How do we make sense of, and manage, football’s violence?

Head-first tackles, helmet swinging and devastating hip injuries all add to a game’s growing reputation for chaos

How do we make sense of, and manage, football’s violence?A couple incidents from last week’s football action have garnered a lot of media and fan attention: Myles Garrett’s bonehead use of Mason Rudolph’s helmet as a weapon and the terrible hip injury to Alabama’s star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. First, the Garrett situation. Twitter-verse is afire with emotional chatter about banning Garrett from the National…

Progress? Sport? The two shall never meet

From disputed strike zones to goal-line uncertainty to bloody high-sticks, major-league officiating can't seem to embrace high-tech

Progress? Sport? The two shall never meetIt’s Game Three of the 2019 World Series and the Washington Nationals hope to extend their surprising 2-0 lead in games over Houston. The Nats have revival project Anibal Sanchez on the mound to give Washington fans their first home-field win in a Series since 1933. But the Astros are off to a quick lead.…

The heavy burden of sports stardom

From Auston Matthews to Antonio Brown, the spotlight never seems to waver. Making a mistake can be very costly

The heavy burden of sports stardomIt doesn’t take much to send Toronto Maple Leafs nation into a tizzy. As the 2019-2020 season dawns, the supporters of the acer saccharum are consumed with whether their young franchise star Auston Matthews should be the club’s next captain. Distilled into a single sentence: can Auston wear the C when he’s acted like an…

Fans’ expectations of athletes are out of whack

Those who booed retiring Indianapolis Colt Andrew Luck should be ashamed of themselves. Athletes aren’t warriors created by central casting for our weekend enjoyment

Fans’ expectations of athletes are out of whackToo many sports fans view athletes as robots designed to play games for their entertainment. They sit in the stands or on their sofas, a cold beer in their hands, and yell at injured players for being “too soft” and “not tough enough.” They think jocks should just “suck it up” and get on the…

Coming to grips with the gay reality in sports locker rooms

Professional male sports teams are a cross-section of many cultures. But the idea that they agree about much beyond winning is a fabrication. It's time to open up.

Coming to grips with the gay reality in sports locker roomsOne former pro athlete recently observed that an athlete doesn’t mention three things in the dressing room: His playing time. His salary. And the first name of a teammate’s wife. He might also have added whether your favourite jock likes guys or girls when he gets home from the game that night. This prohibition has…

What sports, e-sports and entertainment fans are looking for

Trevor Doerksen of ePlay Digital is opening doors around the world for interactive gaming

What sports, e-sports and entertainment fans are looking forTrevor Doerksen is CEO of ePlay Digital. What is ePlay Digital and what does it do? Doerksen: ePlay is one of Calgary’s growing number of game publishers. We have created a celebrity-filled, Pokemon Go style game platform for sports, e-sports, and entertainment. We will soon launch the first location-based title from the augmented reality mobile…

Video replay: is the solution worse than the crime?

We can't go back to spitballing the big calls. For the teams and the fans, too much depends on getting it right

Video replay: is the solution worse than the crime?Yogi Berra is notorious for saying “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” Yogi was warning about jumping to conclusions in close contests. But he never foresaw a contest that never ended. For reference, consider the he 145th running of the Kentucky Derby. That race will probably never be over for those who participated in or…

Hall of shame sports owners led by Ottawa’s Melnyk

Far too many odious owners haunt the world of professional sports, preying on ticket-buying fans

Hall of shame sports owners led by Ottawa’s MelnykIt takes a lot of talent to screw up a National Hockey League franchise in a Canadian city. But Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is up to the challenge. The Melnyk misery tour has reduced Ottawa to the frozen equivalent of an Albanian shoe factory. The Sens are four points clear in the Titanic Cup, my…

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…
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