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On Sport and Society

2014

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The Year, Richard C. Crepeau Dec 2014

The Year, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

As years go 2014 was an interesting one in sportsworld. Some might characterize it as depressing while others may look back on it as exhilarating. Whatever the case may be we know that at some point in the future we will look back on the year 2014 with nostalgia and/or perhaps a year of pivotal change. Maybe even historic, whatever that means.


Bowling, Richard C. Crepeau Dec 2014

Bowling, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Every few years I like to take inventory of the Bowl Games. Each football season concludes with these loss leaders for intercollegiate football teams. Almost without exception teams who have been honored with an invitation to a bowl game will lose money with the cost of bowling exceeding the payouts for bowlers. The theory is that the exposure is worth more than real budgetary dollars.


Fearsome Foursome, Richard C. Crepeau Dec 2014

Fearsome Foursome, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

The much anticipated day of revelation has arrived. No, not the second coming of Bear Bryant, but rather the announcement from the Committee of Justice that yesterday revealed the top four teams in college football. In case you were being held in solitary confinement and missed it, let me reveal to you, in order of quality, the four chosen ones: Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, and Ohio State, sorry, The Ohio State University.


Rice Decision, Richard C. Crepeau Nov 2014

Rice Decision, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

How surprising was it when the arbitrator in the Ray Rice case ruled that Roger Goodell had acted “arbitrary in his discretion,” and had punished Rice twice for the same offense? In addition when Goodell claimed that Ray Rice misled him about the severity of the incident, the arbitrator found otherwise. Goodell was fully apprised by Rice as to the severity of the incident.


Thanksgiving, Richard C. Crepeau Nov 2014

Thanksgiving, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

As with all American traditions, if it happened once or twice it is one. Therefore I present my traditional Thanksgiving piece.


Football And Police, Richard C. Crepeau Oct 2014

Football And Police, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Over the past few weeks college sport has once again taken over the lead in ink and air time; not actually games, of course, but stories that illustrate the corruption of higher education in America by the presence of intercollegiate athletics on campus, or more precisely football on campus.


Baseball, Richard C. Crepeau Oct 2014

Baseball, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

There are many terrific and zany baseball quotations that make there way across the nation at this time of year. Between Dizzy Dean, Yogi Berra, and Phil Rizzuto almost all aspects of the game were covered. Broadcasters too have added to the diamond lexicon. My favorite, however, comes from the former pitcher for the Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals, the incomparable Joaquin Andujar whose most memorable line covers nearly all of the possibilities of the game.


Goodell's Press Conference, Richard C. Crepeau Sep 2014

Goodell's Press Conference, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

After last week’s debacles in the NFL and Goodell’s retreat into a cave somewhere, I read a number of references to Goodell as a Nixonian figure. These were amusing and vaguely resonant. Then came Friday’s Follies as Goodell surfaced publicly and assured us that he would not resign, that he would get it right, and that the NFL remained a moral leader that America could count on.


Goodell's Quagmire, Richard C. Crepeau Sep 2014

Goodell's Quagmire, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

The continuing saga of the NFL and Ray Rice has now become basically the Roger Goodell story. The Commissioner has not managed to stay ahead of the news cycle and has failed to cut his losses. Rather than to accept responsibility for his mistakes and missteps he has continued to deal in what now seems to be his only task as Commissioner, to Protect the Shield. And it’s not going well.


Women In Sportsworld, Richard C. Crepeau Sep 2014

Women In Sportsworld, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Roger Goodell is the Commissioner of the most popular professional sports league in the United States. This week he demonstrated just how much he learned at the feet of his predecessors, Paul Tagliabue and especially Pete Rozelle.


Little League, Richard C. Crepeau Aug 2014

Little League, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

The Little League World Series is often the occasion for comment but usually it involves subjects such as rabid parents or hyperventilating coaches. This time the comments coming out of Williamsport, where fracking rather than baseball usually dominates the landscape, had a feel good aspect to them.


O'Bannon And The Five Giants, Richard C. Crepeau Aug 2014

O'Bannon And The Five Giants, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

At this point in August there are those who think that football season is already in full swing. They are probably deceived into thinking this by the increase in the number of assault arrests being made of both the professionals and the collegians. There seems to be little difference between the two, and indeed the myth of that difference was rejected this week by a federal judge in the O’Bannon Case. As if in anticipation of the decision, the NCAA itself negated its claim of amateurism once again by approving a change in its rules that will allow the ...


Re-Entry And Disorientation, Richard C. Crepeau Aug 2014

Re-Entry And Disorientation, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

I have been out of the country for less than three weeks and it is mid-summer when not much happens of note. The first thing I confronted on returning was a total reorganization of the local supermarket. Under the influence of jet lag I found this quite disorienting. As it turned out, this was only one of many changes that faced me.


World Cup, Richard C. Crepeau Jul 2014

World Cup, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

I am not a fan of The Beautiful Game, although I do watch and appreciate its beauty especially when it is displayed by the likes of Lionel Messi. Soccer, as with all games, when played with skill and competence is a beautiful game. The same might be said of hockey, baseball, basketball, or curling. When any skill is combined with artistry, whether in sport or some other human endeavor, it has a beauty worthy of admiration.


