Category: Sports

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The Anthem and American Patriotism

For proud Americans who might question this author’s patriotism, let us reassure you that this micro-essay is being written while standing. When it comes to our national anthem, we don’t fool around. Unlike certain professional athletes, we understand the powerful symbolism in standing for a song about a symbol (a flag, “The Star-Spangled Banner”), a...

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At Dodger Stadium

You attend a baseball game once-a-year. You don’t follow the sport or the players. Long ago, when you were a boy, you were a true fan who knew all the statistics and the nicknames, the characters and the storylines. These days, you’re only vaguely aware of who’s starting for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and even...

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The 2-Point Coach

During the recent end-of-the-year break, we were reminded frequently that what matters most in many of our lives, the thing that rouses our deepest emotions and hottest passion, is football. If you get heartburn talking about the Green Bay defense, consider Nick Saban an inspiring role model, or interrupt family gatherings to announce Draft King...

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Poem: Dodger Stadium Suite

1. The challenge for an old white man poet at the ball game is a triplicate predicament: He must not swoon over the greenness of the grass. He must not view every little lovely detail as a metaphor waiting to be transcribed for posterity. He must not recite rambling stories with no discernible point except...

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The Battered Bastards of Baseball

It seems impossible today. But from 1973-1977, before corporate control of America became nearly absolute, the Portland Mavericks, a Class A minor league baseball franchise, played independently, without any Major League Baseball affiliation. Competing against future Yankees and Dodgers (and the giant organizations that bankroll them), the Mavs improbably ruled the competitive Pacific League, fielding...

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Redskins Forever!

The Washington Redskins have the coolest nickname in all of sports. Their logo – a stone-faced Indian wearing 19th Century feathers – is also pretty awesome. Here’s how you know the name “Redskins” isn’t a slur against a conquered and marginalized people but is actually a part of the NFL’s long tradition of diversity and...

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TJ and The TIMES

We still have a subscription to the Los Angeles Times. The print edition. Seven days a week. And we read it cover-to-cover. We’re old school that way. One of the abiding reasons to continue paying for something that can be enjoyed largely for free on the Interweb is to vote monetarily, to support some excellent writers whose...

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The National American Way League

Let’s start a business! Who’s in? We can accept up to 31 partners, maybe more if we expand one day. It will take a few decades, but our venture will eventually be worth nearly $10 billion. How’s that for success? We’ll be rich! And admired and feared and begrudgingly respected. We’ll be winners! Mostly we’ll...

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Reefer Gladness in the NFL

Great timing! The first weekend of NFL football regular season play – and it really is so darn playful the way those boys run around – begins today. So we couldn’t be more delighted that the National Football League has asked us to help explain why their players – please don’t call them “warriors”; that...

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Sexy Olympics

Now that the kind and understanding Mullahs of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei have consented to allow their nation’s second-class citizens to participate, the 2012 Olympic Games are the first ever in which every country’s team includes women. It’s about time. Some of us have a weird thing for chicks in chadors, especially when they’re shooting...