On Twitter, advocacy, hostility and objectivity

My Dad was an intellectually rigorous man. He majored in philosophy, racing through college so he could lead a platoon in Korea, then returned from the war to get his doctorate in the emerging field of biochemistry. He remained in the Marine Reserves, rising to the rank of colonel, and was a stern but beloved faculty member at the University of Georgia for more than 40 years. At one family holiday gathering, he demanded to know everyone’s views on abortion. The answers ranged from the biological (we had one doctor in the room) to the theological (one Episcopal priest) to … Continue reading On Twitter, advocacy, hostility and objectivity

To kneel or not to kneel (revised)

When Colin Kaepernick started kneeling for the national anthem last year and Megan Rapinoe followed suit, I was skeptical. In the circles in which I run, skepticism is a bad idea. Outside the women’s soccer community, of course, opinion was more polarized. I was stunned to see people I’ve considered sympathetic to the Kaepernick/Rapinoe cause object to their protest, quite angrily. I even saw people profess to become greater Washington Spirit fans when Bill Lynch pulled the anthem switcheroo to keep Rapinoe from kneeling on the field at the Maryland SoccerPlex. (One year later, I can’t recall seeing those people … Continue reading To kneel or not to kneel (revised)

Can you have American football without the USA?

In May, the international governing body of football kicked out the United States’ federation. No, we’re not talking about FIFA and U.S. Soccer. That’s right — USA Football was kicked out of the American football federation. Well, one of them. The international federation of American football is called IFAF (International Federation of American Football). But we now have two of them. Here’s how it breaks down: IFAF.org (The news site American Football International calls it “IFAF New York,” though it stills claims to be headquartered in France): Insists USA Football is still recognized. Claims recognition by the USOC (U.S. Olympic Committee). Has … Continue reading Can you have American football without the USA?

The NFL vs. Colin Kaepernick: Whose bubble will burst first?

About 12 years ago, I was in a newsroom watching the NFL with an editor who had little use for progressive talk and considered many of his fellow journalists politically correct weasels. But he was more Libertarian than “conservative,” and he could see a bit of nuance. As we watched the typical NFL anthem presentation, with a massive flag covering the field and military jets screaming across the sky, he said, “You know, if we saw something like that in Iraq, we’d be horrified.” But the NFL is anything but horrified, even after being forced to return a fraction of … Continue reading The NFL vs. Colin Kaepernick: Whose bubble will burst first?

SportsMyriad’s new direction

I’ve been putting off this announcement for a while, but I figure today is the perfect day for it. I started SportsMyriad six years ago. I had just left USA TODAY to spend more time with my family and to pursue my passion of covering undercovered sports. Mission accomplished. Now we all pay greater attention to Olympic sports in non-Olympic years. Everyone’s an expert on all levels of U.S. soccer. So it’s time for me to push onward, moving the SportsMyriad spotlight to a sport that truly deserves more coverage. I’m talking, of course, about professional wrestling. It’s really the … Continue reading SportsMyriad’s new direction

Back in the podcasting game

The new SportsMyriad podcast features me ranting about the U.S. women’s soccer roster, curling, Rio 2016 prep, youth soccer getting too serious, and of course, the bizarre lawsuit filed against Ronda Rousey by a guy who apparently lives at White Castle. [spreaker type=standard width=100% autoplay=false episode_id=7519994] Please let me know what you think. Yes, it goes too long — future podcasts will either be shorter or will have an interview segment. Continue reading Back in the podcasting game

Single-Digit Soccer: The elite-industrial complex crushes all

Why do we play youth sports? We’re here because you’re looking for the BEST of the BEST of the BEST, SIR! “Your boy Captain America here … to find the BEST of the BEST of the BEST, SIR! … with honors.” But a funny thing is happening with the race to the top. A lot of people are dropping out. ESPN’s Tim Keown has a good spleen-venting piece about this phenomenon: This is the age of the youth-sports industrial complex, where men make a living putting on tournaments for 7-year-olds, and parents subject their children to tryouts and pay good money … Continue reading Single-Digit Soccer: The elite-industrial complex crushes all

Katie Nolan demolishes, shreds, eviscerates the NFL’s treatment of women

One thing to know about Fox Sports TV personality Katie Nolan before watching her takedown of Dallas Cowboys cretin Greg Hardy and his return to the NFL: She’s a sports person. We’re not talking about some scolding schoolmarm who goes looking for trouble in the sports world where it doesn’t exist. She’s someone who’ll gladly go to the sports bar and chat/argue sports with whoever’s there. This is typical Katie Nolan fare — a bit of foul-mouthed, pop culture-referencing Millennial sports snark: One of her most-viewed clips: She takes issue with baseball pitcher Madison Bumgartner chugging multiple beers at once, … Continue reading Katie Nolan demolishes, shreds, eviscerates the NFL’s treatment of women

USA soccer culture is and is not what you want

The United States is, as Schoolhouse Rock reminded us, a great melting pot. It’s not always pretty. As Dave Chappelle said on Dr. Katz: “I saw two Irish guys beating an Italian guy — these people are specific.” Culturally, we’re in a constant state of flux. We’re still young. We’re almost a blank slate. In soccer culture, we’re even younger and more blank, as Nigel Tufnel might say. Whatever supporter culture existed in the ASL glory days of the 1920s wasn’t handed down in any meaningful manner. The NASL had some serious supporters (as has been pointed out to me when I’ve written … Continue reading USA soccer culture is and is not what you want