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OT: Cool blogs for MMA, Tour de France/cycling fans

Now for something completely different. Pardon the off-topic commercial, but it's summer and this might interest some of you...

Yesterday my friend became the 200th person to try to draw me into watching MMA (that's mixed martial arts, like UFC), while my brother asked me if I was watching the Tour de France. To both, I responded that I had to re-alphabetize my LP collection and would get back to them in 6-8 weeks.

But just because those sports aren't my cup of tea doesn't mean I pretend they don't exist (I reserve that attitude for basketball). In fact, I realize they're crazily popular. [Snark response: Yeah, so was Michael Jackson.] So for you MMA junkies, and for that cycling fan: Did you know SBN has some of the most popular blogs covering those sports?

Podium Cafe is a wildly popular cycling blog/community, and they're of course covering every angle of the sport -- including, obviously, the Tour de France and Lance Armstrong comeback happening right now.

Bloody Elbow is one of several MMA blogs on SBN. They're so on top of MMA that USA Today uses their rankings to rate the top, uh, fighter-combatant-elbow-people each month.

I bring this up because if you visit Lighthouse Hockey via Yahoo!, you might not realize there are a bunch of other sports blogs on SBN, all accessible through the "More SBN blogs" box on the left column of the home page. (Team-specific and college blogs are under their respective sport tabs; niche sports like the two I mention are under the GENERAL tab.)

And if you create a user ID (even if you don't use it to comment), clicking on your name at the top of any page takes you to a custom dashboard that easily gets you to the blogs you've joined, and shows you your latest activity (including if there are replies to any of your comments). "Joining" any blog also means that next time you visit, that site will show you what you haven't seen yet (e.g. new comments and new posts). So even if you lurk but don't comment, there's an advantage to "joining" a blog (and you still won't get spam or have to share your first-born with the SBN overlords).

Just thought I'd share that. I wouldn't mention it if these features hadn't drawn me to SBN myself. Sorry for the commercial. It won't happen again too terribly often.

P.S. Oh, and just to make this post Islanders-related: Auditions for the 2009-2010 Ice Girls will take place August 15th at Islanders Iceworks in Syosset.  And they say there is "a special, non-mandatory, event for hopefuls" on August 1st. So there. I know all you aspiring Ice Girls are closet MMA fans; come on, you can admit it.