September 18, 2009 |
On a Saturday night in New York, the sports world vilifies Serena Williams for raining threats upon a line judge. Yet a day later across the river, the same sports world celebrates a team whose nickname is considered a threat to an entire ethnic group. Redskins. A pro football season begins with two noted players banished to the sidelines for "conduct detrimental to the integrity of, and confidence in, the National Football League." Yet that same league supports a team whose entire identity is forged through a symbol of detrimental conduct known as racism.
December 28, 2011 |
Museum: a word that produces its own dust. The institutions are not without importance, of course, but who are we kidding? Many museums can also be interminable — like Ashton Kutcher movies, or Patti LaBelle renditions of the national anthem. Oddly, one of L.A.'s most fetching museums is a dirty little secret, in an industrial area east of the Coliseum, the kind of place God hides the things he flubbed. The Sports Museum of Los Angeles opened in 2008, closed in 2009 and now is open only for special tours or charity events.
September 4, 2010 |
Sometime on Monday, an aircraft will touch down in the United States and from it will emerge a shaggy-haired, 49-year-old former journalist from Chile by the unlikely name of Harold Mayne-Nicholls. That's when the latest round of fawning will begin. Things have gone pretty well for Mayne-Nicholls since the days when he was scribbling reports on various doings in Santiago, Valparaiso and elsewhere. These days he glories in being not only president of the Chilean soccer federation but also a fast-rising FIFA suit.
July 5, 2011 |
The variety of summer activities — now playing in camps, clinics and tourneys — is a further reminder that the days of three major sports are over. There is, seemingly, a sport for every kid and temperament. For the cerebral, there is cross-country. For the anti-cerebral, there is football. For the old-schoolers, there is baseball. For the new-schoolers, there is lacrosse. For the jumpy, there is volleyball. For the ironic, surfing. Ironically, I have never surfed myself, yet I find myself down here in Huntington Beach, mecca of the sport, actually mecca of every sport.
July 20, 2012 |
On a fall Sunday early last decade, a young reporter living in Berlin wanted to follow a regular-season NFL game being played by his favorite team. But he had few means to do so. The closest American-themed sports bar was 20 miles away. An online written account would offer only scant details and hardly in real time. Television wasn't an option; the lone European sports network was four hours into a Formula One marathon. The reporter hit upon a solution: He called a family member in the U.S. and asked him to turn on a radio play-by-play call.
July 19, 2009 |
And off they go, eight of the 11 mascots of this plush toy of a baseball team, a mid-inning race across the outfield, a menagerie of madness. "Outta the way!" the ice cream cup shouts. "Somebody's going down!" the lobster shouts. The banana takes the lead, the lobster runs a close second, then here comes the gorilla, waving his arms and bulldozing his buddies. Down goes the sunglasses-wearing rabbit. Down goes the giant green dog. Down goes the gangling blue sea creature.
October 10, 2012 |
The world's oldest living cheerleader knows he can not only inspire, but irritate. He knows his corny chants can grate on every man, woman and child. He knows there are folks who wish he would just sit down and shut up. But until recently, he never quite realized UCLA officials were among them. After 36 years, Geoffrey Strand was benched in a phone call that lasted five minutes. "All I have to say about that is, 'Go Bruins!' " he says. Strand was told he was being suspended for at least two games for at least two incidents.
April 23, 2013 |
NEW YORK--Nearly all sports documentaries follow a rise and fall pattern, sometimes changing up the sequence but rarely the elements. The good ones, though, manage to follow the formula with style and depth. It's easy to make the case that the Tribeca Film Festival world premiere "McConkey," a new documentary from a group of directors working for Red Bull's media arm, falls in the latter category. The profile of the extreme-sports pioneer Shane McConkey is both remarkable to look at and, at a screening I attended, didn't leave a dry eye in the house.
February 22, 2009 |
At the end of another tough week for teamwork, with major leaguers lying and NBA stars feuding, they ran alone. In Simi Valley, across a grassy field in the lengthening shadow of nearby hills, they ran together. Two girls, side by side, stride for stride, connected by the stretched cotton of a gray belt and the giant arms of innocence. One girl is blind. The other girl is teaching the rest of us to see.
March 26, 1995
Re "The Truth Shall Set You Free," (Feb. 28): What do the late Arthur Ashe, Magic Johnson and Greg Louganis have in common? They have all been celebrated male athletes with HIV. There are vast differences however, between the way the media and our society reacted to each man's public disclosure of his HIV status. Ashe and Johnson were greeted with deep shock and sadness. Hero and courageous were (words) used in abundance. Ashe, who has since succumbed to AIDS, was talked about as an "innocent victim" because he acquired the virus through a blood transfusion.