Archive for INBOUNDS

Ethiopia Everywhere

blog_ethiopiaLast weekend Ethiopian distance runner Haile Gebrselassie, who holds the world record for fastest marathon at 2:03:59, schooled the competition in Berlin for the fourth straight year, calling the win “good for my collection;” farmers in Kansas lately have been growing an Ethiopian grain — teff — that is gluten free, packs more protein than wheat, and can withstand drought and floods; and the Washington Post profiles Haile Gerima, an independent Ethiopian auteur whose internationally acclaimed 11th film, Teza, has its American debut today; STOP SMILING took a taste of Ethiopian cuisine for a restaurant profile in its DC Issue. -SS

| |

Teeing Up for the Green

blog_golfIt’s rare that a New York Times writer takes the side of Hugo Chavez, but it’s hard to argue that golf isn’t a bourgeois sport; its history as a predominantly White activity has been challenged, of course, by the dominance of Tiger Woods, but class issues remain, as evidenced by this report of “Tiger gawkers” with “high levels of disposable income” who “may not have been aware” that the 330 dollars they paid to see Tiger will help fight diabetes and obesity among Native Americans; Barack Obama’s vacation hit Day 2 yesterday, and with it came a relaxing jaunt around the links with UBS Investment Bank President Robert Wolf, a generous campaign donor attracted to Obama because Obama was “a candidate who would take his calls, listen to his ideas” (the LA Times provides some golf tips for the president); meanwhile, a golf course in Michigan faces a massive re-branding task after the discovery of a 11,000-year-old mammoth tooth on its premises — the course’s logo will now feature a wooly mammoth design, and its restaurant will serve mammoth burgers.

| |

Cinema History at Chavez Ravine

blog_dodgersWith so much media attention surrounding the Los Angeles Dodgers this season — whether for the team’s league-leading performance or for Manny throwing elbow pads (and receiving Nietzschean analysis in the pages of the Los Angeles Times) — one story from Dodgertown deserves special attention: This week Bob Mitchell, the “organist who was the first such house musician at Dodger Stadium and the last surviving working accompanist from the silent-film era” died at age 96 (click here for more on Mitchell’s fascinating life in the LA Times). RIP.

| |

Imperfections on the Baseball Diamond

blog-mrmetNot to pick on the New York Mets (our beloved White Sox, for example, are hot off a bungled blockbuster trade and record-tying worst loss in team history), but something is awry at Citi Field in Queens: First, the story the NY Post has dubbed the “tooth in toilet ordeal,” in which a woman attending a Mets game “tried to make a diving catch when her gold tooth fell into a Citi Field toilet — and got her arm stuck in the commode”; this week it was announced that a fan who accepted a dare from his boss to streak naked across the field during a Mets game will face “up to a year in jail and civil penalties of up to $5,000″; prompted by a costly error that deprived the Mets of a run when right-fielder Ryan Church failed to touch third base, the NY Times paid tribute to the Mets’ “lineage of bumbling” in a nostalgic rundown of major errors in team history; and to close, a quagmire in Cleveland, in which the Indians were forced to recall a racially insensitive commemorative cap that slapped the Stars and Stripes over Chief Wahoo. You’re out!

| |

Harry Kalas (1936-2009)

blog_harryThe man known around the world as the voice of NFL Films (click here for a sample of his robust narration) and celebrated as a national treasure in Philadelphia, where he was the long-time broadcaster for the Philadelphia Phillies, has died at 73 — tributes are pouring in throughout the sporting world and his hometown press, including ESPN, Sports Illustrated and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Mr. Kalas was found dead in the broadcast booth before a game between the Phillies and the Washington Nationals on Monday.

| |

Facing a Season of Bankruptcy

blog_nascarWhat happens when a logjam of logos can’t save you? NASCAR is facing such questions as corporations, hit by sticker shock, are beginning to withdraw sponsorships; the National Hockey League Board of Governors met recently to discuss the downturn in the economy, which might lead to a decline in the salary cap; America’s Team is falling into a recession of its own; and the Lovable Losers dodged the bankruptcy bullet when the Tribune Company excluded the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field from its petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Should be an interesting off-season…

| |

Rewriting Sporting World Myths

While rumors have circulated for years that a mutual fund CEO beat Michael Jordan in a game of one-on-one during a corporate retreat, the Wall Street Journal has now provided video proof; Babe Ruth, baseball’s most cherished mythical figure, had his “House That Ruth Built” status stripped this week when his monument was removed from the outfield of Yankee Stadium and relocated to the House of Skyboxes next door; and Jemele Hill, a writer for ESPN, recently reflected on some of the most iconic and politically active sports figures of the past (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Muhammad Ali) while praising a new wave of black athletes who, “in the name of Obama, decided to break free from the conventional notion that politics should be kept out of sports.” She adds, “If the Obama effect means more black athletes will feel compelled to become more politically active, then we should see it as an overwhelming, overdue positive. It doesn’t matter whether you voted for John McCain or Obama; nobody should want a society that values staying loyal to the bottom line over standing up for your beliefs. Athletes are in a special position to be heard, and we owe it to them to listen.”

| |

Mocking the Animal Kingdom

Pity the poor beasts. High-school high jinks are alive and well in the New York Jets locker room, where it was revealed that the “overpowering stench of death” emanating from linebacker Eric Barton’s locker was a bag filled with the “blood and guts” of a wild turkey that quarterback Brett Favre had stashed as a prank (hey, what a guy); last week the Wall Street Journal coined a new phrase — “mackerel economics” — to explain the cans of mackerel used as currency by inmates in federal prisons in California; last month the Humane Society endorsed a presidential candidate for the first time, citing their opposition to Sarah Palin’s support of aerial wolf hunting as the primary factor; and tiger-hunting Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin received a special birthday gift — a tiger cub. Kipling would weep.

| |

Baseball Brawls and Pratfalls

Since the All Star break, MLB has gone unhinged: Last night the Milwaukee Brewers went a little Lord of the Flies in the dugout; Manny Ramirez did the California split, bashing Red Sox Nation in the process (and as Slate suggests, perhaps fairly); last week Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was suspended for one game for an outburst that led fans to throw hats and baseballs on the field, prompting White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen to pull his team from the field; Ozzie made news of his own when he decided to drop the vanilla replies commonly delivered by most MLB managers and flat-out admitted that he had ordered his pitchers to intentionally hit opposing batters; and the reigning baseball crime of the year remains this incident in Dayton, Ohio, in which a baseball thrown into the stands by a player during a bench-clearing brawl led to a fan being rushed to the hospital. More than peanuts flying around the stands these days…

| |

Sports Analysis Goes Zapruder

Highlight reels are great, but some recent bombshells from the sporting world have mushroomed beyond acceptable levels of over-analysis: Slate posted a hilarious minute-by-minute breakdown of Kevin Garnett’s surreal Sally Field moment after his Boston Celtics won the title; Tiger Woods‘ injury at the US Open last week continues to get the Omaha Beach treatment, complete with details on the sounds of his knee bone grinding; the firing of New York Mets manager Willie Randolph has become the Manhattan Project. And it’s CSI: Detroit as details continue to emerge about how the Red Wings dented the Stanley Cup during drunken hijinx in Hockeytown.

| |

« Previous entries