Sports and sports journalism are replete with overwrought praise, military imagery, and hero worship. I get that. I’m a theologian; when the excesses of this sort of thing get really out of hand, few feel worse about it than me. But I’ll take the risk now, and I won’t dare try to be objective. Pat Summitt is the reason women’s college basketball matters, and why it matters to me.
On the very day that nice guy and legendary trainer Angelo Dundee — in the corner with Ali, Foreman, and Sugar Ray Leonard — died, it was announced that the troubled fighter with arguably the fastest hands in all of boxing, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., has been licensed to fight in Las Vegas on May 5 against Miguel Cotto. Cotto, whose only real loss is to the best fighter in the world, Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO), will fight Mayweather (42-0, 26 KO). And so the third-best fighter will fight the second-best, while the world of boxing waits and hopes for Pacquiao-Mayweather.
In my last installment, I threatened to let an ‘80s teen idol return to rock us. It was difficult to acquire the material for my subject until I found our friends at Spotify. In any case, I knew that I’d heard things I liked from an artist one might be tempted to dismiss: Rick Springfield.
Bill Belichick will coach in his fifth Super Bowl, the coach and quarterback Tom Brady linked like Hall & Oates, Laurel & Hardy, like peanut butter and jelly. They both know the forty-second edition is a black mark upon what is a nearly unimpeachable legacy. Montana. Bradshaw. Brady.
Connie had just finished shopping. It was a pleasant day, the sun was warm, the light was high, and she was in the sort of mood where catchy, summertime pop songs spring to mind. She would never see the two men ready to grab her when she looked up toward the other man who’d asked for help. Such a pleasant smile, she thought.
Sometimes we put too much stock in the Iowa Caucus. This caucus has its share of odd results after all, like Pat Robertson winning in 1988. Or we can ask Governors Huckabee and Dean how well their Iowa victories translated to national victory. But, this year will likely be different.
If you haven’t been paying attention to the political process lately, I don’t blame you. It is still much too early, and there is little to calm the urge to call down a pox on all houses, no matter where you reside.
I admit it, I gave up. Tons of times. This Cardinals team earned my respect, my scorn, and my hope all in a vicious cycle for the last six or so months. They blew a 6-2 9th inning lead against the Mets with about a week to go before the post-season. They blew the most games they'd led in the final inning of any team in baseball. They are maddening to watch. I have almost nothing left as a fan. I just need to be honest here.
This television show has already been commented on roundly—praised, lambasted, lamented—so perhaps I am undercutting our goal here at OFB. But in so many ways, it is a microcosm of America today, in both its tragedy and possibility, and as such, it cannot be ignored.
Dear Selection Committee, you need to know that Michigan State, Clemson, Virginia Commonwealth, and Georgia don’t belong in the field. Right off the top. Also include Penn State and Illinois. Harvard, Colorado, and Virginia Tech do belong, but aren’t there. Include Missouri State, and St. Mary’s. Frankly, this was the worst job you’ve ever done in the 26 years since we went to (at least) 64 teams.