The Sporting Life category archive
I used to look forward to watching college football on New Year’s Day. but the venality and corruption of the NCAA has cured me of that.
Now I spend my New Year’s reading (gasp) books.
But, if you want to wallow in the fascination of large men running into each other, check out AL.com.
It’s an excellent website, but it does indeed reflect Alabama’s fascination with corpulent collisions.
Bob Molinaro, sports-writer extraordinaire:
The Bangor Daily News tells the story of the first Native American major league baseball player, a member of Maine’s Penobscot Nation. It is not pretty.
Here’s a bit; follow the link for the rest.
The response from the crowd 123 years ago (when he first took the field–ed.), however, was far from laudatory. Instead, Sockalexis was met with shouted racial slurs, demeaning “war whoops,” and fans doing “war dances” every time he took the field. Fans would ask him if he was drinking firewater, something that became ever more cruel over the course of his career, during which his alcoholism worsened.
That legacy of racist language and iconography lived on after Sockalexis, and in 1915 the team that was known as the Cleveland Spiders became the Cleveland Indians — a name that the team and its fans claim was chosen to honor Sockalexis and Native people in general, but in reality had a far more complicated, racist origin.
In the Des Moines Register, Kristen Greteman takes issue with the Iowa State University athletic director’s plan to sacrifice the arts, specifically performances at ISU’s Stephens Auditorium,
on the altar of football to pay for the football team’s loss of revenue in these viral times.
Sportswriter extraordinaire Bob Molinaro reflects on the reopening in these viral times (emphasis in the original):
Panic button: With positive COVID-19 tests continuing to rise on its campus, the University of North Carolina’s decision to suspend all athletic activities Wednesday until “at least” the next day is another example of a school chasing its own tail. One day? One week? The virus will be waiting.
Barely afloat: Schools that initially invited students back to campus are quickly discovering what they should have known. When dealing with easily transmissible viruses, dorms are cruise ships without the water.
I was in college a long time ago and certainly did my share of partying. Nevertheless, other than concerts, sports events, large lectures, and some demonstrations against America’s Great and Glorious War for a Lie in Vietnam, I don’t remember participating in the sorts of mob scenes being reported from some colleges.
Sportswriter extraordinaire Bob Molinaro:
If you heard what Lou Holtz said on Fox News, I hope you’ve recovered. Ranting in favor of a college football season despite COVID-19, the former coach said, “When they stormed Normandy, they knew there were going to be casualties — there were going to be risks.” Holtz is 83, but age is no excuse.
Follow the link for the rest of his column for more sane observations about sports in these viral times.
At AL.com, John Goodman remarks on NASCAR’s recent decision to ban the Confederate battle ensign from its events and properties (while wondering how said ban will be enforced), but notes that we should not forget that NASCAR waged a long and enthusiastic campaign over many decades to associate itself with said flag. Here’s a bit:
Try and understand, though — and this might be hard for many — but modern-day NASCAR fans who love that flag and say they associate it with a culture built around a sport are not completely to blame for that ignorance. The celebration of the Confederate flag by NASCAR helped normalize the symbol, and further alienate the South from the rest of the country.
When South Carolina senator Strom Thurmond and his Dixiecrats started waving the Confederate battle flag to associate it with their pro-segregation politics, Thurmond used NASCAR to advance his agenda. NASCAR was happy to help because it was a profitable partnership.
Bob Molinaro, sports writer extraordinaire, catches the irony:
You know the Sports Department at my local rag is getting desperate from the lack of sports news when they run the results of the Canadian Football League draft on the sports page where they would normally have box scores.
I can’t find it on their website, but I saw it with my own eyes.
Bob Molinaro. sportswriter extraordinaire, looks on the bright side:
Sportswriter extraordinaire Bob Molinaro: