The Great Sports Myth: the widespread assumption that sport is, inherently, a force of good—despite the fact that it can both empower and humiliate, build bonds and destroy them, blur boundaries and marginalize.
The Ringer: Bill Simmons' spiritual successor to Grantland, is open for business.
Baylor fires Art Briles over criminal coverups: Details are still a bit thin but apparently Coach Briles protected multiple players on his Baylor football team from sexual assault cases. Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr is now just Chancellor, athletic director Ian McCaw has been sanctioned and placed on probation but Briles' assistant coaches all remain in place, at least for now, including Kendall Briles. The details are nauseating so I'll leave them out of the post.
Grosse Ile H.S. lacrosse team accused of killing animal before game: Members of the Grosse Ile High School lacrosse team are under investigation by police and the school district after allegations surfaced Monday that some of the teens killed an animal prior to a game.
Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's career was propelled by wrestling: which also allowed him to abuse, and get away with abusing, boys for many years. "When calls for his removal from office reverberated through the capital a decade ago, Speaker J. Dennis Hastert struggled to explain why he had not aggressively investigated allegations that a Florida lawmaker had sent flirtatious messages to a teenage boy who had served as a House page. At that perilous moment, an impassioned group of supporters stepped forward to speak up on Mr. Hastertâ€™s behalf: wrestling coaches."
It's Who We Are?: It’s really not surprising that, on December 10, 2015, the school board of McLoud, Oklahoma voted to maintain their racist mascot. All of the usual arguments were made, in support of keeping the R word: “It’s an honor,” tearful pleas of “We’ve been the R** for generations”, and, my favorite, “It’s who we are.” The latter is by far the most accurate and telling. Put simply, the events during the McLoud meeting was not only a by-product of American history, but an indictment of it.
Athletics doping: Wada commission wants Russia ban: The report says London 2012 was "sabotaged" by "widespread inaction" against athletes with suspicious doping profiles. Russia was also accused of running a "state-supported" doping program.
"Shuttering of Grantland Hints at Corroding ESPN Culture, Competency, and Gumption": Awful Announcing's finance director on why he thinks ESPN's cancelling of Grantland is, "the network’s dumbest decision in the five years I have professionally been involved in tracking the company". Linked from there, ESPN.com's former ombudsman on the situation.
Grantland is dead: "Grantland distinguished itself with quality writing, smart ideas, original thinking and fun. So we're junking it."
James Blake reportedly thrown to the ground, cuffed and detained by several NYPD officers.: Blake, retired for the past two years, is in NYC to appear at US Open related events. NYPD officers say they mistook him for a suspect in a fraudulent credit card operation. James, who has cuts and bruises as a result of the event stated "To me it’s as simple as unnecessary police force, no matter what my race is. In my mind there’s probably a race factor involved, but no matter what, there’s no reason for anybody to do that to anybody. I was just standing there. I wasn’t running. It’s blatantly unnecessary. You would think at some point they would get the memo that this isn’t O.K., but it seems that there’s no stopping it.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers catch heat for in-game promotional video.: The video features a couple re-enacting the final performance scene from Dirty Dancing; however after the male catches his girlfriend he proceeds to slam her into the ground when it's revealed she's wearing a Bulls t-shirt.
Yes, But Is It A Sport?: A landmark court case in Britain to judge whether Bridge is a sport or not. Significant lottery funding is at stake.
Aaron Hernandez convicted of 1st-degree murder: Unsurprising but still a tragic disappointment. Maybe they can room Hernandez and Phillips together...
Can popularity ruin a sport?: Rafa Honigstein on how success has changed the Budesliga.
"That rise to all-conquering prominence has attracted the country’s brightest minds and developed into a highly professional, productive industry. But football’s heightened social relevance is also reflected in the sort of insufferably grim, po-faced seriousness that used to be confined to political struggles or actual tribal conflicts.
People Who Like Sport Remember Their Lives Better Than People Who Don't.: A long rambling look through 2005. Life, death, divorce. And cricket.
Served up on a platter for SportsFilter: the question of which is the superior sport, cricket or baseball?
Requiem for Phillip Hughes: "So rest in peace my little brother. I'll see you out in the middle."
