Monday Myriad, March 31: Figure this

We’re in that lull with winter sports wrapping up and not many summer sports in full swing yet. Good news for those of us who want to follow our teams in college basketball … oh … hey, cricket’s on! Best and worst of the week … Best good news/bad news: Nick Zaccardi summed up the USA’s performance in the World Figure Skating Championships: No Americans won medals in any discipline at the World Championships for the first time since 1994. But the U.S. earned three spots for women’s, men’s and ice dance at the 2015 World Championships, a feat it hadn’t … Continue reading Monday Myriad, March 31: Figure this

Washington Spirit vs. Virginia: Better than last year

Did we mention that it was raining hard? And yet, when we could actually catch a glimpse of the game through the water, it was a good one. Don’t weep for Virginia’s graduation losses. The Cavaliers are still a terrific team. Morgan Brian is world-class. Danielle Colaprico is quality. And the goal … my word. Get a good camera on it, and it’s a SportsCenter top 10. Rising sophomore Alexis Shaffer brought the ball down the right flank against Danish defender Cecilie Sandvej, saw a glimmer of space, and cracked one outside the box over Ashlyn Harris. Sandvej immediately showed … Continue reading Washington Spirit vs. Virginia: Better than last year

Why I don’t engage in most promotion/relegation discussions

Suppose someone told you Beethoven wrote Born to Run.  “No,” you’d say. “All available evidence says Bruce Springsteen wrote Born to Run. It was recorded nearly 150 years after Beethoven died.” You’d think that would be the end of the argument. But suppose the original person kept pressing you on the topic. No, no — it was Beethoven. And as you continued to point to the evidence supporting your “position” that Springsteen wrote Born to Run — a review, a Slate story showing how The Boss obsessed over the song in an effort to save his career, a story about the house in which he … Continue reading Why I don’t engage in most promotion/relegation discussions

College athlete unions, paying players and unasked questions

The last thing I want to do is pick an argument with my fellow Duke grad Jay Bilas. He’s a consummate pro when it comes to college basketball analysis, and he’s making an intelligent case for college sports reform. But I think the man who wrote Toughness is capable of answering tougher questions than Keith Olbermann fed him in the wake of the decision (pending appeals) to let Northwestern student-athletes organize as a union. Olbermann and Bilas quickly latched on the “pay college athletes” part of the union argument, and we’ll get back to whether that’s actually the central issue here. Then … Continue reading College athlete unions, paying players and unasked questions

Single-Digit Soccer: Your kid will never be a pro

ER doctor Louis Profeta of Indianapolis — ironically, the home of several elite sports organizations — takes revenge on all the parents with whacked-out priorities with a fun, occasionally profane column spelling things out in simplest terms: Your kid and my kid are not playing in the pros. I’ll lay you two to one odds right now and I don’t even know your kid, I have never even see them play, but I’ll put up my pension that your kid is not playing in the pros. It is simply an odds thing. There are far too many variables working against … Continue reading Single-Digit Soccer: Your kid will never be a pro

Monday Myriad, March 24: Overseas networking

As we bid farewell to winter sports for the year, some athletes are wrapping club seasons all over the place. People who read this blog probably know all about soccer and maybe basketball. But how about volleyball? Dozens of U.S. athletes are overseas — many of them making money that soccer players are not. An NYT story on overseas volleyball introduced me to a neat site helping athletes share information and support. Athletes Abroad is a nice simple WordPress site that lets athletes connect and share stories, with other athletes and with fans. And yes, they’ve already spoken with the … Continue reading Monday Myriad, March 24: Overseas networking

Women’s soccer: Show me the money!

How much should soccer players be paid? It’s a question that can’t be answered in a vacuum, at least not without a government that centrally plans every bit of the economy. “Should” (which philosophers would call a “normative” question because philosophers like inventing words) doesn’t make much sense in a context in which no one has demonstrated that soccer players can be paid any more than they are now. As an ethical question, you’d get much more mileage out of asking “How much should CEOs be paid, particularly after their business dumps a whole mess into a river and loses a lot … Continue reading Women’s soccer: Show me the money!