Huge Week, Richard C. Crepeau Jun 2014

Huge Week, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

I’m just now getting into the World Cup as the recent sports calendar has been overloaded with prime events. With the battle for Lord Stanley’s Cup raging on, the NBA Finals testing the bounds of credulity, and the U.S. Open Golf Tournament on the menu, trying to fit the World Cup into my thoughts and my schedule was nearly too much to manage. Perhaps foolishly, I will try to do some justice to each of these penultimate sporting events here.


Triple Crown, Richard C. Crepeau Jun 2014

Triple Crown, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

By late Saturday sportsworld will know if there is a Triple Crown winner for the first time in thirty-six years. The last winner was Affirmed in 1978. No one could have guessed that it would be this long before another horse would accomplish this feat again. After all Affirmed was the third horse of the 1970s to win the Triple Crown. Seattle Slew won the Crown in 1977 and the great Secretariat did it in 1973.


Acceptable Violence, Richard C. Crepeau May 2014

Acceptable Violence, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

There are times when marginally related events converge and raise questions about issues related to sport. Such a convergence occurred in my corner of sportsworld over the past week.


Sterling, Richard C. Crepeau May 2014

Sterling, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

There are times when something happens in the world of sport that is so startling that reactions come hard and fast and seem to overwhelm events. The Donald Sterling soliloquy hit with this sort of force, and the reaction was beyond what could be anticipated but was still more than appropriate. It was required.


A Special Week, Richard C. Crepeau Apr 2014

A Special Week, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

It was one of those very special weeks in SportsWorld. At least three things stood out: two in baseball and one in the bizarre world of the NCAA.


Masters Golf Tournament, Richard C. Crepeau Apr 2014

Masters Golf Tournament, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

On Sunday, as I usually do on Master’s weekend, I turned to CBS to get an overdose of saccharine. Jim Nantz was in fine form developing storylines, both real and contrived, to keep the focus on the players and the natural beauty of Augusta National. The camera guys had all the obligatory shots of the dogwoods and redbud trees, the flaming and cooling azaleas, and to complete the scene, an occasional magnolia. Words like “idyllic” were used with abandon and those close ups of tense competitors nearly made golf look like an action sport.


Nw Case, Richard C. Crepeau Apr 2014

Nw Case, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

For the first time an official body uttered words that did damage to the term “student athlete.” About a week ago a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board defined a football player as an employee of a university. Football players, it concluded, are not primarily students.


Ncaa Madness, Richard C. Crepeau Mar 2014

Ncaa Madness, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Sitting in the middle of March Madness it is easy to forget that this annual orgy of basketball and money is a relatively new phenomenon. It was the transformation of television with the arrival of cable and all-sports networks that turned the NCAA basketball championship into a national obsession. Whereas in 1960 it was impossible to see the NCAA finals on television outside the major markets, it is now possible to see every game in the six weeks of games involving 68 teams in every market. And if you can’t see it on television you can see it on ...


March Madness, Richard C. Crepeau Mar 2014

March Madness, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Sitting in the middle of March Madness it is easy to forget that this annual orgy of basketball and money is a relatively new phenomenon. It was the transformation of television with the arrival of cable and all-sports networks that turned the NCAA Basketball Championship into a national obsession. Whereas in 1960 it was impossible to see the NCAA finals on television outside the major markets, it is now possible to see every game in the six weeks of games involving 68 teams in every market. And if you can’t see it on television you can see it on ...


The Olympics And The American Press, Richard C. Crepeau Feb 2014

The Olympics And The American Press, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

No abstract provided.


Russian Olympics, Richard C. Crepeau Feb 2014

Russian Olympics, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

With the Winter Olympics finally underway is it possible that the American journalists, if we can use that term in these circumstances, will be able to write about something other than the failure of Russia to be the United States? Having traveled to Russia multiple times since the collapse of the Soviet Union, I have witnessed the remarkable transformation of this society. Caught in a time warp created by the failure of the Soviet Union, the standard of living of the average Russian trailed behind that of most of Western Europe and the United States. The Soviet Union was not ...


Super Bowl, Richard C. Crepeau Jan 2014

Super Bowl, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Here we are once again at the most important weekend in American sport. The Super Bowl is Sunday and that means that Americans across the land will create scenes reminiscent of Thorstein Veblen’s classic, The Theory of the Leisure Class. Veblen’s original vocabulary describing the rich of the late 19th century is as appropriate now as it was then. Such phrases as “conspicuous consumption,” “conspicuous waste” and “conspicuous leisure,” seem to have been coined for the Super Bowl.


The Super Bowl, Richard C. Crepeau Jan 2014

The Super Bowl, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Here we are once again at the most important weekend in American sport. The Super Bowl is Sunday and that means that Americans across the land will create scenes reminiscent of Thorstein Veblen’s classic, The Theory of the Leisure Class. Veblen’s original vocabulary describing the rich of the late 19th century is as appropriate now as it was then. Such phrases as “conspicuous consumption,” “conspicuous waste” and “conspicuous leisure,” seem to have been coined for the Super Bowl.


Manhood And Football, Richard C. Crepeau Jan 2014

Manhood And Football, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

ESPN, the Worldwide Breeder of ludicrous sports programming, reached a new low this week. The Network that brought you the biggest non-event on the annual sports calendar, the NFL draft, and then took it down another notch by televising the announcement of the NFL schedule, outdid itself once again by having a countdown to the unveiling of Mel Kiper’s mock draft. Did anyone care? Is Mel anything more than a parody of himself? Has ESPN totally lost its way? (The correct answers are no, no, and maybe.)