Memories of the Metrodome, and How It Got Built

Featured image Today, the Minneapolis Star Tribune headlined: “Court action throws wrench into Vikings stadium construction.” Sure: with projects of this magnitude, someone is always trying to stop them. The story brought back memories that I haven’t thought about for quite a while. Minneapolis’s Metrodome, former home of the Twins, Vikings and Gophers, is being demolished. The Twins moved several years ago to Target Field, and the Gopher football team now plays »

Richie Incognito, honorary black man?

Featured image The National Football League has a new scandal on its hands. This one involves the harassment of Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin by line mate Richie Incognito. The full nature and scope of this harassment isn’t clear, but apparently there is no dispute that, at a minimum, Incognito left Martin a voice mail calling him a “half ni____ piece of sh__” and threatening to inflict physical harm on the player »

A Quarterback Controversy With a Political Twist?

Featured image Public Policy Polling ran a survey here in Minnesota that was reported on in today’s St. Paul Pioneer Press. The political results were predictably dreary; both Mark Dayton and Al Franken are favored for re-election, in part because hardly anyone has heard of any of their prospective GOP opponents. But for some reason, PPP also asked some sports questions, and they found an interesting split with regard to the Minnesota »

Washington Redskins won’t change their name

Featured image And that’s too bad in a way. As a reader points out, many Americans, Indian and otherwise, are offended these days by the “Washington” part of the name. In any event, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, having met with Redskins owner Dan Snyder earlier in the week, delivered the message to representatives from Oneida Indian Nation, the group that has been leading the charge for a name change. The Nation’s representatives »

“Washington Bravehearts”? Not if Snyder changes the name

Featured image I hadn’t planned to write about the latest iteration of the dispute over the Washington Redskins name. Even after President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Bob Costas, and (most importantly) Charles Krauthammer weighed in — all on the side of name-change — I didn’t feel the need to comment. But word that Redskins owner Dan Snyder may be contemplating changing the team name to Bravehearts (good thing Albert Haynesworth isn’t on the »

Service academy football games to proceed, as they should

Featured image For a while it looked like this Saturday’s Service Academy football games — including the big one between Navy and Air Force during which Navy’s 1963 Cotton Bowl team will be honored — might be cancelled due to the government shutdown. Because these games can be financed without government funding, cancelling them would have been an act of pure spite, like much else the government is doing with the shutdown. »

Finally, something I like about Barack Obama

Featured image Tevi Troy’s excellent new book What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted is full of revealing stories about presidential consumption of books, movies, and television. His discussion of Barack Obama’s consumption of culture, both as president and before, is particularly revealing. Obama, it seems, is not the most cultured guy ever to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He’s not even the most cultured among recent residents. But Obama has »

This week in college football history

Featured image On September 10, 1963, Darryl Hill, a wide receiver for the University of Maryland, became the first African-American to play football in the Atlantic Coast Conference, thus beginning the process of integrating big-time college football in the South. Hill’s debut came at College Park against North Carolina State. Thom Loverro, in the Washington Times, recalls this landmark event and the larger story around it. Hill played freshman football for the »

Life after football for Nick Florence

Featured image I’m war weary. Let’s talk some football. Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin, III returns from ACL surgery to face the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. But he’s not the former Baylor quarterback I want to talk about. Nick Florence was Griffin’s backup, stand-in, and replacement at Baylor. I saw him play in a bowl game last year and concluded that he is an NFL caliber QB, at least as a backup. »

A Reminder That Not All Athletes Are Jerks

Featured image The Minnesota Twins traded Justin Morneau to the Pittsburgh Pirates today, for more or less nothing. The move was not a surprise. Morneau was in the last year of his contract, the Twins are going nowhere in 2013, and there has been a lot of speculation about his future. Morneau is a first baseman from Canada who debuted with the Twins in 2003. He is a four-time all star and »

Understated works, even in sports

Featured image Most goal celebrations in soccer leave me cold, although I’m glad that the sport grants the players more leeway after scoring than the repressive NFL does. A penalty (in the form of a yellow card) will be assessed for removing one’s shirt, but this just encourages players find more creative ways to celebrate. Sometimes they use the corner flag as prop. But my favorite use of a prop occurred years »

Dez Wells fights back

Featured image Dez Wells is the best basketball player on the University of Maryland’s men’s team. He came to Maryland after being kicked out of Xavier University due to allegations that he sexually assaulted a female student. My first reaction to Wells’ transfer was disappointment that the team I support would accept a player deemed morally unsuitable by his prior school. But it quickly became apparent to me that Xavier treated Wells »

An Old-Fashioned Weekend

Featured image The world is going to Hell in a hand basket, but it is high summer here in the Upper Midwest. It is hard to think about politics when you’re having so much fun. For us, it was a classic weekend that could have been enjoyed in the 1930s: boxing, guns and horse racing. Friday night it was boxing, a card at the Hyatt in downtown Minneapolis. Our friend Corey Rodriguez, »

My Relative the World-Famous Surfer Girl, With a Surprise Ending

Featured image The most glamorous member of my extended family is probably Lakey Peterson, who at age 18 is one of the most famous surfers in the world. Starting at age 16 or 17, she has toured the globe, sponsored by Nike, competing on the international surfing circuit. Lakey’s mother Susan is a Hinderaker; she was an all-America swimmer at USC. So Lakey is my kids’ third cousin. Tonight we watched an »

Free speech, Israel, and football

Featured image Oday Aboushi is an O-lineman who was drafted by the New York Jets in April of this year. Aboushi is also a Palestinian-American. Joe Kaufman at FrontPage Magazine contends that Aboushi has engaged in pattern of “radical” anti-Israeli behavior in recent months. In April, just before the NFL draft, Aboushi tweeted favorably about a fundraiser sponsored by Islamic Relief (IR), a charity that the Israeli government has labeled a front »

The NFL’s June problem solved

Featured image The National Football League is flying high as the unrivaled leader on the American sport scene. But it does have a problem. No, I’m not referring to the violent nature of the sport, which is producing lawsuits by former players who suffer from injuries like brain damage and which makes some of us feel guilty for watching it. I’m referring to the fact that the NFL has failed to come »

America The Riderless Horse?

Featured image So this is one of those times where sports and politics meet up.  Or at least I think this video below of a riderless horse, having thrown its jockey at the gate, winning a horse race a couple days ago is some kind of metaphor for Obama’s America: America is like a thoroughbred, able to win even without a rider.  Or perhaps it should be the other way around: imagine »