Dubious Domination

Why has the American national women’s soccer team won its version of the World Cup four times, while our national men’s team hasn’t made it past the quarterfinals since 1930? It’s not that the American women are better in an ...


I Get No Kick From Women’s Soccer

I happened to be in Paris when the final of the women’s World Cup (soccer) was played. Our little local restaurant, owned and run by Berbers, had a screen that relayed it, more or less inescapably, to the customers. I am afraid that ...

Colin Kaepernick


Same Old Slogan

The inspirational story of a backup NFL quarterback suddenly dominating headlines by championing black-power politics sounds like a dream you’d dream if you fell asleep during a Warren Beatty marathon on TCM (specifically a section ...

Tiger Woods


The Tiger Mother’s Son

A year ago, after a decade of worsening pain from swinging hard since infancy, Tiger Woods, perhaps the highest-paid athlete in history, appeared headed for the same fate as Philip Seymour Hoffman, Prince, and Tom Petty. But this spring ...


Out of Bounds?

The young man at the supermarket checkout asked me if I would be watching the fight. “No,” I said, “more a media event than sport.” He wasn’t convinced. He would be paying to watch it, and he was backing Conor McGregor to win. ...


Fore Thought

The American victory in the Ryder Cup was convincing and thoroughly deserved. They played brilliantly, none more so than Patrick Reed and Phil Mickelson. Mickelson may spray his drives wildly, but the quality of his recovery play, ...


A Silent Boo for the Good Professor

Sociologists often talk or write nonsense. Sometimes they dress up the bleeding obvious in pretentious language. Sometimes they merely seem determined to demonstrate that they are more intelligent and understand things better than the ...

Panathenaic Stadium, Athens


Losing Games

In the summer of 1992 BC (before Clinton) I was cruising in Greece with William F. Buckley and his wife, Pat, on board the boat I had just inherited from my father. It was a motor yacht and Bill, a sailing enthusiast, was restless. A ...

Lance Armstrong


Coming Clean

I was watching the synchronized diving"€”one does odd things at Olympics time"€”and when Viktor Minibaev and Nikita Shleikher, the Russian competitors, stepped onto the platform, the British commentators remarked that they were ...


Rereading Pliny

I care nothing for football (soccer to Americans), but I was pleased when Portugal won the European Cup last Sunday. I would have preferred it to be Liechtenstein or San Marino, or best of all Vatican City"€”that is to say, the ...

Sanford Koufax


The Koufax Conundrum

"€œThree thousand years of beautiful tradition, from Moses to Sandy Koufax, you"€™re goddamn right I"€™m living in the f—-ing past!"€ "€”Walter Sobchak in the Coen brothers"€™ The Big Lebowski This is the 50th ...


Too Many Champions

When I was a small boy I could name all of boxing's world champions, and I guess that anyone who followed the sport could do likewise. This was back in the immediate postwar years, and even people with little interest in what ...

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