Full Archive

The Problem with Troops and Hoops
The Problem with Troops and Hoops

August 16, 2006
There's something profoundly unnerving about USA Basketball's motivational tactics for the 2006 world championship--having players spend time with wounded Iraq veterans.

You Can Keep the Faith
You Can Keep the Faith

August 2, 2006

You're a Good Man, Larry Brown
You're a Good Man, Larry Brown

July 24, 2006

Why Today I Wear My Zidane Jersey
Why Today I Wear My Zidane Jersey

July 11, 2006
Imagine Michael Jordan in his last game, with the score tied in overtime, knocking out his defender with a punch to the throat. Imagine Derek Jeter in game seven of the World Series, at bat with the bases loaded, thrashing the opposing team's catcher over the head with his bat. Our collective shock would only be exceeded by disappointment. No one, fan or foe, would want to a see a great player end their career in an act that speaks to the worst impulses of sports: when hard competition spills over into violence.

French Soccer and the Future of Europe
French Soccer and the Future of Europe

July 7, 2006
The story of the 2006 World Cup has been the resurrection of France. After a lackluster performance in its first two games, the French team shocked the football watching world -- otherwise known as "the world" -- by upsetting Spain and then dethroning Brazil, the second time in three World Cups the French have knocked off the global kings of "the beautiful game."

The NBA Draft: Prom Night Gets Political
The NBA Draft: Prom Night Gets Political

June 29, 2006
This column has argued that pro-sports were on the precipice of reflecting the divisions, polarization, and anger in our society. The NBA draft last night gave a terrific window to this emerging trend: both inside and outside Madison Square Garden.

Racism Stalks the Cup
Racism Stalks the Cup

June 11, 2006
The most watched tournament in the universe, the World Cup, opens today amid fears that an open and violent racism could upstage the games, humiliate its German hosts, and provide an international platform for Neo-Nazi swill. The rising number of attacks on non-whites in Germany, combined with a spate of racist sloganeering and taunting of black soccer players throughout Europe, has set the stage for an unprecedented display of racism on a global sports stage.

Go Tell it on the Rockies: Baseball's Faith-based Team
Go Tell it on the Rockies: Baseball's Faith-based Team

June 2, 2006
In Colorado, there stands a holy shrine called Coors Field. On this site, named for the holiest of beers, a team plays that has been chosen by Jesus Christ himself to play .500 baseball in the National League West. And if you don't believe me just ask the manager, the general manager, and the team's owner.

Ricky Williams Dreams of Canada
Ricky Williams Dreams of Canada

May 26, 2006
Most football fans in the United States think about the Canadian Football League about as often as George W. Bush ponders atheism. Even Canadians don't fret excessively about the CFL. In the Maple Leaf pantheon of sports, the CFL ranks somewhere below hockey, curling and flicking Celine Dion CDs for distance. But NFL executives are very aware of the world of Canadian Football. It is viewed, warily, like an outlaw brother-in-law crashing on your couch; something to resent and, in a back-handed way, envy--his freedom mocking your buttoned-down reality.

Using Soccer to Kick Iran
Using Soccer to Kick Iran

May 17, 2006
Politics cannot be separated from the World Cup any more than it can be from the Olympics. Sometimes this is for the best: For example, Africans throughout the continent exulted in Senegal's shocking upset of its former colonizer, France, in the first game of the 2002 Cup. This year, however, German and US politicians have seized on the tournament to intensify the saber rattling aimed at Tehran.