- Tuesday, May, 04, 2010
The Longer Arm of the Law
An unarmed teenager bolted into the outfield at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia last night. Fans hooted as he managed briefly to outrun a lone police officer and several uniformed event security personnel. But ultimately the long arm of the law was made longer by a Taser - its incapacitating shockwaves dropping the trespasser to the turf, where he lay motionless for a full 30 seconds. By then, many among the Philly faithful had begun booing.
Tasers have been used with increasing frequency to control crowds at professional and college sports venues on down to high school athletic events. Today, Philadelphia police defended the deployment of a Taser in apprehending the teen, even though he was outnumbered and his arrest appeared imminent.
Put yourself in a seat at Citizens Bank Park on Monday night. Are you cheering or jeering the use of a Taser in this instance?
UPDATE: Fans running onto the field in Philadelphia are getting older, if not wiser, but one wonders if Citizens Bank Park security personnel have learned something this week.
A 34-year-old Phillies fan gained access to the field Tuesday, one night after a 17-year-old was tasered to the outfield turf by a police officer. The latest trespasser was apprehended without use of a Taser.
- Monday, May, 03, 2010
New Facility Fortifies Sports, Spirituality at Neumann University
A new facility fortifies Neumann University's sport and spirituality institute.
- Thursday, April, 29, 2010
Staging Hockey Games in Outdoor Stadiums Remains Delicate Balance of Nature vs. Nurture
As the popularity of stadium ice hockey solidifies, staging events remains a delicate balance of nature versus nurture.
- Thursday, April, 29, 2010
Injuries Renew Debate Over Metal and Wood Bats
A rash of batted-ball injuries has renewed debate over the performance of baseball and softball equipment.
- Monday, April, 26, 2010
Congratulations to Pat Laus, owner and founder of The Atlantic Clubs in Manasquan and Red Bank, N.J., on receiving the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association's Outstanding Community Service Award.
- Friday, April, 23, 2010
'Help Wanted' Help
The National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association knows a little something about competition, and nowhere is competition more intense these days than within the job market. That's why I dropped into the Career Opportunities Center this week at the annual NIRSA conference in Anaheim, Calif., to learn more about what the association does to help match aspiring recreation professionals with help-seeking employers.
- Wednesday, April, 21, 2010
Reconnecting with Paul Wilson
Opening day of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association conference is history, and I can't think of a better person to have spent a good chunk of it with than NIRSA historian Paul Wilson, who dropped by the Athletic Business booth to reconnect.
- Wednesday, April, 07, 2010
With the NCAA crowning champions in three major sports this week, it's clear which among them reigns superior with the ticket-buying public, as evidenced by the adaptation of the host venue to each sport. In previewing the men's basketball Final Four in Indianapolis, one commentator described Lucas Oil Stadium as "a football stadium built for basketball." With the court positioned dead center on the surface typically occupied by the NFL's Colts, and surrounded by temporary and permanent seating in such a way that the seating chart looked like a study in near-symmetrical arena design, Duke defeated Butler on Monday night before 70,930 fans. That's roughly three and a half times the combined capacities of the combatants' home venues - Cameron Indoor Stadium and Hinkle Fieldhouse, respectively.
- Friday, April, 02, 2010
Take Me Out to the Ballpark
To welcome the Major League Baseball season, ABCNews.com today offers its list of "America's 7 Best Ballparks." The subtitle of the piece authored by Scott Mayerowitz reads "These Baseball Stadiums Make It a Great Day Out Whether or Not Your Team Wins."
With the help of expert opinion, Mayerowitz lists "high-end food" as drivers of the gameday experience in today's best parks, and he quotes Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Heyman, who adds of park design, "They've gotten away from the cookie-cutter park, thank goodness."
Mere mention of "cookie cutter" in describing dated ballpark design nearly makes me want to slash my wrists with one. So I'm not going to go there myself.
But I did go to MLB.com and looked up the 2009 home records of the clubs occupying Mayerowitz's magnificent seven to see which fans were most likely to have a great day out AND see their team win.
Red Sox Nation enjoyed the best odds, as Boston won 56 of 81 regular-season games played last year at Fenway Park - the oldest, quirkiest stadium in the bigs. San Francisco fans faired nearly as well, witnessing 52 wins at AT&T Park. Safeco Field in Seattle, Wrigely Field in Chicago, Citi Field in New York and PNC Park in Pittsburgh weren't as hospitable, with home victory totals of 48, 46, 41 and 40, respectively. The club least likely to cap a great day at a great park with a W? The Baltimore Orioles, the only team on the list aside from Pittsburgh with a losing record at home - in this case, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the design of which is often credited with spawning the retro-park revolution in 1992.
The eventual World Champion New York Yankees owned last season's best home record - 57-24 - and their now two-year-old stadium earned an honorable mention from Mayerowitz's experts. The worst home showing, by the way, belonged to the Kansas City Royals, who went 33-48 at Kauffman Stadium, which got no mention from ABC. Built with unique visual amenities (including a centerfield fountain) in the 1970s, the waning years of the - oh, I'll just spit it out - cookie-cutter era, the park has undergone renovation and incorporated ticketing innovation in an ongoing attempt to attract fans.
To what degree a park's appeal actually puts butts in the seats is difficult to pin down, as stadium capacities vary widely, but I checked ABC's list against team attendance rankings anyway. With league-wide attendance down 6 percent last season, none of the chosen parks cracked MLB's top-five destinations. However, Wrigley, Citi (in its debut season) and Fenway followed at numbers six through eight, and AT&T landed in the 10th spot.
PNC Park, meanwhile, saw fewer fans trip the turnstiles than 27 of the league's 30 teams. So when the Pirates host Los Angeles in their home opener Monday, here's hoping fans enjoy the view of Pittsburgh's skyline and riverfront, even if they lose interest in what unfolds on the field.
- Wednesday, March, 31, 2010
Nutrition Education Lacking Among College Student-Athletes
Student-athletes are starved for nutrition knowledge, yet many athletic departments are not staffed to provide it.
- Wednesday, November, 30, 2016
AB Show 2016: The Magic of Orlando
There’s something about Orlando, Fla., that stirs the nostalgia in this AB Show-goer. It’s where the conference and expo (as it used to be known) was held my first eight years at Athletic Business, and it has been there another four times since. In all, Orlando has served as the annual home away from home for AB roughly half the time in our show’s 35-year history.
- 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.