Sports

3:02am

Wed March 5, 2014
Sweetness And Light

A Star Tennis Coach And The End Of The All-Around Athlete

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 10:26 am

Tennis Coach Nick Bollettieri gives instructions to a young Anna Kournikova of Russia during a training session at his tennis academy in Bradenton, Fla., in 1990. Kournikova went on to become a highly ranked international player, but she ended her career at age 21 because of injuries.
Simon Bruty Getty Images

Tennis coach Nick Bollettieri's deserved acceptance into the International Tennis Hall of Fame came late in life, at age 82. What makes him so important is not his long career but how he changed the way we bring up our athletic children.

The ultimate young athlete used to be the boy (girls didn't have the chance then) who starred in several sports. The all-around athlete. But Bollettieri changed that.

Read more
Tags: 

5:43am

Wed February 26, 2014
Sweetness And Light

It's Time To Shrink Home Plate

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 9:09 am

Imagine how much livelier baseball would be with a 14-inch home plate.
Alex Brandon AP

It's time to make home plate smaller. I know: That's heresy; that's sacrilegious. But there are simply too many strikeouts in baseball now, and that hurts the game, because if the ball isn't in play, it's boring.

The size of home plate was not decreed by God. Back when it was an iron plate — where the name came from — it was, in fact, round. It became rubber and a square, 12 inches to a side, but its present distinctive shape was established in 1900 — a full 17 inches across.

Read more
Tags: 

6:05am

Wed February 19, 2014
Sweetness And Light

Michael Sam, A Distraction? Please

Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel with players Robert Luce (from left) and Michael Sam, ahead of the Cotton Bowl in January.
Tim Sharp AP

12:22pm

Thu February 13, 2014
The Salt

Why Some Olympians Load Up On Salad Instead Of Pasta

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 9:53 am

Peter Frenette of the United States jumps during training for the Men's Normal Hill Individual ahead of the start of the Sochi Games.
Lars Baron Getty Images

When we imagine Olympic athletes at the table before the most important competition of their lives, we might picture a huge plate of pasta, with Gatorade to wash it down and a well-deserved ice cream sundae for dessert.

Turns out, they might be preparing with a salad, a glass of beet juice and some almonds.

Read more

5:03am

Wed February 12, 2014
Sweetness And Light

Double Axels And Death Spirals — Yes, Figure Skating Is A Sport

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 5:57 am

Russia's Maxim Trankov and Tatiana Volosozhar helped Russia take gold during the team figure skating competition in Sochi.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

With the addition of team figure skating to the Olympic manifest, I wasn't surprised to hear from my grumpy old pal the Sports Curmudgeon. "Hey, Frank," the crabby kibitzer said, "when you gonna admit that anything that calls itself a sport that has music outside o' halftime ain't a real sport?"

Actually, there are other sporting defenders of the faith who are even more critical. They maintain that any sport — like figure skating, gymnastics, diving, halfpipe — that is resolved by exterior judges rather than by the participants themselves is not a true sport.

Read more
Tags: 

Pages