Desk Potato Sports: Live streams for Sept. 28-Oct. 5

The USOC Sports Scene is finally back after an Olympic/Paralympic break. Highlights from the prior week’s action include Brady Ellison’s fourth Archery World Cup Final victory. Consistency. They don’t have much to offer by way of webcasts this week, though. They’ll have the men’s softball slow-pitch nationals, which is softball but is neither women’s nor fast-pitch and therefore not quite an Olympic sport. What else is on? Frankly, not much. Silly me, launching this feature in the lull between the Summer Olympics and winter sports. But we did get some good news this week: beINSports has re-launched its apps — that’s particularly good news … Continue reading Desk Potato Sports: Live streams for Sept. 28-Oct. 5

Olympic sports writing: 2004-2015

Selected features and interviews, plus coverage from several Olympics: Features Dec. 1, 2015: US college sports are a factory for Olympic medalists – but for how much longer? (The Guardian) Nov. 7, 2015: Speed skating: can the US team shine after the failure of Sochi? (The Guardian) Aug. 30, 2015: Why Serena Williams, not Ronda Rousey, is the world’s most dominant female athlete (The Guardian) Aug. 12, 2015: Golf doesn’t need the Olympics, and the Olympics don’t need golf (The Guardian) Dec. 15, 2014: Break up the Olympics! (SportsMyriad) Oct. 12, 2010: Women’s Ski Jumping Tests the Grudges of Olympic Leaders (Huffington … Continue reading Olympic sports writing: 2004-2015

2016 medal projections: Handball (men’s)

The World Championships are all over bar the shouting. And people are shouting about Qatar — the country you know as the dubiously selected FIFA World Cup host in 2022 but now known as the country that bought a bunch of ringers for its handball team, bought a bunch of fans for this tournament and got so many questionable calls in its favor that one beaten opponent sarcastically applauded the refs. That was after the powers that be realized Germany wasn’t in the tournament, so Oceania champion Australia was unceremoniously dumped so the handball-watching country could get a wild card. Like South Korea’s soccer team after … Continue reading 2016 medal projections: Handball (men’s)

2016 medal projections: Men’s handball

Never too soon, right? Spain was the runaway winner in the just-concluded World Championship, beating Denmark 35-19 in the final. They lost a group-stage game to eventual third-place finisher Croatia but otherwise won with ease. Two reasons not to anoint Spain as the 2016 favorites just yet: 1.  Spain hosted the tournament, a big advantage. 2. The tournament, Team Handball News reports, didn’t find teams at their sharpest. Some are rebuilding, some may have tournament fatigue. That said, Spain is no stranger to the podium and usually makes the knockout rounds at least. Our likely contenders are: – Spain: World champion, 2012 … Continue reading 2016 medal projections: Men’s handball

Team handball: Cool sport meets cold reality

Like curling in the Winter Olympics, team handball (or, as the rest of the world calls it, “handball”) attracts a new wave of admirers with every Summer Olympics. But curling maintains a foothold in the USA between Games, with plenty of Americans active on the World Curling Tour and a few players who can be competitive in World Championship and Olympic action. Handball, on the other … um … hand, faces the same American exceptionalism soccer has faced over the years. It’s a foreign sport to us. The men’s World Championship starts Saturday, and even my six or seven hard-core … Continue reading Team handball: Cool sport meets cold reality

Handball’s time has come

Do we even need to call it “team handball” any more? If we say “handball,” will people tune in expecting to see some dudes from Iceland and Hungary slapping a ball around on a racquetball court? Four years after a small group of American reporters, including me, started chasing the Iceland handball team around, it seems more people are paying attention: – Wired (UK) calls handball “the most awesome Olympic sport you might not be watching.” – It made the roundup of espnW’s “surprisingly enjoyable Olympic sports.” – Time calls my Icelandic guys “the most important team at the Olympics.” – Even Usain Bolt … Continue reading Handball’s time has come