Russian President Vladimir Putin is apparently winning the war: Safe Olympics (so far), leading the medal count and even journalists have stopped complaining about unfinished rooms and brown water. But he's lost the battle. Big time.
Today, professional leagues from the United States to Bulgaria to Taiwan all agree: It's kind of a winter sport. But I've been watching the Winter Olympics for two weeks and still haven't seen any basketball. So what gives?
Does rooting for America in hockey and Russia in figure skating make me a "multi-nationalist" or a "patriotically challenged" citizen?
The usual focus: Supportive (or hard-driving) parents, transformative coaches, inspiring (or bullying) siblings. Go behind the scenes to the more banal, and you actually find some fascinating stuff. I spent some time with two people, Brent Proulx and Miha Dolinar.
We left for Lake Placid from our Binghamton University dormitory at 2:00 a.m., to a mock chorus of God Bless America from the less than enlightened frat boys.
Cold War or no Cold War, when Russia plays the United States in hockey, it's an event. When it's in the Olympics, it means more. When those Olympics are in Russia and the nation's president basically pins a nation's hopes on its hockey team, well, then it's intense.
As a team, USA is about as strong as they were in 2010. The big improvement for USA is the amount of players that they had to select from this time.
Here are my top five recommendations of ways to be supportive of athletes and Russians who are gay and dealing with this law and its challenges at the Sochi Games:
There is nothing inherently wrong with abolishing the point-after conversion, but if the NFL is going to make changes to its product, it should worry more about abolishing perfectly legal plays that enhance the risk of player concussions.
Following the Italian appeals court's second murder conviction of former exchange student Amanda Knox, an agreement has been reached in which singer Justin Bieber will be extradited to Italy in place of Ms. Knox.
This poem was submitted anonymously and is an adaption of "A Different Drummer" by Henry David Thoreau. Readers, please feel free to fill in the comm...
If I had ovaries, I think it would be safe to say they've been aching. I want a baby. I want a baby very, very badly.
Yes, white athletes get criticized for their conduct. But they do not, as a group, they face the degree of scrutiny, the constraints and the baggage that accrue, in general, to black athletes. Because, in truth, they don't really get evaluated as a group at all.
Jeff Odgers played every NHL game as if it were his final. He scrapped and gritted his way onto the roster. In his face, you always saw a warrior, bruised and bloodied and majestic, in triumph and defeat.
When Jim Peplinski entered the NHL more than three decades ago, players didn't look to the officials to solve their problems. Rectifying disputes wasn't the referee's strong suit, and the players policed themselves.
Of course there are the stories that revealed the brutal and often ugly nature of the games and their athletes. These are the stories that can stay in 2013 and hopefully never come back. But let's start with The Good.