Indoor soccer and the remnants of outdoor, through SI’s eyes

I recently came across a classic Frank DeFord piece on the MISL — Show, Sex And Suburbs — and got curious to see what else Sports Illustrated had written about the heyday of the indoor game and the nadir of U.S. outdoor soccer. Fortunately, SI’s vaults are open (to subscribers, at least), so I was able to trip through history. Here we go … July 9, 1979: Watch Out! The Sky Is Falling: The Houston Hurricane jump-started its outdoor season with a successful run indoors. Houston Forward Kyle Rote believes the indoor experiences did more than just instill self-esteem in the Hurricane players. “Eight … Continue reading Indoor soccer and the remnants of outdoor, through SI’s eyes

Best of SportsMyriad 2014

The best-read posts and the most-overlooked posts of the year. (In other words — what you read and what I’m still attached to even though you didn’t read it, so in the spirit of the holidays, please give it another chance!) BEST-READ (not counting the 2014 medal projections and all related posts, which destroy all, and not counting 2012’s Single-Digit Soccer: Flunk the 2-3-1?, which still gets traffic) 5. Women’s soccer: Show me the money: Building off Allison McCann’s piece on NWSL salaries and her ill-timed piece on Tyresö. 4. Wrong time to suspend Hope Solo: If nothing else, I confused people who … Continue reading Best of SportsMyriad 2014

Single-Digit Soccer: Coming soon to a convention near you

I will be speaking about my forthcoming book, Single-Digit Soccer: Snazzy Subtitle to Come, on Jan. 17 at the NSCAA Convention in Philadelphia. (Yes, I’m on at the same time as a Laura Harvey presentation, but she’s doing several, so you can still see both of us.) Single-Digit Soccer is about youth soccer, specifically the “single-digit” years — ages 9 to 6, 5, 3, etc. For parents, it’s a guidebook through all the complexities, oddities and entertaining bits of youth soccer. For coaches and administrators, it’s a plea for sanity. The presentation will be for coaches (though some of them are surely parents … Continue reading Single-Digit Soccer: Coming soon to a convention near you

UFC, MLS, markets and monopolies

UFC fighters may have several legitimate points about how they’re treated. The lawsuit against the UFC will, at best, force a stronger discussion of those issues and maybe even a few changes. But it’s going to be really difficult to get an outright court victory. You’ll find a lot of good analysis on this suit — economist/antitrust guy Paul Gift at Bloody Elbow, Dave Meltzer at MMA Fighting (read especially from the Bellator reference onward to the end), sports law specialist Michael McCann warning in SI of the worst-case scenario of “unraveling” the UFC, a 90-minute chat with Luke Thomas, and Josh … Continue reading UFC, MLS, markets and monopolies

Cycling is the new golf?

From a participation point of view, anyway, according to this BBC Sport report. More worryingly for golf in England, participation has fallen by about 180,000 in eight years. Cycling, on the other hand, gained about 270,000 pedal-pushers in the last year alone. This figure does not include people tootling to work or down to the local. Cycling waxes while golf wanes. And a fun phrase here: Golf and cycling overlap in terms of their socio-economic profiles. Both sports can be reasonably cheap, but they can also be eye-wateringly expensive. Golf has always had players with ‘all the gear and no … Continue reading Cycling is the new golf?

Break up the Olympics!

The U.S. Olympic Committee may soon select a bid city for the 2024 Olympics, picking from a pool that includes Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The correct answer is … all of them. Why not? That’s the direction the Olympics are going, and with good reason. The IOC’s new Agenda 2020 adds some flexibility for multiple cities to bid together. And on a related note: Agenda 2020 is big on containing costs by asking cities something very simple — quit building big, expensive stuff that won’t have much use after the Closing Ceremony. Don’t build entire mountain … Continue reading Break up the Olympics!

The (sex!) marketing of (catfights!) women’s MMA

Let’s get this straight: Women’s MMA is fantastic. Women’s fights are often the highlights of a typical fight card, especially when they’re sandwiched in between a couple of wrestling stalemates with one dude leaning against the other up against the cage. And the athletes are compelling. Don’t believe me? Let Tommy Toe Hold sing the profane praises of all-women’s organization Invicta. Tommy was also ahead of his time in spotting the extraordinary talents of Rose Namajunas, one of the finalists in … The Ultimate Fighter 20: A Champion Will Be Crowned Yes, a champion will indeed be crowned. This is … Continue reading The (sex!) marketing of (catfights!) women’s MMA