Baseball must embrace its uniqueness and stay retro

Every time MLB moves away from its history, tradition and nostalgia, the game doesn’t improve a little, it dies a little

Baseball must embrace its uniqueness and stay retroBaseball is a significantly different sport than football, basketball and hockey. It’s that uniqueness, and the tradition that comes from the fact that baseball has changed very little over the years, that accounts for a lot of its popularity. “There’s no crying in baseball!” said Jimmy Dugan (played by Tom Hanks) in the movie A…

The fundamental flaw in coaching by instinct

Analytical detail determines winners and losers. So why do coaches insist on winging it at crucial moments?

The fundamental flaw in coaching by instinctI’m reading Ted Barris’s book The Dam Busters, about the epic 1943 raid by Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force flyers on the Möhne and Eder dams. The raid was famous for its risk – 53 men were killed, 18 of them Canadian – and for the new technologies used by the bombers…

Is gambling a big deal to the NFL? You can bet on it

With billions now being bet legally on sports, the simple outcome of the Super Bowl game will no longer be the only story

It’s late in Super Bowl LIII this Sunday. The driving New England Patriots, favoured by a field goal, have a three-point lead in the game. Hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide ride on whether the Los Angeles Rams can keep them out of the end zone or whether quarterback Tom Brady will push it in…

Great NFL playoff games tainted by bad officiating, OT rule flaw

The NFL’s officiating video review system needs to be fixed. And overtime comes down to who wins the coin toss. How is that fair?

Great NFL playoff games tainted by bad officiating, OT rule flawI don’t know why some people aren’t sports fans but I’m certainly glad I am. Sunday’s National Football League games reinforced that feeling. What great drama and entertainment the NFL gave us with the conference championship games. Elite athleticism and clutch performances were on exhibit by players from each of the four teams. Sadly, the…

Lawsuit could end sham known as U.S. college sports amateurism

The organization that oversees college athletics broke the $1-billion mark in annual revenue for 2017. And it's considered a non-profit

Lawsuit could end sham known as U.S. college sports amateurismThe College Football Playoff (CFP) championship game recently generated millions of dollars for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States, the universities involved and their media partners. The players who put on a great show of athleticism? Well, they probably got a nice steak dinner. Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma and Notre Dame made…

The lessons Fred Rogers taught us still resonate

A new documentary, followed by a feature film, bring the spotlight back to Mister Rogers. His legacy is worth rediscovering

The lessons Fred Rogers taught us still resonateFred Rogers said, “Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime’s work, but it’s worth the effort.” Of course, Fred Rogers is best known as the star of the television program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. He was not only the main character, however, he was responsible for most of the content of a show that ran…

The sad, slow descent into CTE hell

The terrible degenerative disease is claiming more and more victims who played football at all levels

The sad, slow descent into CTE hellAs a sports policy analyst, I’ve learned a lot more about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in athletes than I ever expected to. Actually, at this point, I’ve learned more than I really want to know. CTE is a terrible degenerative disease, and it takes an immense toll on those who are stricken, as well as…

The Super Bowl ads get punted in Canada – again

Donald Trump may take the credit, but you can blame CTV/Bell Media and the CRTC

The Super Bowl ads get punted in Canada – againNow that the nation is deep into the seasonal gridiron grind, it’s time to talk money, TV and some serious Canadian angst. No, this isn’t about why the Canadian Football League can’t draw flies in Toronto. This is about the ads, the rights and all the money that makes football a fantasy land for fans…

Win, lose or draw: the value of sport isn’t dependent on the outcome

Sports are an ongoing battle between ego and soul. If you choose soul, both sides can succeed, no matter what the scoreboard says

Win, lose or draw: the value of sport isn’t dependent on the outcomeWin-at-all-costs (WAAC) ethos greatly damage sports, which at their best are a great socio-cultural practice. The WAAC mentality sees sport as a metaphor for war, in which opponents are evil and must be conquered. It’s a mindset that sees only one thing of value in athletic competition: winning. Football coach Vince Lombardi was quoted as…

The increasing – and disturbing – militarization of U.S. sports

The NFL and other pro sports leagues don't celebrate the military as gestures of patriotism. The only motivating factor is money

The increasing – and disturbing – militarization of U.S. sportsAmerica’s major professional sports leagues – most notably the National Football League – have increasingly teamed with the military and corporations to serve up ugly forms of paid and forced patriotism. “The melding of sports and the military should be seen as inappropriate, if not insidious,” says William Astore, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant-colonel…