MLB umpire Dale Scott comes out as gay in quietest way possible.: (Scott) has worked three World Series, three All-Star Games, two no-hitters and numerous playoff games. He is gay and married to his partner of 28 years. That last fact is just part of who Dale Scott is and has had no impact on his abilities as an umpire for the past 29 seasons. Yet it is understandably the one that most people will notice, because Scott is the first Major League Baseball umpire to publicly say he is gay while active (and the first out active male official in the NBA, NHL, NFL or MLB).
ESPN Gets Ready to Launch Its First Web Video Subscription Service — For Cricket’s World Cup: ESPN's efforts to sell streaming video subscriptions for some sports programming without requiring viewers to pay for cable TV could start early next year.
People familiar with ESPN's plans say that Russell Wolff, who heads up the company's international group, is spearheading the plan to sell online access in the U.S. Earlier this year, Wolff pegged cricket's U.S. fan base at 30 million.
The Rise and Fall of The Great Kamala: how James Harris from Mississippi became a Ugandan giant.
Lisa Saxon, the woman who helped change sports writing forever.: A profile well worth a read from Vice Sports.
The End of Daisy Buchanan's: a Boston institution "where anything can happen".
The NBPA Makes History With The Hiring Of A Female Executive Director: Receiving 32 of 36 possible votes, Michele Roberts takes over the position left vacant after Billy Hunter was fired amid accusations of shady business practices. Roberts becomes the first woman elected to lead a union representing male professional athletes.
"That makes two of us, doesn’t it Steve?": Mike Vaccaro on New York sports teams, Steve Philllips and Lupica.
Before televised sports were pervasive and the Internet a nonstop gusher of sports trivia, Mr. Hollander found a niche in the market by annually providing statistics, team rosters, records, schedules and predictions for the coming season in the form of brick-size tomes he titled "Complete Handbooks."
In Fake Classes Scandal, UNC Fails Its Athletes—and Whistle-Blower: Beginning in the 1990s and continuing at least through 2011, UNC’s Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies offered more than 200 lecture courses that never met. The department also sponsored hundreds of independent study classes of equally dubious value. Internal reviews have identified forged faculty signatures and more than 500 grades changed without authorization. The students affected were disproportionately football and basketball players. Behind the cover of this week's edition.
The most valuable "brands" in sports:
A Forbes click-through-the-pictures list of the 40 most valuable brands in sports. It's divided into 4 categories (top 10 in each): businesses, teams, events, and athletes.
How the NFL Fleeces Taxpayers: Easterbrook lights into the NFL and politicians.
R&A will look at gender issue after British Open: TL;DR: Ain't no big thang, chums.
"The names are all included in an extraordinary batch of records from Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic tucked into a two-story office building just a hard line drive's distance from the UM campus. They were given to New Times by an employee who worked at Biogenesis before it closed last month and its owner abruptly disappeared. The records are clear in describing the firm's real business: selling performance-enhancing drugs, from human growth hormone (HGH) to testosterone to anabolic steroids."
The Aboriginal Innings: Australia's first national cricket team were all indigenous. What has happened since then? A thoughtful piece from the Global Mail.
HoboJacket: Some MIT guys have a... great? idea: buy clothes from schools you hate and give them to the homeless. They get warm, and you get the chance of seeing someone begging for spare change in a Bulldogs jacket. Is this a brilliantly terrible idea or a terribly brilliant one?
Marvin Miller, 1917-2012: Miller, the most important figure in the MLBPA's history, died today at 95. He helped Curt Flood challenge the reserve clause, which led to free agency and the wonderfully peaceful sports labor situation we have today.
SpoFi Holiday Giving Project: One World Futbal: Inspired by images of Darfur child refugees playing soccer using trash instead of a ball surrounded by barbed wire, amid hovels made of plastic, cardboard and sticks Tim Jahnigen developed a ball made of a closed-cell foam that makes it durable, doesn't need a pump to inflate and has a "cap" that allows the ball to re-inflate, even if punctured. Since so many of us are soccer fans I thought we might band together to buy a few balls for the project as a group holiday project. The cost is $25 per ball and I'd like to try to raise $500.
UCI claims 'moral authority' to lead cycling: Agreeing that wrong-doing uncovered by other investigators after years of denial (and possibly coverup) enables one to retain "moral authority." Mmmkay!
In Stadium Building Spree, U.S. Taxpayers Lose $4 Billion: Quantifying what has long been a sore point on SpoFi. Includes a nice contrast between Jerry Jones' public palazzo and the even more expensive but privately financed new stadium in the Meadowlands.