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On Sport and Society

2006

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The Arms Race In College Football, Richard C. Crepeau Dec 2006

The Arms Race In College Football, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Watching the BCS crash and burn again this year brings to mind a number of developments in intercollegiate athletics that have been accumulating in my memory for the past month or so. Before turning to those less significant topics-as who is number one is always the most important question in intercollegiate athletics-I would like to offer a modest proposal to solve the BCS Championship Game quandary. Given the Ohio State dominance and perfect record, and given the fact that they have already hammered Michigan, the Buckeyes should be awarded the BCS championship outright. No one is close to their level ...


The Breeders' Cup, Richard C. Crepeau Nov 2006

The Breeders' Cup, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Since the first running of the Breeders' Cup in 1984, I have sat before my television each year and watched the greatest day of horse racing available in this country. I haven't seen all the Breeders' Cups, having been out of the country for a few of them, but have seen most of these great spectacles of racing.


Baseball's New Cba, Richard C. Crepeau Oct 2006

Baseball's New Cba, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

As the World Series came to an end on Friday with Tony LaRussa receiving his latest anointing from the fans of Cardinal Nation (prepare yourselves for another book), others were left to wonder at the fantastic turnaround by the Tigers, who went from juggernaut to gift-givers in less than a week. The baseball story that was of greater significance was the announcement that a new contract agreement had been reached between the Players Association and the baseball owners. Collective bargaining, it seems, has worked once again, establishing a two time winning streak for the players, the owners, and the fans.


College Football Violence, Richard C. Crepeau Oct 2006

College Football Violence, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

It was an ugly scene last Saturday. Players from both teams were pushing, shoving, and punching one another. Some players were thrown to the ground and kicked by others. Coaches and stadium security, as well as local police, got onto the field to try to gain control of the situation, but as soon as they stopped one fight, another broke out.


Tiger Woods And Roger Federer, Richard C. Crepeau Sep 2006

Tiger Woods And Roger Federer, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

For the past several weeks I have watched with more than a passing interest as the Tiger Woods juggernaut has rolled over the world of golf. Winning five tournaments in a row, including two majors, certainly qualifies as a juggernaut. As I marveled at this run, I began to think about this sort of dominance and what accounts for it.


Sport Drugs And Semantics, Richard C. Crepeau Sep 2006

Sport Drugs And Semantics, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

If you picked up your newspaper one morning or tuned into SportsCenter and you were greeted by the headline, "Tiger Tests Positive," how would you react? Would it be total disbelief? Would you simply dismiss the announcement from the World Anti-Doping Agency as some mistake, or the result of fanatical WADA leadership seeking to make headlines? Would any of you immediately presume Tiger was guilty, and rejoice that he had finally been caught?


Andre Agassi, Richard C. Crepeau Sep 2006

Andre Agassi, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

If you were fortunate enough to see Andre Agassi's match with Marcos Baghdatis on Thursday night/Friday morning at the U.S. Open, you saw one of the great moments in modern tennis, at a tournament that over the past decades has offered many memorable matches and moments. Facing retirement, Agassi is playing one final tournament at what has become his triumphant home.


Floyd Landis And Tiger Woods, Richard C. Crepeau Jul 2006

Floyd Landis And Tiger Woods, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Victory in sport is often no more than the application of skills by an athlete at an extremely high level of efficiency. This is true at nearly all levels of any game. However, in highly competitive situations little things often make a major difference in the outcome. At the elite levels of sport there is a very fine line between victory and defeat, and between flawless and flawed performances. Any intrusion into the concentration of the athlete can be a distraction of major consequence.


Academic Fraud At Auburn, Richard C. Crepeau Jul 2006

Academic Fraud At Auburn, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

While contemplating the fact that T.O. has claimed he was misquoted in his autobiography, I was bemused by the revelations of what appears to be academic fraud associated with intercollegiate athletics anywhere, but especially when it involves football and Auburn University. I am surprised that anyone would be surprised by such revelations. It was, by the way, an Auburn athlete who first claimed to have been misquoted in his autobiography.


