Profile: The Conversation - Sports
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NoteStreams By The Conversation - Sports
Legendary football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant famously said, “Offense sells tickets. Defense wins championships.” Since Bryant’s retirement in 1982, his adage has been perpetuated widely in sports media, applied to other sports and debated vehemently.
Post by Mark Otten, Associate Professor of Psychology, California State University, Northridge
CC BY-ND 4.0
Much has been written about Robinson’s first game in the major leagues for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. Far less is known about the spring of 1946, when the ballplayer was competing for a spot on the Dodgers' top farm club. Rarely has an athlete found himself under more pressure in such hostile conditions as Robinson did in Florida.
Major league baseball (MLB) prohibited blacks until after World War II. White sportswriters knew about talented black players who were good enough for the major leagues, but said nothing, participating in what black sportswriters called a “conspiracy of silence.”
College football is America’s national pastime. Tens of millions of fans will soon begin watching games each week, from the stands and on network and cable television. The top football programs in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) are money-making machines, thanks to billion dollar TV deals, corporate sponsors, sales of luxury seats and skyboxes, and tax breaks (for seat “donations,” broadcast rights and bowl game payments). Using financial records of the NCAA, investigative journalist Gilbert Gaul Billion Dollar Ball, 2015) has found that the 10 largest programs grossed US$229 million in 1999 and $762 million in 2012.
These days, it seems like elbow surgery for pitchers is a rite of passage. Whether it’s stars like Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez or lesser-known players like Colorado Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino, the number of pitchers going under the knife to correct torn elbow ligaments – so-called Tommy John surgery – continues to rise. To date, 988 of these procedures have been performed. But in recent years, numbers have skyrocketed. Today, 25% of major league pitchers have had the procedure done, while 40% of all Tommy John surgeries are being performed on adolescent ballplayers.
In March 2015, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland shocked football fans when he announced his decision to retire after just one season in the NFL. He explained that he was concerned over the long-term health hazards of football-related head trauma, and journalists and media personalities covered the story extensively. Some observers asked if Borland’s retirement might prove the “beginning of the end” for the NFL, while others suggested that the league would remain unchanged.