Archive for the 'Athletics' Category

In American amateur sports, women have been making the biggest impact for a decade now. There are multiple reasons. One of the most interesting, though, is an example of the great things that happen for society as a whole when principles of equality are put into place. It’s more than just a game. Our entire economy may be experiencing the same benefit of full empowerment and participation.

Different Drummer: Pat Summitt

 

Before and After Title IX

 

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Dubious as I am of boycotts, I'm already refusing to do business with Pharisees. Let's face it: most boycotts publicly proclaimed by the "religious right" are refusals to shop at stores or watch TV shows that those same people have previously refused to frequent multiple times before. It's an adulterous understanding of the concept. In a more personal but dedicated way, though, I have made good on past promises to withdraw my support from companies that treated me like a second-class citizen. In an era where our last remaining vote may be our pocketbooks, I may have to increase my resolve to avoid any dealings with companies that would shun customers or fire employees because of who they are or whom they love.

Different Drummer: Gregg Popovich

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Prior to 2009, documentaries about sports were not that easy to find. I had seen a couple, both related to Olympic years, where the politics were as much in focus as the events or athletes. With its "30 For 30" series, ESPN has changed everything. For the most part, these aren't just good "sports" documentaries; they are great features. Now, in depth and behind the scenes explorations of great sporting events are not just common, they are uncommonly good.

I also offer some too quick and too short thoughts on George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.

Different Drummer: Bo Jackson

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The first time I heard "This Is Worth Fighting For" from the World War II era, I remembered a story from a motivational speaker at a seminar. It was about a man struggling to return from an attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest, and which voice among many ultimately talked him off the mountain. He didn't respond to reminders about his duty and obligation. He didn't react to the fear of friends and family that he might die. If his response was an indication of what was most worth fighting for, it proved to be the simplest things, not unlike a log cabin in a little valley with rows of corn planted nearby. Sometimes, the most impressive thing a state legislator can do is stand up. I believe the most important decision we can make on questions of marriage rights is to support people who love each other and ignore people who hate. Like the mountain climber, we often need to set aside anger and fear, choosing instead to respond to love.

Different Drummer: Jamie Clarke

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All of us benefit when children grow up with a strong baseline education, and all of us suffer when schools fail. Some form of "public education" is essential in this Information Age. It isn't optional; meaning, it isn't acceptable for any part of our society to opt-out. The most common abdication of responsibility in this area over the past couple of decades is the voucher proposal, which would allow some parents to take tax money away from public schools and use it as "tuition" for private school admission. One major problem with this idea should be obvious: taxes are not tuition.

Different Drummer: Derrick Thomas

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With stereotypes about "jocks v. nerds" it is easy to miss how much athletics have in common with other geeky fandoms.  Quoting statistics, knowing the names of actors and characters, even those with the least screen time, and other examples are easy to note.  Even from the perspective of the arts, I have once heard games like football described as "drama without a script."  I've been to concerts, films, and plays this year, and I intend to see live sports now that both football and soccer are in-season.  The fandoms may differ, but there are plenty of similarities.  Also, I make a brief statement about why I avoided the college football opener sponsored by Chick-fil-A.

Different Drummer: Tom Osborne

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Sports commentary tends to be full of cliche.  "If you're not cheating, you're not trying" is one.  Another you hear often from youth coaches: "It's not about whether you win or lose, but how you play the game."  Well, the positive values so often touted about sports rely on the assumption of fair play, but sporting play is too often the exception.  This is true of players and fans, but evidence strongly suggests that it is equally a problem for coaches, administrators, and the media as well.

Different Drummer: Barry Sanders

Greatest Events In Sporting History and Barry Sanders (Legends Series)

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