Twenty-four hours a day in every city in America, you can hear shock jock radio types screaming their outrage at the latest sports scandal. The din has become so loud and so steady that I, for one, am thirsting for the poetry, the sociology, the philosophy of sports. On The Score, I hope to tell poignantly inspirational stories, cover the broad spectrum of characters who play parts in the sports world and lift listeners to feel a passion for sports, as I do.
Cam Newton, Ego Aside
This year's NFL Draft holds the promise of teams licking their chops at mining a wealth of quarterback prospects. No matter how deep that list runs, one 6'6", 250-pound monster-armed talent stands head and shoulders above the rest. Auburn's quarterback Cam Newton was this year's stand-out college player. There was no debate. Scouts, coaches, pro players current and past resoundingly weighed in with kudos on the order of not having seen a monumental talent like Newton in quite some time...
Let's call this Ladies Day here on The Score. First, in Iowa, where wrestling is to the state as football is to Texas, a high school girl last week became the first in the 86-year history of the State tournament to win a match. The downside to Cassy Herkelman's victory is that it came on a default by a boy, the fifth-ranked wrestler in the state in the 112-pound division. Joel Northrop, home-schooled, his father a minister, cited the tenets of his faith, not believing boys should engage girls in the violent manner necessary in this sport, as the reason for his defaulting the match. His father, the pastor, had this comment: "We believe in the elevation and respect of women."
Aguilera?s Anthem Flub
Christina Aguilera?s flubbing of the National Anthem has drawn equal billing to any football news, post Super Bowl. OK, ?the twilight?s last ?reaming?? was perhaps egregious botching, compared to other Anthem gaffes, such as Robert Goulet, before a Muhammed Ali-Sonny Liston fight, singing ?by the dawn?s early night?.
Women Love Football
To paraphrase a feminist concept of male resistance to the growing power of women in our society, it has been said "the stronger women get, the more men love football." This to be interpreted that men love football, revere football, because it's seemingly the last all-male frontier...
Ted Williams: Homeless to Famous
This is the quintessential story that proves the enormous muscle of today's Social Media. O.K. Maybe Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg being named Time Magazine's Person of the Year, for influencing the lives of more than half a billion people, is the ultimate Social Media accolade. But the story of Ted Williams proves the proverbial Everyman's talents can be found by the wide-sweeping magic of the Internet.
Bud Greenspan: Artist of Sports
Bud Greenspan, the award-winning Olympic filmmaker, died on Christmas Day. The eulogies and obituaries have poured forth. High praise for his many, beautiful works of art. Bud?I affectionately called him by his birth name, Jonah?was my long-time, dear friend. And he was far and away THE number one mentor in my career. Who among us doesn't swoon under the spell of the classic Greenspan minimalist wording, the cinematography that conjured up oil paintings?
Hashim Khan Streak
The women's basketball team at the University of Connecticut now holds the longest streak of consecutive games won in the history of the sport. On Tuesday, the Huskies took their record to 89, passing the long-standing, historic record of 88 straight by revered Coach John Wooden's UCLA men's squad of the early 1970's. Many have argued this week that you simply can't compare this UConn streak to the Wooden glory days, in that the men's games were more competitive, their opponents deeper.... But one athlete doesn't often appear on our list of phenomenal streaks. So we pay homage to him today...
Philly Fans Rudest
Pitcher Cliff Lee created headlines this week with his surprise choice of the Philadelphia Phillies as home for ostensibly the rest of his already stellar career. None other than the Yankees, used to getting pretty much every star they pursue with their open check-book policy, failed to woo Lee to the Bronx. And Lee chose Philly over his current Texas Rangers, also offering a multi-year, sweet deal. Much has been written about Lee?s unusual decision to leave the Yankees fatter contract, but those stratospheric numbers are hard for us regular folk to compute, similar to hearing how many trillions of light years a certain star is from Earth....
Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and Monday Night Football personality Don Meredith passed away this week. In remembering the likeable Dandy Don, his Texas twang, his snakeskin cowboy boots and his irreverence in literally drinking and smoking pot live in the broadcast booth, the tribute tracks back to the man who put Don on the air...