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Posts tagged "sports"

Washington Football Just Can't Win

Washington Football Just Can’t Win

♫ Are you ready for some football? ♫ We’re a less than a month away from professional gridiron action and even closer to our beloved college ball. Living in Morgantown WV, home to my WVU Mountaineers, the start of football season induces a Pavlovian happiness into my small community. Relief from summer heat, fall foliage, harvest festivals, the holiday season, it’s all coming right alongside the thunderous crush of helmets and shoulder pads.

And yet, despite the near universal joy that football brings, no thing is untouched by sin. There is much to be said about concussions and the increase in head injury. Violence and…

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Tom Brady Cheats (Death)

Tom Brady Cheats (Death)

[Americans] have a pagan cult of health, of skill, of strength; they temper and refine the precious instrument of will in muscle; and obliged, by their insatiable appetite for dominance, to cultivate all human activities with obsessive energy, they build an athlete’s torso in which to shelter the heart of free man.

-José Enrique Rodo, Ariel (1900)

 

Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable…

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The Shelf Life of Athletic Grace

The Shelf Life of Athletic Grace

The Los Angeles Lakers get what they want. Period. Numerous franchises have flared up throughout NBA history in a prestigious Cinderella-like supernova only to, just as quickly, burn out. Since moving to the City of Angels from Minnesota, the Lakers have certainly been one of the association’s few spoiled evil stepsisters. As an Orlando Magic Fan, I abhor the Los Angeles Lakers above all other franchises for reasons that are obvious to any medial NBA fan (the Shaq embezzlement of ’96, dismantling us in the 2009 finals, and repeating history in 2013 when they yanked Dwight Howard away from…

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A Mockingbird Guide to the World Cup

A Mockingbird Guide to the World Cup

I was nine. It was the summer of 2002 in the early hours of the morning that the US shocked Mexico in the Round of 16 in the World Cup to advance to the quarterfinal. The excitement was electric. Nobody had expected it, but the cries of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” filled the room. It was the best the USA has ever done in a World Cup.

The World Cup is a sporting event like no other. It ignites more passion than any other, and it starts in less than a week. I realized that this is only the sixth World Cup I’ve…

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Helicopter Athlete Parents and the Pressure to Perform

Helicopter Athlete Parents and the Pressure to Perform

Tim Elmore, a leadership development sage who works frequently with Division 1 athletes, talks convincingly (and insightfully!) about parenting, Law, and the pressure on athletes to perform:

You may or may not believe this, but even in Division One athletics, parents stay engaged with their child’s sport, often at the same level they did through their growing up years. Moms will call coaches and advise them on how to encourage their daughter or son. Dads will call coaches and ask why their kid isn’t getting more playing time. Parents will call strength and conditioning coaches and inquire what they’re doing about…

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Tim Tebow at the Bottom of His Barrel

Tim Tebow at the Bottom of His Barrel

Guess who’s back?! Everyone’s favorite sports talking point (including Mockingbird’s) is heading to the New England Patriots, and the initial reactions are just as polarized as any conversation about Tim Tebow has ever been. There’s the cautious optimist, there’s the outright optimist, and then there’s the severe pessimist, to name just a few.

The Patriots are building a track record for giving high-profile names a second shot after failure. Sometimes it has worked (see Randy Moss) and other it has failed (Albert Hayensworth). Even though he is willing to give these second chances, the Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, isn’t exactly the…

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Another Week Ends: Townes Van Zandt, Hyper-Parents and Filial Competence, Jane Austen, Visible Signs (That You Were A Youth Group Kid), Girls, Christian Athletes, Jonah Lehrer Proves Himself, More Ash Wednesday, St. Paul, and Beck

Another Week Ends: Townes Van Zandt, Hyper-Parents and Filial Competence, Jane Austen, Visible Signs (That You Were A Youth Group Kid), Girls, Christian Athletes, Jonah Lehrer Proves Himself, More Ash Wednesday, St. Paul, and Beck

1. Over at Internet Monk, a thoughtful Ash Wednesday article explores singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt’s legacy in relation to the way Americans process death, depression, powerlessness, or other ‘negative’ emotions:

Of course we live in a culture of death — because we are human, and human beings die, and human beings often choose ways that lead to death rather than life. My question is how we deal with this fact.

…We the people will watch violence and death on our TV screens and computer monitors, but we continue to hide our dying ones away in hospitals and nursing homes. We spend the vast…

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Another Week Ends: AKB48, More Super Bowl, Seeing Cézanne, Failed Rehab, Humanity According to 30 Rock, Presumption vs Grace, and Creepy Lance Armstrong

Another Week Ends: AKB48, More Super Bowl, Seeing Cézanne, Failed Rehab, Humanity According to 30 Rock, Presumption vs Grace, and Creepy Lance Armstrong

1. In the “mea culpa” world this past week, Minami Minegishi of the hit Japanese band AKB48 was publicly lambasted and forced to apologize on YouTube, where people have watched her tearful confession roughly 5 million times, for the crime of staying a night with her boyfriend. No one’s ever done a fantastic job with managing celebrity expectations, but this takes the cake, ht AOC:

“As a senior member of the group, it is my responsibility to be a role model for younger members,” she said, before ending the four-minute mea culpa with a deep, lingering bow.

The most striking thing about her apology,…

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Another Week Ends: Manti Te'o, More Humblebragging, Russian Arrested Development, Pauline Economists, Pentecostal Megan Fox, Don't Label Me and Shaking Caricatures

Another Week Ends: Manti Te’o, More Humblebragging, Russian Arrested Development, Pauline Economists, Pentecostal Megan Fox, Don’t Label Me and Shaking Caricatures

1. Some of the biggest news this week was Notre Dame quarterback Manti Te’o’s girlfriend – the one he had reportedly visited between games, who was sick and eventually died of leukemia – turning out to be a hoax. It was one of the most inspirational and heart-rending stories of the 2012 college football season and then, on Wednesday, in the span of a quick article, Deadspin debunked the myth:

Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, the stories said, played this season under a terrible burden. A Mormon linebacker who led his Catholic school’s football program back to glory, Te’o was whipsawed between personal…

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Jesus is My Coach

Jesus is My Coach

Josh C recently posted a lovely article on some local Christian Kitsch (“Shades of Glory” — a guy marketing Christian sunglasses).
Not to be outdone, and to show that Roman Catholics are just as good at this sort of earnest and well-intended salesmanship, here’s a website I really like that markets little statuettes to the parents of Christian athletes.

The slogan for each little statue is JESUS IS MY COACH. Talk about shades of glory!

You can find these statues pretty easy (on a number of RC websites) if you do a google search for “Jesus Playing Sports.” My favorite thing about…

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