Boxing and the Cool Halls of Academe: A trainer and philosophy teacher defends the sweet science: Still, I think the best defense of boxing is Aristotelian. In his Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle offers his famous catalog of the moral virtues. Whenever I teach this section of the Ethics I always begin by asking students what they think are the ingredients of moral virtue. Respect, compassion, honesty, justice, and tolerance always fly quickly up onto the board, often followed by creativity and a sense of humor. I usually need to prod to elicit "courage." And so I hector, "How can you be consistently honest or just if you don't have the mettle to take a hit?"
The Price of Seeing the Top 25 College Teams: Big-time college sports programs are increasingly requiring fans to pony up more than the ticket price to attend their games. While the practice of "premium seating" is not new — some colleges have been tying seating preferences and other benefits to donations for decades — it is on the rise, as are the dollar figures involved.
Gimme that clicker: Ten sports Americans don't like very much. I'm sure the top three--dogfighting, pro wrestling, and bullfighting--are, to most Americans, not sports, so the list should probably start with pro boxing. After the bloodsports, though, come three entries for golf: the PGA tour, the PGA Senior Tour, and the LPGA tour. There's a freshman composition paper in there somewhere. (Full list inside.)
World Wife Carrying Championships: In past competitions, Finns have awarded winners the woman's weight in beer. The Estonians, at their national championships here on June 21, gave winners the woman's weight in mineral water. One more reason to love the Finns! Then again, as one competitor said, "The Finnish wife carriers are like the Boston Red Sox . . . People root for them, but they sort of know they won't win." I love the reverse of that statement: "The Boston Red Sox have long been regarded as the Finnish wife carriers of major league baseball."