loyola University Health System told Wired that as sports fans watch an exciting and emotion-packed event like the Super Bowl, increased levels of dopamine are released throughout their bodies. But the more dopamine that's released and the "higher" we get, the more we'll eventually have to come down.

And after all the anticipation and excitement that comes with the Super Bowl, there are likely many people who were feeling particularly somber on Monday.

Making matters worse is the knowledge that the NFL season is over, and we won't be watching our beloved teams for another seven months.

So if you're feeling dismal this week, Halaris has a few suggestions.

"Try, for the next few weeks, to recapture some elements that contributed to the sense of enjoyment you felt during the sporting season,” Halaris told Wired. "If you were watching games with friends, get together, talk about it, reminisce, or replay games so you can go back and relive the experience until the withdrawal fades away."

Perhaps most important is that fans do not avoid football completely or go "cold turkey." Rather, watching clips on YouTube or highlights of old games can actually help ease the pain.

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We all know the feeling of hugging a friend or loved one and experiencing a rush of energy. As it turns out, that warm, happy feeling isn't just in our heads. There's new scientific evidence that shows that certain embraces also have a positive and powerful effect on hormones in our bodies.

Scientists at the University of Vienna have shown that certain embraces lead to a release of the hormone oxytocin in our bodies. Oxytocin is also released in large quantities in women during and after childbirth, effectively strengthening the bond between mother and child. The hormone is known to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and boost memory.

According to the Daily Mail, lots of embraces during a lifetime can also lead someone to become more empathetic.

But there is a catch.

Not all hugs result in a release of oxytocin. Neurophysiologist Jürgen Sandkühler told the Daily Mail that when we embrace strangers or people we don't like, the affect is reversed. In fact, these hugs can actually create more anxiety.

"This can lead to pure stress because our normal distance-keeping behavior is disregarded," Sandkühler said. "In these situations, we secrete the stress hormone cortisol."

So don't be afraid to go in for an embrace the next time you see a friend or a loved one, but remember to be careful who you hug.

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