The World Cup, Richard C. Crepeau Jul 2006

The World Cup, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Now that the World Cup has ended and the red and yellow cards have stopped dropping from the sky, I want to try and make some comments about this world event that seems only marginally relevant to most Americans. I should also preface my remarks by noting that I have not seen every game, have been on the road through much of the event and therefore been somewhat distracted, and most importantly I did not see the final game with its much discussed conclusion.


The All-Star Game, Richard C. Crepeau Jul 2006

The All-Star Game, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Baseball's All-Star Game is coming up Tuesday in Pittsburgh and is the first All-Star Game held in the new ballpark in this once proud baseball city. It is, however, the fifth time Pittsburgh will host this showcase of baseball talent. There are hopes that the return of the game to Pittsburgh will help to renew interest in the game in the former Steel City.


Midseason Baseball Roundup, Richard C. Crepeau Jun 2006

Midseason Baseball Roundup, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

The baseball season thus far has been a strange one, although perhaps no stranger than most. Normal is not a word that is often associated with baseball, or for that matter with most sports. Before the season started, the specter of steroids stalked spring training. Barry Bonds was written about almost as much as T.O. had been written about before the NFL season started last fall. Sports writers, sportscasters, and the fanatics on talk radio couldn't match the T.O. hysteria, but they gave it a good try.


Jason Grimsley And Hgh, Richard C. Crepeau Jun 2006

Jason Grimsley And Hgh, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Up to this point in his less than distinguished major league baseball career, Jason Grimsley was best known as the player who crawled through a ceiling passage in the visitor's clubhouse at Comiskey Park to get Albert Belle's corked bat from the umpire's room. It was July of 1994 and the umpires had confiscated Belle's illegal bat.


A Remarkable Weekend, Richard C. Crepeau Jun 2006

A Remarkable Weekend, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

It is difficult to remember another weekend like this in the world of sport. The words "feast," "cornucopia," and "festival," all seem inadequate to describe the variety, quality, and significance of this weekend's sports menu.


Playoffs In The "New" Nhl, Richard C. Crepeau Jun 2006

Playoffs In The "New" Nhl, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

This is for all those out there who have been watching something other than the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Whether you have been mesmerized by American Idol, following the fortunes of the NBA, or been caught up in the new baseball season, the time has come to abandon these minor matters and focus on the Stanley Cup Finals. The new NHL has arrived. What is really new are not just the rules, but the fact that the same rules applied by the referees in the regular season are being followed in the playoffs.


Barry Bonds Hits No. 715, Richard C. Crepeau May 2006

Barry Bonds Hits No. 715, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

It pains me excessively to admit this, but Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig and I agree on something: Barry Bonds' arrival at the number 714 and 715 in home runs is not the occasion for celebration.


Gambling And College Sports, Richard C. Crepeau May 2006

Gambling And College Sports, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

It has been a longstanding assumption among historians of sport that gambling is an essential element in the appeal of sport, and that from the first competition it was likely that a wager was involved. It is also generally conceded that, without gambling, sport would experience a marked decline in public interest. The gambling industry in America is huge and largely illegal, while the gambling industry on other parts of the planet is huge and legal.


The Ultimate Non-Event: The Nfl Draft, Richard C. Crepeau Apr 2006

The Ultimate Non-Event: The Nfl Draft, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

It is the biggest non-event in sport. It saturates the sports talk shows, the sports pages, the sports magazines, the sports web sites. It is the orphan adopted and promoted by ESPN and turned into a monster of the television world. It is the sports version of "Let's Make a Deal" as audience members dress up to catch the camera eye. It is the sports television equivalent of a nuclear explosion leaving behind a wasteland of irradiated viewers.


Keith Hernandez On Women In The Dugout, Richard C. Crepeau Apr 2006

Keith Hernandez On Women In The Dugout, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Each time I hear the name Keith Hernandez I am taken back to March of 1989 when, at the New York Mets' spring training facility, Darryl Strawberry threw a punch at the first-baseman. It was one of those forgettable moments except for the line that someone got off about the incident: "It was the first time that Strawberry ever hit the cut-off man."


