Has soccer made it in America? We debate this topic every four years, and I’m officially declaring the conversation dead. Why? These two tweets: We don't believe in Belgium waffles — Waffle House (@WaffleHouse) June 30, 2014 America doesn't waffle. #BeatBelgiumWithBiscuits #USA pic.twitter.com/ZkUrE7z5wo — Bojangles' (@Bojangles1977) June 29, 2014 (HT: D.C. Sports Bog) The week in myriad sports includes a reminder that the best U.S. athlete of the year might be a triathlete, along with a reminder to turn off auto-correct when writing beach volleyball stories. BEST U.S. ATHLETE OF THE YEAR NOMINEE Gwen Jorgensen is in her fifth year … Continue reading Monday Myriad: Waffle Cup … and greetings, Season!
It’s easy to feel like we’ve seen it all before. The USA gets all wrapped up in the World Cup. Everyone asks if it’ll last and whether we’ve finally caught on. But to see the progress, you have to look farther back than every four-year cycle. In the pre-Internet days 20 years ago, I was always “The Soccer Guy.” If people had a soccer question, they asked me. By today’s standards, I wasn’t much of an expert. In those days, anyone who could name a few players was the go-to person. Even in 1999, I was in relative isolation. Frankly, … Continue reading The USA as a soccer nation — the next generation
I fell out of love with baseball in young adulthood. MLB commissioner Bud Selig radiated arrogance. I’d read enough about soccer and American exceptionalism to view the game as cultural imperialism, complete with its mythical origins that hid the game’s roots in foreign sports. My experience with high school baseball coaches and parents from my local newspaper days skewed negative. Then there’s the D.C. situation, where Selig and company extorted more than $600 million off the Washington government to build Nationals Park. The city will be paying for that one for years to come, while D.C. United is left begging … Continue reading Single-Digit Soccer: Learning from Little League baseball
Best and worst from myriad sports this week: BEST COMEBACK Oh, the headline? No, not that World Cup. The rowing World Cup (one of several for the year) in France. But the race deserves the clickbait-and-switch. U.S. women’s eight were written off by one of the commentators. See what happened next. That was part of a productive weekend for the U.S. team — two gold, three silver, two bronze. "@Garrettmbaxter: Today, @usrowing mens 8+ killed the World Rowing Cup II! One step closer to Rio! pic.twitter.com/qMI2uF7oET" #USA — Syracuse Rowing (@SyracuseRowing) June 22, 2014 MOST CONSISTENT RECORD BREAKER If you see “swimming … Continue reading Monday Myriad, June 23: World Cup comeback
Maybe this news will entice other countries to bid on the 2022 Games: FasterSkier.com — Sochi Can’t Make Money? Who Says? OC Posts $261 Million Profit. Sure, that money didn’t include all the infrastructure costs, government operational costs or cash that just disappeared into the mountains somewhere, but at least there’s something to show for it. So what do you say, Oslo? Imagine how much money you can make with most of the infrastructure already in place! Continue reading Sochi Olympics – not a total boondoggle!
How do you stand out in track and field in a non-Olympic, non-World Championship year? A world record is the best way to do it, and high jumpers are getting closer and closer. That’s the highlight of this week’s Daily Relay Monday Morning Run, which starts with the Diamond League event in New York, the first in which two men cleared 2.42 meters (that’s 3/4 inch shy of 8 feet). Ukraine’s Bohdan Bondarenko and Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim each took their shots at a new record of 2.46 meters (that’s 3.4 inch over 8 feet) but fell shy. The funny thing is that … Continue reading Monday Myriad, June 16: High jump record must fall
Question came up today on Twitter: We know Russia and Qatar were controversial choices. Who would be a good World Cup host? I’d set out these criteria: Stable, non-authoritarian government Ability to build venues without creating a class of slave laborers Demonstrated interest in the sport Then a “nice to have” rather than a “must have”: Ability to get from venue to venue without getting in an airplane or spending a full day on trains. Most of the past World Cup hosts have been up to the task. In 1950, Brazil helped the World Cup, which had only been contested three times … Continue reading Who can host the World Cup?