Goodbye Twitter, at least for now …

I’ve been harassed on Twitter. Not to the extent of Sandy Hook families or female journalists. But just enough to know what it’s like. I can hardly imagine what other people go through. And it’s clear — from the Rose McGowan situation last year and the Alex Jones situation now — that Twitter’s selective enforcement is inadequate at best, deliberately inciting hatred at worst. So I’m out, aside from two things … You’ll still see automated posts from my blog feed. It’s a pain to shut those off, and I hope I can return to Twitter someday. The intent here is to … Continue reading Goodbye Twitter, at least for now …

Anti-doping and the evidence card

Is it fair to ask for a little fairness when it comes to performance-enhancing drugs? In general, yes. But a lot of devils lurk in the details. Blame Luke Thomas for this post. The outstanding MMA analyst loves to raise tough questions about drug testing, so this morning, he retweeted an interesting series from Roger Pielke Jr., a Colorado environmental science professor who isn’t afraid to go against the grain — he’s been labeled a “climate misinformer” by Skeptical Science and wrote about his “unhappy life as a climate heretic” for The Wall Street Journal. He’s actually not a climate-change … Continue reading Anti-doping and the evidence card

What I’m watching: July 21-31

Friday, July 21 6:10 a.m.: Water polo, men’s Worlds, USA-Russia, NBC Sports online 11:45 a.m.: Women’s Euro 2017, Sweden-Russia, ESPN3 2 p.m.: Track and field, Diamond League Monaco, NBCSN 2:30 p.m.: Women’s Euro 2017, Germany-Italy, ESPN3 11:30 p.m.: Australian rules football, Essendon-North Melbourne, FS2 Saturday, July 22 7:30 a.m.: Tour de France, time trial, NBCSN 11:45 a.m.: Women’s Euro 2017, Iceland-Switzerland, ESPN3 2:30 p.m.: Women’s Euro 2017, France-Austria, ESPN3 3:30 p.m.: NWSL, Chicago-Orlando, Lifetime 4 p.m.: MLS, Minnesota-NY Red Bulls, ESPN 6 p.m.: UFC Fight Night, Fox 10 p.m.: Gold Cup semifinal, USA-Costa Rica, FS1 Sunday, July 23 Ongoing: Golf, … Continue reading What I’m watching: July 21-31

On drug testing, MMA, the Diaz brothers, invasions of privacy, etc.

One thing I enjoy, perhaps more than I should, about my weird career path is the intersection of Olympic sports and MMA when it comes to the ever-entertaining world of drug testing. I did a lot of grunt work on the topic back in the day for USA TODAY, and I like finding a use for that otherwise useless knowledge: The BALCO timeline, where we learned athletes can be suspended for doping without failing a test. (This piece is cited in a surprising number of scholarly papers.) The Jerome Young case, a classic example of an athlete who had plausible … Continue reading On drug testing, MMA, the Diaz brothers, invasions of privacy, etc.

The definitive word on participation trophies …

From a Cracked piece responding to a rant about Millennials: Simon, let me tell you about my participation trophies. I got them for playing soccer, and they were handed out from a bag at the end of the year with all the ceremony of communist factory workers getting their lunch rations. My response was not “Well, clearly I’m going to be handed a six-figure job as an adult.” It was “Neat, a trophy! Now I’m going to go back to thinking about Pokemon or farts, because I am a child.” Later it was a nice reminder of time spent playing … Continue reading The definitive word on participation trophies …

Did you know?: Major cricket event in USA

If your stereotype of cricket is that it lasts several days, you may be in for a shock. More and more cricket is being played these days in its abbreviated forms — the “one-day” format and the even shorter “Twenty20” game, which can easily be shorter than a typical baseball game. And yet its competitions go on for years and years. So when we tell you the World Cricket League Division 4 will be in Los Angeles, starting this weekend, we need to give a bit of context. First, this is neither Test cricket nor Twenty20. It’s one-day cricket, which … Continue reading Did you know?: Major cricket event in USA

Stats work against Cubs (and all regular-season wonders)

The Cubs had the best record in MLB this year, and enter the NL Championship Series as favorites – but history shows such a record is usually a kiss of death. Story includes references to Spinal Tap and the Washington Spirit. Source: Is this finally the Chicago Cubs’ year? Sadly, the stats suggest not | Sport | The Guardian Continue reading Stats work against Cubs (and all regular-season wonders)

Doping: It’s complicated

“Ban the Russians!” Like “Equal Play, Equal Pay” or “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” it’s a catchy slogan, but it merits further investigation. Plenty of columnists have ripped the IOC for allowing any Russian athletes into the 2016 Olympics, arguing that the organizers should’ve issued a blanket ban in the wake of the McLaren report, which unveiled a shadowy state-sanctioned doping and concealment program not seen since the bad old days of East Germany. The ruling forced each sport’s federation to decide on Russian participation. All track and field athletes, all weightlifters and a handful of others were tossed out. But others were … Continue reading Doping: It’s complicated

“Fantastic Lies” and the lessons of Duke lacrosse

Don’t stereotype. Don’t rush to judgment. Those are the lessons of the Duke lacrosse case from 10 years ago. And to my pleasant surprise, the documentary Fantastic Lies covered those lessons pretty well. Source: “Fantastic Lies” and the lessons of the Duke lacrosse case | SportsMyriad March 23, 2016 Continue reading “Fantastic Lies” and the lessons of Duke lacrosse