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Getting Started on the Internet

Michael Devitt

It Happens Every Spring: Sports Pages on the Web

For sports fanatics, April is one of the best times of the year. The basketball and hockey seasons are winding down, while the baseball season is just starting up. Add in the weekly golf and tennis matches, and the annual NFL draft, and there are enough events going on to satisfy even the heartiest sports fan.

Let's review a couple of sports-related web sites. The granddaddy of all sports sites is ESPN's SportsZone (, which is visited by an estimated three million users a day. If there's a sport you're interested in, ESPNet is sure to have some information for you.

For instance, while checking the college basketball power rankings, I was able to find that Life College was the top ranked men's basketball team in the NAIA. While browsing the site a couple of minutes later, I found the average ticket prices for every major league baseball team (Boston has the highest average prices; Cincinnati the lowest).

Each sport has its own section on ESPNet, giving you current information on scores, injuries, trades, signings, and statistics; in some sections, you may be able to hear a recent quote from your favorite player, or watch a video clip from a game. There are also a number of chat rooms for sports fans with similar interests: a page called "The Wire" which reports breaking sports stories as they happen; a daily "Zone Poll" relating to a hot sports topic; and one of the most comprehensive alphabetical sports indexes I've come across on the Web.

A close second, just behind ESPNet, is CBS Sportsline's web site ( Sportsline is similar to ESPNet in many regards: both pages cover every major professional and college sport; both pages give current statistics and information on live sporting events; both pages have fantasy sports leagues, guest athletes, and chat rooms; and both pages offer special "member only" articles and sports features for a daily, monthly, or annual fee.

Interestingly enough, while ESPNet proclaims that their web site is updated dozens of times a minute, it seemed that Sportsline was faster in providing up-to-the-minute coverage of many sporting events. For instance, during the past football season, Sportsline repeatedly displayed information on live games more quickly than ESPNet. Sportsline almost always gave statistics on a play that had just occurred, and usually gave them within fifteen seconds of the play.With ESPNet, sometimes it would take three to five minutes just to receive statistics; by that time, a number of other plays had already occurred.

In addition to Sportsline and ESPNet, which cover a variety of sports simultaneously, most of the major sports organizations in North America also have their own web site. We have listed the organizations and their web addresses below for your convenience.

Arena Football:
Association of Tennis Professionals:
Ladies Professional Golf Association:
Major League Baseball:
Major League Soccer:
National Basketball Association:
National Football League:
National Hockey League:
Professional Bowlers Association:
Professional Golfers Association:

In upcoming issues, we'll be covering a program called the Real Player, which lets you listen to radio programs around the world through your computer. We'll also give an update on our own web site (, and some good travel sites that can help you plan your summer vacation. If there's a sport we didn't mention that you'd like more information on, or if you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me.

Michael Devitt
Huntington Beach, California


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