Amateurs And Professionals In College Sports, Richard C. Crepeau Apr 2006

Amateurs And Professionals In College Sports, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

During this past week, The New York Times published two stories concerning the eligibility of tennis players to participate in NCAA competitions. The point of contention has arisen over a very high number of international players who have been dominating championship play over the last few years. Last year, in the NCAA national championships, 38 of the 64 male competitors and 33 of the 64 female competitors were international players, and one estimate is that half of these players were professionals under NCAA rules.


Bud Selig And Steroids, Richard C. Crepeau Apr 2006

Bud Selig And Steroids, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

It is spring. Time of optimism and renewal. The flowers are in bloom. Spring training is over. Opening day of another baseball season is upon us. Everyone is in first place. Dreams of pennants in October are yet to be crushed. What possibly could dampen the mood as another baseball season opens? In so many ways it is the best time of year. Could it possibly last?


Scandal At Indiana, K-State, And Duke, Richard C. Crepeau Mar 2006

Scandal At Indiana, K-State, And Duke, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

In this month of madness, March is going out like a crazed lion. The Final Four has offered excitement at the level of delirium. While off the court the dark underside of intercollegiate athletics had found numerous modes of expression pointing to levels of madness of another kind.


Madness In March: Steroids & Point-Shaving, Richard C. Crepeau Mar 2006

Madness In March: Steroids & Point-Shaving, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Welcome to March Madness, or rather the Madness that is March. I will not use "March Madness" because CBS Inc. and the NCAA Inc. own the phrase "March Madness" and I wouldn't want to face a lawsuit for using this copyrighted phrase. So in deference to CBS, the NCAA, and their all-star team of corporate lawyers, I will not risk their wrath and will speak only of the "Madness that is March" rather than "March Madness."


The Death Of Kirby Puckett, Richard C. Crepeau Mar 2006

The Death Of Kirby Puckett, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

What to say when a friend dies? It is always a difficult moment for the living. For anyone who was a fan of the Minnesota Twins and of baseball that moment is here again because Kirby Puckett, a great friend to all Twins fans, died yesterday, just a day after suffering a stroke. He was 45. To fans like me he was the archetypal baseball player, and although I never met him, he was the friendly round man in centerfield who did so much for the struggling baseball franchise in Minnesota. He was a friend to anyone who ever saw ...


European Hockey To The Fore In Turin, Richard C. Crepeau Mar 2006

European Hockey To The Fore In Turin, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Before leaving the Olympic Winter Games behind I want to make a few closing observations on what might be regarded as the downside.


The Quest For Perfection At Turin, Richard C. Crepeau Feb 2006

The Quest For Perfection At Turin, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

With the XXth Winter Olympics now in the books, I want to reflect on a few of the many extraordinary occurrences of the past two weeks. Some of these I saw on television and some I read about. Most of these observations concern the second week of competition as I have already written about the first week.


Surprises At The Winter Olympics, Richard C. Crepeau Feb 2006

Surprises At The Winter Olympics, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

As the second week of the XXth Winter Olympic games begins the surprises continue to mount. Some are truly surprises while others are simply a tribute to the slim margins of difference among elite athletes. Still others are rooted in the misplaced expectations of the press.


Turin Winter Olympics, Richard C. Crepeau Feb 2006

Turin Winter Olympics, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Here we are only five days into the Winter Olympic Games and already there have been several disappointing and magnificent moments. From the departure of Michelle Kwan to the always beautiful and astounding pairs skating, this Olympics is off to a very fast start.


The Xl Super Bowl, Richard C. Crepeau Feb 2006

The Xl Super Bowl, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Sunday is Super Bowl XL in Detroit. In the Roman Empire the XL denoted the number forty. In a fortuitous parallel within the American Empire the XL carries the meaning, "Extra Large." No doubt Super Bowl XL will be both extremely large and as decadent as one would expect of a Roman orgy in the time of Caligula, the Emperor who, in a post-modern gesture, appointed his horse to the Roman Senate.


T On Tom Penders; Daly Shoots 69, Richard C. Crepeau Jan 2006

T On Tom Penders; Daly Shoots 69, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

I think it was Wednesday. I was cruising the channels when suddenly I was brought to a complete stop by what I saw. There it was, live, football practice for the Senior Bowl. I have seen a lot of dreadful non-events on ESPN through the years, but this one represented a new low. Cheerleading competitions are considerably more interesting, and indeed more significant.