Divert sports funding to arts?

A Gary Gutting piece at the NYT’s philosophy blog starts out reassuring us that the lack of humanities majors isn’t a bad thing (after all, we can’t everyone being like me) then meanders to suggestions for shoring up the “cultural middle class.” Then it gets interesting: Fair treatment for writers and artists is an even more difficult matter, which will ultimately require a major change in how we think about support for the arts. Fortunately, however, we already have an excellent model, in our support of athletics. Despite our general preference for capitalism, our support for sports is essentially socialist, … Continue reading Divert sports funding to arts?

At Ozy.com: Magnus Carlsen, hoops freshmen, curling

If you haven’t checked out Ozy.com yet, please do. It’s a terrific site capturing the next wave of what’s important, what’s interesting and what’s cool. And I’m not just saying that because they’ve given me the opportunity to write three terrific pieces: – Magnus Carlsen, the new face of chess (written before he won the world title) – College basketball’s big freshmen: Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Andrew Wiggins – Curling: From the Olympics to Arizona, it’s catching on. Can the USA harness that interest and build better teams? The medal projections here at SportsMyriad are ongoing. Freestyle skiing just takes … Continue reading At Ozy.com: Magnus Carlsen, hoops freshmen, curling

UFC needs Georges St. Pierre, not vice versa

The absurd pressure on Georges St. Pierre to come back to the Octagon tout suite and defend his title against Johny Hendricks one more time sounds like the act of a desperate Ultimate Fighting Championship. The overwhelming consensus is that GSP should have lost Saturday’s fight to Hendricks by every measure except two of the three judges’ scorecards. (I confess I had to skip this one, but every reporter and pundit I trust has agreed with the mob: 48-47 Hendricks.) GSP then babbled his way through postfight interviews, hinting at major trouble outside the cage. Fight fans had every right to be saddened … Continue reading UFC needs Georges St. Pierre, not vice versa

Single-Digit Soccer: Parental habits develop early

This weekend, I coached a U8 All-Star team in a tournament here in suburban Northern Virginia. The kids were rambunctious but fun, and I saw a few glimpses of good soccer emerging. They say this is a vital age for developing good habits rather than poor habits that will be hard to break. I think that’s true. But perhaps moreso for parents (and coaches) than for players. The parents on my team were terrific. They got their kids everywhere they needed to be, on time. They put together a wonderful photo album and brought plenty of snacks for everyone. No … Continue reading Single-Digit Soccer: Parental habits develop early

2014 medal projections: Cross-country skiing

Updated Jan. 14 Welcome to one of two busiest sports in the Winter Olympics. Only speedskating can keep pace with the 12 medal events in cross-country skiing, though they’re trying to bulk up the extreme sports of snowboarding and freestyle skiing. This is also one of the sports I covered in Whistler at the 2010 Olympics. By the end, I think I could’ve driven from the main village to the Olympic Park with my eyes closed. But it was pretty, so I wouldn’t want to do that. The USA still has just one medalist in cross-country skiing — Bill Koch, … Continue reading 2014 medal projections: Cross-country skiing

DNQ: U.S. youth soccer teams hitting a wall

Can we draw any conclusions from the USA’s failure to qualify for the U-17 Women’s World Cup? Or is the USA simply a victim of soccer’s cruelty? (We did say soccer karma doesn’t exist, except perhaps to see Real Salt Lake past Los Angeles last night.) The statistics rounded up at Soccer America defy reason. In four qualification tournaments, the USA has outscored its opponents 103-3 and never lost a game. But the team has twice tied in knockout games, and each time, they’ve been eliminated on penalty kicks, yesterday by Mexico. So that’s two out of four U-17 Women’s World … Continue reading DNQ: U.S. youth soccer teams hitting a wall

2014 medal projections: Bobsled

Updated Jan. 14 and Feb. 4 No offense to those who give a big push at the start and go through the impeccably choreographed procedure of getting in the sled, but we’ll have to focus on drivers for these rankings. They’re the ones who get ranked, and the brakemen / brakewomen / push athletes will undoubtedly get shuffled before the Games. Sweeps are theoretically possible. In each event, a couple of countries can bring three sleds. Some countries can even bring four drivers for the two men’s events. But you can’t take a bunch of backup push athletes, which is … Continue reading 2014 medal projections: Bobsled