Tag: Sports

Hello, My Name Is Doug, and I’m an Addict


NDIt has been said that as a person grows older the approach of autumn can be depressing. From green to brilliant reds, orange, and yellow the leaves go and barren trees under lead grey skies shortly follow as a reminder of our own mortality. I look forward to autumn because I’m addicted to Notre Dame football. The words of Grantland Rice best describes how I feel about the mortality of the season.

“Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as Famine, Pestilence, Destruction and Death. These are only aliases. Their real names are Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden. They formed the crest of the South Bend cyclone before which another fighting Army football team was swept over the precipice at the Polo Grounds yesterday afternoon as 55,000 spectators peered down on the bewildering panorama spread on the green plain below.”

I’ll confess that I am a Notre Doter. This glorious addiction started in third or fourth grade and I have no desire to seek a cure. One Friday afternoon as class was ending one of the nuns reminded us to pray for Notre Dame. We always were given three to four hours of homework a day and this was one assignment that was not going to be a burden.

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I will be coaching my son’s 10/11-year-old soccer team again this year.  The league is co-ed, which drives me nuts and pushes a lot of my buttons, so to speak.  I do not think boys should play competitive sports with girls.  Last year, we had one girl the team; she was terrible, and cried all […]

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Is Soccer a Great Sport?


shutterstock_187488458Here’s my number one rule of soccer. If you were born and raised in America, soccer cannot be your only sport. It’s fine to like it, and it’s fine to play it, but you must also follow at least one bona fide American sport or else you’re just a pitiful Euro-wannabe. (I might grant exceptions to particular sub-cultures on a case-by-case basis.)

Soccer isn’t an American sport. I’m not saying it’s un-American; it’s just not one of our great traditions. Baseball, basketball and football are all important parts of our culture. All in their own way provide insight into the American experience. NASCAR does that too; it’s absolutely an American sport. Hockey is less central, but living in the north I appreciate how hockey becomes bound up in a certain kind of Northern-American pride which is cultural important.

Soccer, on the other hand, is a sport that we’re famous for not playing. I think it’s interesting that Americans and Australians (who I would name as the most athletic nations in the world) are both noteworthy for their lack of interest in soccer. Like us, the Aussies don’t really need to obsess over soccer, because they have their own sports.

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Donald Sterling’s racist rant has been front page news on practically every American sporting magazine for the last week.  Everyone has their own take on the lessons to be learned from this episode – from the “ironic” fact that Sterling is a Democrat to the legality of using a taped recording in court of someone […]

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Did Donald Sterling Tape Himself?


Reported in the LA Times yesterday, but not really noted in our earlier discussion on the taping of Donald Sterling.

The site is also reporting that sources who have heard the entire hourlong recording say Sterling absolutely knew he was being recorded. TMZ Sports has reported Stiviano has said she has more than 100 hours of recorded conversations with the 80-year-old Sterling, who is said to have used the tapes to refresh his memory because he frequently forgot what he said.

How to Get Rid of an NBA Owner


“I want to make it clear that I’m not going to punish [Rodman] for what he does off the court.  I’m going to let the media crucify him for that… This is still America, and my jurisdiction is still the basketball court.”  — David Stern, 1997

In case you missed the meat of what the NBA decided to do to Donald Sterling yesterday, this is Commissioner Adam Silver from the transcript:

Tarnished Sterling — EJHill


The NBA acted faster than any league in history in banishing one of their own.

It took the better part of six years from the time that Major League Baseball began investigating the controversial utterings of Marge Schott until they finally succeeded in ousting her from the game. It took six months to ban her manager, Pete Rose, for gambling. The Black Sox Scandal, the case that created the modern sports commissioner, dragged on for two years.

What to Do When You Don’t Agree with Your Employer’s Personal Beliefs?


LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling was allegedly recorded making racist comments to his girlfriend, asking her not to bring black men to games or post pictures of herself with black men (she had posted a picture of herself with Magic Johnson).

This is a like a much more extreme version of the Brandon Eich affair, where in this case the employer’s personal beliefs are universally viewed as reprehensible.

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Fifty years after their departure for the wilds of Los Angeles, old men sat on the steps of Brooklyn brownstones and would spit on the ground at the mere mention of the name “Walter O’Malley.” Along the shores of Lake Erie nothing could be more hurtful than the words “Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens.” Those […]

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The NLRB, Northwestern Football, and the Theater of the Absurd


footballsThis is a case where the caption says it all. The National Labor Relations Board’s decision as to whether football players at Northwestern University can unionize is introduced in the opinion as “Northwestern University — Employer, and College Athletes Player Association — petitioner.” That simple but bold verbal stroke renders the rest of NLRB Regional Director Peter Sung Ohr’s decision largely redundant. If Northwestern is classified as an employer, how then can the football players be anything other than employees? And, if they are employees, then surely they have the power to form a union or players’ association under the aegis of the Act.

Taken in this robotic fashion, a major question of labor policy is reduced to a mindless syllogism that manages to ignore all the difficult institutional issues on this case, some of which I addressed in my earlier Ricochet post on this question, soberly entitled “No Good Answers on Reforming College Sports.” What is striking about the long but aimless opinion of Regional Director Ohr is that it is virtually devoid of any serious examination of the difficult issues that are involved here.

The opinion is roughly divided into two parts. The first half is a detailed (indeed, tedious) examination of all the strict controls that Northwestern University imposes on its football players before, during, and after the football season. The purpose of this demonstration is to tell us what we already know: that the students who receive football scholarships are subject to strict oversight with respect to every aspect of their behavior. We should hardly expect less.