In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in American sport when he took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers as the first African American to play in the formerly all-white baseball league.
Seven decades later, even though the racial tensions are nowhere near what they were when Robinson made history, one of the United States’ most storied sporting franchises still clings to a term many critics argue supports racial intolerance.
The NFL’s Washington Redskins have carried their name since 1933, when they were the Boston Redskins. When the football team moved to the capital four years later, they brought the name with them and have held it ever since. FULL POST
Derided, mocked and supposedly needing life resuscitation, reports of the Women’s Basketball Association’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Far from it - the WBNA's is marketing its upcoming season with the slogan "Expect Great." It's a campaign that reflects the WBNA's growing confidence despite some of the jokes about the league: "Expect Great...Seats to Be Available."
Founded in 1996, all too often people have associated the WBNA with the "Family Guy" clip in which they show a game, and then cut to a sole fan in the stands rooting on his team. FULL POST
It was the yellow rubber duckies that did it.
I suppose up until that point I’d been on auto-pilot, I was just waiting for an interview. But when one of the NBA’s biggest stars pulled on a pair of blue socks – festooned with bright yellow ducks – it struck me that this assignment was way more surreal than anything I was used to. Or, for that matter, comfortable with.
With a group of about 20 other men and women, I had just watched the Houston Rockets’ shooting guard James Harden emerge dripping wet from the shower, dry off and get dressed … all from a distance of about two and a half feet. This was my introduction to the world of sports reporting in the United States! FULL POST
Baseball is a game of statistics. But among the statistics, there are numbers that have greater meaning among both players and fans alike.
One of those is the record for home runs in a single season. In Japan, that record was set by Sadaharu Oh, who hit 55 homers in 1964. In the years since, two other foreign players had equalled Oh’s mark.
But recently, former U.S. major league player Wladimir Balentien finally broke through, hitting home runs number 56 and 57 in just his 113th game of the season. I’m not great at math, but one homer every two games is a fantastic accomplishment.
Oh, but I have forgotten to mention the other issue that always seems to accompany home run records in baseball. Controversy. FULL POST
The NFL has cemented itself among the popular sporting leagues in the world thanks to huge events like the Super Bowl and its endeavors to bring the game to the UK. However, in the United States, collegiate football, also known as NCAA football, is just as popular as its professional counterpart.
Unlike the NFL where there are only 32 teams across the country, collegiate football has more than 120 teams. This means every area across the country has a local team they can identify with. For instance, while the Dallas Cowboys may be the most popular team in the NFL, there is the same, if not more support for Texas, Texas A&M or Texas Tech’s football teams.
Since it’s inception in 1906, the collegiate system has insisted on keeping its athletes amateur, forcing student athletes to rely fully on their scholarships to get them through their college days. FULL POST
The Miami Heat’s loss in Chicago on Wednesday was their first defeat in nearly two months and snapped a 27-game win streak.
Miami had needed just seven more wins to beat the all-time NBA mark of 33 consecutive wins held by the 1971-72 L.A. Lakers.
Despite falling short in their history bid, Miami should be praised and respected by basketball fans around the world.
The NBA has long been criticized for teams not taking the regular season seriously enough, and only kicking into gear come the post-season. Even casual basketball fans often admit to bypassing most of the mid-season games and tuning in once the play-offs begin. FULL POST
It’s hard to be a Los Angeles Lakers fan these days.
Our team, the one that was supposed to win an NBA title this year, can barely win a game. Once we talked about posting the best record in NBA history; now we openly wonder whether we’ll post a winning record at all.
Still, I don’t expect any sympathy.
This is what it’s like to be a fan of the Lakers: You are over three times more likely to see your team win the NBA title than miss the playoffs entirely.
Almost half of our seasons have ended in June, at the NBA Finals; this year, our season could end in April. FULL POST
The Los Angeles Lakers' management baffled their own fans when they decided to look past former coach Phil Jackson and instead hire Mike D’Antoni as the new team coach.
After all, Jackson has won a record eleven titles as coach (five with the Lakers) while D’Antoni has reached the playoffs just five times in his 10 seasons as a head coach.
The argument should be over here. Jackson wins over D’Antoni 11-0. Period.
But for argument’s sake, let’s see what possibly would have led Jerry and son Jim Buss to go with the latter. FULL POST
Back during his unveiling with Miami in July 2010, LeBron James promised Heat fans he would bring them “not two, not three… not seven” but maybe even more NBA championships.
While seven or eight may be a stretch, “King James” delivered at least one after the Heat ousted the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games in the NBA Finals. After all, you need to win one to get to eight, right?
It took James until his ninth season to claim his maiden title. But this victory could open the floodgates. It’s not just that he won, it is how he won. FULL POST
"I don't want to retire." Those are the words of one of the greatest free agents that the National Football League has ever seen.
Emotions flowed on Wednesday in Indianapolis, Indiana as the Colts and quarterback Peyton Manning officially parted ways. Yes, the Colts released their best player.
The tears that were shed by Manning and team owner Jim Irsay were real as the two men faced the "business" realities of the NFL, all the while reminiscing about their 14 years together. FULL POST