2014 NWSL Draft: Year-end assessment

I compiled this for a couple of reasons: 1. I wanted to include in an epilogue to Enduring Spirit that I’m now abandoning, and I’m putting useful stuff I gathered on the blog instead. 2. I was seeking proof of my hypothesis that NWSL teams cannot and should not rely on immediate help from the draft, no matter how talented the draft class might be. I know that takes away some of the fun of previewing and reviewing the draft, but we might just need to take a longer-term view of it. Feel free to flesh out some of the descriptions in … Continue reading 2014 NWSL Draft: Year-end assessment

Art Davie, The Ultimate Fighter and the changing face of the UFC

Female fighters have taken the spotlight in the UFC. And I haven’t heard anyone complaining. (Please don’t dig up some misogynist troll on Twitter — I’m sure they’re out there, but they don’t deserve any attention.) The current season of The Ultimate Fighter is all-female, and the fights are the most compelling in years. So it’s a bit of a culture shock to read Is This Legal?: The Inside Story of the First UFC from the Man Who Created It, by UFC founder Art Davie with longtime MMA/soccer broadcaster (and therefore friend of SportsMyriad) Sean Wheelock. Davie is a throwback in every sense. With … Continue reading Art Davie, The Ultimate Fighter and the changing face of the UFC

Football (American) still king of high school sports

I don’t know many kids who play youth football. But in my local elementary school, tons of people play youth soccer. I saw some spreadsheets at one time from which it was easy to figure out that nearly half of the boys in second grade were playing. But the death of high school football, Bob Cook reports, is greatly exaggerated. One big reason: Or it could be that football, like track and field, will always have high numbers because at most schools it’s one of the few sports in which nobody gets cut. It’s easy math. A typical high school may have … Continue reading Football (American) still king of high school sports

Hope Solo: The backlash against the bandwagon

As the belated outrage over Hope Solo’s status on the U.S. women’s national team continues to grow, we’re seeing a lot of voices reminding us that the issue is much more complicated than it’s being presented in a lot of quarters. It’s certainly more complicated than the “if Ray Rice is suspended, why isn’t Hope Solo?” nonsense from the “men’s rights” knuckle-draggers. This post, which will be updated (feel free to send me links), is to highlight those voices in the hopes that they’ll be part of the national conversation. Not all of these voices are in complete agreement about … Continue reading Hope Solo: The backlash against the bandwagon

Best chess writing: 2014

I was paying attention when Fabiano Caruana tore through the star-studded field at the Sinquefeld Cup (including world champion Magnus Carlsen), but no, it wasn’t exactly viral. So I agree with the premise of this Slate piece, and I highly recommend it for passages like this: There are a few things you should probably know about FIDE—or the Federation Internationale des Echecs, if you’re feeling continental. FIDE is, by all accounts, comically corrupt, in the vein of other fishy global sporting bodies like FIFA and the IOC. Its Russian president, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who has hunkered in office for nearly two … Continue reading Best chess writing: 2014

Wrong time to suspend Hope Solo

One of the many peculiarities of covering women’s soccer is seeing something you’ve known about and discussed in public for a long time suddenly becoming “news” because someone with a platform suddenly noticed it. That was the case a couple of years ago, when one writer at a major publication wrote about Lori Chalupny’s predicament of being cleared to play in pro soccer but not cleared to play for the national team. Another major writer said he had been working on the same story. Women’s soccer reporters weren’t working on it because we all knew about it and talked about … Continue reading Wrong time to suspend Hope Solo

The unconscionable treatment of Lolo Jones

Clear your mind of any images. Now look at the following accomplishments: – World indoor champion, 60-meter hurdles, 2008 and 2010 – World Athletics Final champion, 100-meter hurdles, 2008 – 4th place in 2012 Olympics – 2nd place in 2010 Diamond League – Leading 2008 Olympic final before tripping on a hurdle – 6th place, 2007 World Championships – Second-fastest time in the world in 2009 – Fastest time in the world (12.43, Olympic semifinal) in 2008. Since them, only three hurdlers have gone faster (Australia’s Sally Pearson five times, USA’s Brianna Rollins twice, USA’s Dawn Harper Nelson once). Rollins, the … Continue reading The unconscionable treatment of Lolo Jones