Gaining territory, a tactical advantage, physical combat, winners and losers.
Sports journalism could easily be confused with the scribblings of a war correspondent, but of course there really is no comparison between a man on the ball and a man with a gun. It’s only a matter of life or death for one of them.
But in the United States, professional athletes and soldiers are increasingly sharing common ground and it’s not just because they’re all "in uniform."
They say that "time waits for no man" – except perhaps if you’re a fan of American sports. The United States is the land of opportunity, and on the basketball courts and the playing fields here it represents an opportunity to freeze the clock and make the action last quite a bit longer.
I love most sports, and the ballgames across the pond from my native Britain are no different. But I do so wish they’d hurry up. Football – the one they play with their hands – lasts exactly 60 minutes on the clock but it takes over three hours from start to finish. Basketball is a game of four equal quarters and it should take just 48 minutes, but an average NBA contest lasts three times that – two hours and a quarter. 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