Sports

Politics Comes to High School Basketball

Featured image Is there any corner of our lives into which politics does not intrude? It doesn’t seem so. Now it’s high school basketball. The Star Tribune reports: Jordan [High School] has pulled out of an invitational basketball event scheduled for Monday — Martin Luther King Day — being hosted by Minneapolis Roosevelt. Why? The fallout continues from last week’s dispute over a Donald Trump re-election flag being displayed by fans of »

The Hypocrisy of Nike

Featured image We were surprised when Nike launched a major advertising campaign featuring former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and even more surprised when it seemed to work. Nike’s sales went up, and the company attributed the increase in part to Kaepernick chic. The tag line of Nike’s Kaepernick ad was, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Of course, Colin Kaepernick didn’t sacrifice everything by taking an anti-American stance–only, at most, »

Reuben Foster, Colin Kaepernick, and leftist sportswriting

Featured image Reuben Foster is a linebacker who starred at the University of Alabama and was a first-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers. Battling injury, he played in 10 games for the 49ers last year, his rookie season, and 6 games so far this year. In February, Foster’s girl friend accused him of domestic violence. Police arrested Foster. However, she later recanted, claiming that she made up the allegations to »

ESPN sacks Jemele Hill

Featured image Jemele Hill, the sports highlights presenter who fancies herself a political pundit, is finally out at ESPN. The network will buy out her contract, reportedly worth $2.5 million. Hill is best know for idiotically calling President Trump a “white supremacist.” Thereafter she continued to offer hack left-wing political commentary on Twitter, in violation of company policy. ESPN’s new president, Jimmy Pitaro, reportedly wants to get the network out of political »

Republicans Buy Sneakers Too

Featured image Yesterday on the Laura Ingraham show, I interviewed Clay Travis, the only person to have been banned by both ESPN and CNN. Travis is one of the country’s best-known sports commentators–the host of a Fox radio show and founder of Outkick the Coverage. Travis is the author of a brand-new book, Republicans Buy Sneakers Too: How the Left Is Ruining Sports With Politics. I had time only to skim the »

Adam Greenberg steps up again

Featured image I’d never heard of Adam Greenberg before I went to see him speak three years ago at Temple of Aaron in St. Paul. From an early age Adam was a gifted athlete and driven competitor. He excelled at three sports — baseball, basketball, and soccer — but baseball was his first love. He played baseball at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a junior in 2002, he »

English Sports for the Non-English

Featured image Some years ago, during a leisure hour (or three) in a British pub up in Yorkshire, I asked an English acquaintance if he could explain Cricket to me. He paused a moment, and said, “No—I can’t.” And so I never have figured out anything about that peculiar game. Which is preface to this brilliantly done five-minute parody of British sports. Well worth your time: »

Dan Rather: Still crazy after all these years

Featured image Dan Rather tweeted this about LeBron James’ decision to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers: We know LeBron James has been outspoken about Trump. So it makes sense to head to California, the heartland of the #resistance. The fact that he will be trying to resist the dominance of the Warriors is an added plot twist. It made sense for James to sign with the Lakers because they play in »

Time for the “Soscars”?

Featured image The Whirled Cup soccer tournament is under way over in Russia right now, which is why there’s a file open for Paul in the Missing Persons bureau of the local police. Anyway, while I am a fan of really awful b-movies like They Live, and, needless to say, all the Sharknado classics, as well as the neglected Birdemic, to appreciate truly awful acting you have to be a connoisseur of soccer. »

Scalise makes the play

Featured image A year after suffering a grave wound in the crazed assassination spree attempted against the House GOP baseball team by Bernie Bro James Hodgkinson, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise improbably took the field to play this year’s game against House Democrats. The New York Times story on the attempted assassination summarized the damage done to Scalise: “His injuries are extensive, and he was in critical condition Wednesday night, MedStar Washington »

Making the Trans Run on Time

Featured image Back during the good old days of the Cold War, Robin Williams had a joke that ran: “I really want to see sex made an Olympic sport, just to see what the East Germans come up with.” Back in those days, it was widely understood that East German athletes not only used performance-enhancing drugs, but in a few cases it was speculated that some of East Germany’s “women” athletes were »

Trump’s absurd olive branch offer to NFL protesters

Featured image I understood from the beginning that the Trump presidency would be a circus, but I didn’t expect a sideshow this bizarre. President Trump has asked NFL players to recommend which criminals he should pardon. Suddenly, the NFL kneelers have been transformed from unpatriotic sons-of-bitches to Trump’s partner in doling out justice and righting wrongs. I never thought the players were sons-of-bitches (unpatriotic, yes at least in some cases), but they »

Race and college athletics

Featured image Black football and basketball players in big sports schools have a substantially lower graduation rate than do other student groups. Why is that? Several explanations come immediately to the mind of anyone who follows college football or basketball closely. First, football and basketball players at big time programs are admitted to college with test scores far lower than other student groups. These test scores “predict” substantially less academic success for »

Super PC Bowl

Featured image I am wondering whether any of the players at the Super Bowl will take a knee during the national anthem, and if so, whether the TV broadcast will show it. NBC, which is broadcasting this year’s game, has refused to run this ad because it makes fun of North Korea’s Little Kim: Over the last few years the Super Bowl games have actually gotten better; more close games instead of »

The NFL kneeling protests: On MPR

Featured image Minnesota Public Radio (91.1 FM in the Twin Cities) will broadcast the University of Minnesota Humphrey School symposium on the NFL kneeling protests tomorrow at noon and 9:00 p.m. Moderated on campus yesterday by Professor Larry Jacobs, director of the Humphrey School’s Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, the symposium panel included Professor Douglass Hartmann, chairman of the University of Minnesota Sociology Department, Frank White, coordinator of the »

The NFL kneeling protests: An invitation

Featured image Tomorrow over the lunch hour I will participate in a symposium sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance (CSPG) at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School. With a nod to the Super Bowl that will be played this Sunday a mile or so up the road, the symposium takes up the player protests that attracted attention in high places this season. The symposium is Betrayal or »

The morning after [with comment by Paul]

Featured image I’ve been a Vikings fan since their first season in Minnesota. In September 1961 my late cousin Lynn Johnson took me to the first Vikings game at the old Met Stadium in Bloomington. Coach Norm Van Brocklin sent in rookie Fran Tarkenton from the bench to replace George Shaw at quarterback. Doing his thing, Tarkenton threw four touchdown passes to lead the Vikings to an improbable victory over the Bears. »