Archive - February 2015
- Column: Spring Training BeginsFebruary 22, 2015
If “Play Ball” is the most pleasant sounding phrase in the English language, these four words aren’t far behind: “Pitchers and catchers report.” Last week, pitchers and catchers reported to the 30 Major League spring training complexes in Florida and Arizona. In the midst of one of the coldest and snowiest winters on record, baseball fans have a welcome diversion. Instead of the consistently dreary and monotonous daily weather reports – more snow and cold on the way - we can now focus on cheery and optimistic reports emanating from the Grapefruit (FL) and Cactus (AZ) Leagues.
- Column: Jeff Gordon Announces RetirementFebruary 16, 2015
NASCAR is losing an icon. Jeff Gordon recently announced that 2015 will be his last season racing fulltime in the Sprint Cup Series. Every driver should utter a “Thank you” to the guy who ushered in stock car racing’s current era. Gordon has spent the past 23 seasons wheeling a stock car around tracks that span the country from east to west and north to south. When Gordon burst onto the scene in 1993 NASCAR was still a mostly southern sport – 13 of its 30 races were held in two states, North Carolina or Virginia. Drivers were mostly grizzled “good ‘ole boys,” descendants of moonshiners who ran illegal whiskey during the week and raced each other for bragging rights and odd change on weekends.
- Column: College Athletes Unrealistic About Playing ProFebruary 9, 2015
“You can do anything you want to do.” How many of us have heard those words spoken by parents, teachers, coaches and peers? But as I tell my students, those words should be taken with a healthy dose of reality. And that admonition is especially true for college athletes. Why? According to data compiled by the NCAA, far too many college athletes in every sport have an unrealistic view of their chances to play pro. Every four years, the NCAA conducts what it calls a GOALS Study (Growth, Opportunities, Aspirations and Learning of Students in college). The detailed study is a survey of student-athletes in a variety of sports - men’s and women’s - across all three divisions. Student-athletes are asked a broad range of questions about their college experiences including their future expectations to play sports professionally.
- Column: A Merciful End to The NFL SeasonFebruary 2, 2015
most popular and financially successful sports league. The popularity of the NFL is both a blessing and a curse. The league has experienced unprecedented financial success - approximately $10 billion a year in revenue, on track to the avowed goal of $25 billion a year within a decade. But there’s more to success than the bottom line on a financial statement. Along with that popularity comes the intense scrutiny of every move, including - and perhaps especially - every oversight and misstep. In that regard, Goodell may have had the most difficult and challenging job in sports during the past year. As the commissioner said during his annual Super Bowl confab with the media, "…it has been a tough year. It has been a tough year for me personally. It's been a year of I would say humility and learning…We obviously, as an organization, have gone through adversity. But more importantly, it's been adversity for me.” Boy was he right.