Thursday, October, 22, 2009
Tangled Up In Blue
They say the best compliment a baseball umpire can get is if neither team can name who called their game. So far in this Major League Baseball postseason, umpires are stealing headlines. "Does Baseball Need Umpires?" asked Jonah Kuri in his Oct. 14 Wall Street Journal column, days after Phil Cuzzi called foul a fly ball off the bat of Minnesota's Joe Mauer that actually fell a foot inside the leftfield line during Game 2 of the American League Division Series. Kuri couldn't have predicted the sorry spectacle that was Game 4 of the American League Championship Series six days later. In the span of 11 batters, umpires Dale Scott and Tim McClelland botched three calls so badly that Sports Illustrated baseball writer Tom Verducci, who worked a 2007 spring training game as its first-base umpire, called for the creation of a review board - not to grade umps, but to examine everything from individual mechanics to crew dynamics.
Thursday, October, 08, 2009
Also Banned: ACME Rocket-Powered Roller Skates
Marathon organizers have enough to worry about with participants bent on taking life-saving precautions in extreme heat. But none of those factors led to the disqualification of Jennifer Goebel from last weekend's Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee. Goebel's offense? She used an iPod to lend a little kick to her stretch run. Goebel, the second woman to cross the finish line, wasn't the first DQ in Milwaukee on Oct. 4 (Cassie Peller, the apparent winner, was stripped of her title for taking water from a friend outside an official aid station). And hers wasn't the only apparatus to come under marathon organizers' scrutiny that day. During mile 21 of the Twin Cities Marathon in Minnesota, 81-year-old Jerry Johncock benefited from the bladder-unburdoning powers of a bystander's spare catheter (you can't make this stuff up), only to learn that his successful defense of last year's age-group victory (in which Johncock became the first octogenarian American to cover the 26-plus miles in less than four hours) was facing potential review by USA Track and Field. Johncock called the possibility of being disqualified "a crazy idea" (he was later cleared of any wrongdoing by race organizers - to his ultimate relief), while posts on a runners' forum in Milwaukee termed the rules enforcement that took place there "draconian." According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, USATF has relaxed rules against the use of iPods and similar music devices except in cases involving top contenders and when prize money is at stake. Third-place finisher and eventual Lakefront women's champion Corina Canitz donated her $500 prize to charity, while Johncock pocketed $225 for besting the Twin Cities 80-84 field.
Friday, October, 02, 2009
Social Media Revolutionizing How Sports are Consumed
Tuesday, September, 29, 2009
One on One: Pole Vaulting Expert Jan Johnson Sizes Up Safety of the Sport
A former world-class vaulter suggests improvements to the landing area.
Thursday, September, 24, 2009
CPSC Issues Alert Regarding Light Pole Inspections
Tuesday, September, 22, 2009
The West Michigan Whitecaps finished the Minor League Baseball season 13 games out of first place, but the franchise scored big with the Fifth Third Burger.
Thursday, September, 03, 2009
The Purists' Plunge
When U.S. Olympic swimming legend Mark Spitz spoke at the 2008 Athletic Business Conference, he told a decades-old story about how coaches from the Soviet Union had once asked Spitz why he wore a mustache in competition. At the time, he knowingly relayed the falsehood that the facial hair reduced drag in the water. By the next international competition, every Russian swimmer sported a 'stache. Such was the level of gamesmanship in 1970s aquatics.
Friday, August, 28, 2009
Schools Seek New Ways to Combat Student-Athlete Alcohol Abuse
A parade of off-season DUI offenses has schools seeking new ways to combat student-athlete alcohol abuse.
Thursday, August, 27, 2009
Should Building Codes be Changed to Keep Fans from Falling Out of Their Seats?
Should building codes be changed to keep fans from falling out of upper-level stadium sections?
Thursday, August, 27, 2009
Technology Allows for Racing Events All but Devoid of Human Error
Technological advances have allowed for racing events that are all but devoid of human error.
Monday, November, 10, 2014
Get to Know Your Peers When Attending ABC
This is a story about a conversation Lou Holtz and I never had.
Tuesday, August, 12, 2014
Robin Williams Drew Attention to Inaugural Augie’s BASH
Robin Williams possessed the kind of frenetic magnetism that dared you to look away. For me, it wasn’t possible. The actor/comedian’s larger-than-life persona was tailor-made for a movie screen.
Thursday, January, 17, 2013
Blog: The Tangled Webs of Lance Armstrong, Manti Te'o
The twisted tales of Lance Armstrong and Manti Te'o are now intertwined. Heroes to many, these athletes have lived lies before our eyes, and now those lies are unraveling within the same week.
Monday, December, 03, 2012
Blog: The Life and Death of Rick Majerus
The first time I saw Rick Majerus in person, he was sitting in seldom-used end-court bleachers that had been wheeled into position for a Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Class C basketball sectional at my high school alma mater's field house. I was there to cover a game for my hometown newspaper, The West Bend News. Majerus, an assistant coach at Marquette at the time (this was the mid-'80s), was there to scout Kohler, Wis., phenom Joe Wolf, who would eventually attend North Carolina.
Friday, August, 17, 2012
Blog: Cheer These Pro Athletes for Giving Back
Assuming your membership in the Latrell "I have a family to feed" Sprewell Fan Club has expired, may we suggest a couple of options.
Sunday, January, 17, 2010
Blog: Still Believing, 34 Years (and Counting) Later
Editor's Note: AB Senior Editor Paul Steinbach authored this piece in January 2010, but with February 22nd marking the 34th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice and the U.S. men's hockey team facing off against Canada on Friday, the message still rings true.
For nearly 30 years now, the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team has been an off-and-on obsession of mine.
Thursday, December, 10, 2009
A Choice to Make
There's precedent for a Catholic institution sticking with a coach despite his pro-choice stance on abortion. Rick Majerus is in his third season heading the St. Louis University men's basketball program after admitting during a TV interview at a January 2008 Hillary Clinton campaign rally that he is "pro-choice, personally." But will a Catholic institution hire a pro-choice coach? Somehow, during speculation that University of Cincinnati head football coach Brian Kelly is next in line to bear the Notre Dame football cross, the rumor spread that Kelly, an Irish Catholic who decades ago campaigned for Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart, is pro-choice. But no one seems to know for sure. "I searched online media archives all day today trying to find one reputable media reference to Kelly's stance on abortion," read a Tuesday post by Brooks at sportsbybrooks.com. "I found none."
Wednesday, November, 11, 2009
Hit 'Em Straight
When the AB editors dedicated our July issue to best environmental practices in the athletics, fitness and recreation industries, we managed to overlook one egregious hazard to our planet's health: golf balls.