Archive - July 2016
- Column: The Evolution of The Olympic GamesJuly 28, 2016
The Summer Olympic Games will open next week in Brazil with the usual pomp and circumstance. But in addition to exemplifying all that’s right about athletic competition, the Games will illustrate what’s wrong with the Olympics as they exist today. Start with greed, political corruption, financial excess, doping and environmental disaster, to name a few of the ills that beset the Olympic Movement. Then add disease and security. Brazil may not be where the Zika virus originated, but according to the World Health Organization it’s one of 23 countries where the disease, which is linked to birth defects in babies, is present and spreading. As a result, a number of athletes have chosen not to participate in this year’s Games and a number of fans are staying home. And no one knows if security at the Games will be sufficient, even after the government recently gave Rio an additional $844 million for security costs.
- Column: Pat Summitt's Definite DozenJuly 21, 2016
When former Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt passed away last month at the age of 64 from early onset Alzheimer’s, the world lost not only the greatest coach in the history of the sport, but a giant of a human being. Pat’s on-court accomplishments, many of which may never be exceeded, have been chronicled for posterity, but it’s what she stood for off the court that she valued most. Herewith are “Pat Summitt’s Definite Dozen,” rules she lived by and imparted to her players. They deserve to be remembered and repeated forever, by athletes and non-athletes alike.
- Column: Save America's Pastime ActJuly 14, 2016
One of my favorite professors in law school used to say, “I can win any case if you give me the side with the sex appeal.” I was reminded of my professor recently when I traveled to Washington D.C. as part of a Minor League Baseball (MiLB) contingent to lobby Congress on a bill titled the “Save America’s Pastime Act,” a name that screams sex appeal. Sounds like a bill that should receive bipartisan support and sail through the legislative process, right? Alas, that was not to be. Some members of the media and other pontificators, unable or unwilling to see the bill for what it really was, were quick to vilify Major League Baseball (MLB) for attempting to take advantage of MiLB players.
- Column: Heightened Security at Sporting Events New RealityJuly 7, 2016
Brad Keselowski won the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway last weekend, his first win at the historic track. But that may not be the first thing fans remember about this year’s summer race at Daytona. For the first time in history, a SWAT team was patrolling the track, including the garage area and pit road, usually the domain of drivers and crew members. Most Major League sports, including the NFL and MLB, have ramped up security at games in recent years, but the sight of uniformed personnel with assault rifles mingling with fans caught many race goers by surprise. It was the highest level of security ever seen at a NASCAR race when a president or a member of his immediate family wasn’t present.