Archive for the 'Athletics' Category

All of us benefit when children grow up with a strong baseline education, and all of us suffer when schools fail. Some form of "public education" is essential in this Information Age. It isn't optional; meaning, it isn't acceptable for any part of our society to opt-out. The most common abdication of responsibility in this area over the past couple of decades is the voucher proposal, which would allow some parents to take tax money away from public schools and use it as "tuition" for private school admission. One major problem with this idea should be obvious: taxes are not tuition.

Different Drummer: Derrick Thomas

With stereotypes about "jocks v. nerds" it is easy to miss how much athletics have in common with other geeky fandoms.  Quoting statistics, knowing the names of actors and characters, even those with the least screen time, and other examples are easy to note.  Even from the perspective of the arts, I have once heard games like football described as "drama without a script."  I've been to concerts, films, and plays this year, and I intend to see live sports now that both football and soccer are in-season.  The fandoms may differ, but there are plenty of similarities.  Also, I make a brief statement about why I avoided the college football opener sponsored by Chick-fil-A.

Different Drummer: Tom Osborne

Sports commentary tends to be full of cliche.  "If you're not cheating, you're not trying" is one.  Another you hear often from youth coaches: "It's not about whether you win or lose, but how you play the game."  Well, the positive values so often touted about sports rely on the assumption of fair play, but sporting play is too often the exception.  This is true of players and fans, but evidence strongly suggests that it is equally a problem for coaches, administrators, and the media as well.

Different Drummer: Barry Sanders

Greatest Events In Sporting History and Barry Sanders (Legends Series)

A common stereotype is that athletes and coaches are reactionary "dumb jocks" who only stir up trouble in a school environment.  I have personally experienced the exact opposite, which is not to say that either stereotype is true.  I openly wonder how racism functions within those assumptions and what it says about us if we don't even notice.

Different Drummer: Jim Valvano

Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas often generate family traditions.  At its best, the nostalgia of childhood forms a bond of memories that lasts a lifetime.  For me, a sheet of paper folded like a triangle has spun across four decades now, resting on nothing less than the edge of brotherhood.

Different Drummer: Keith Jackson


Yes, the tabletop looks like a basketball court rather than a football field.

Americans have a somewhat adolescent obsession with fairness. As an example: most of our sports, including our "football" game, include specific penalties for simulating injury.  USA results at this year's World Cup have attracted the largest American audience ever, but FIFA's inability or unwillingness to address simulation of injury will stop the largest sports market in the world from getting fully invested in the planet's most popular game.

Different Drummer: Mike Emrick

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