As the two top-ranked college teams clash on Saturday, the world stops, vote-counting is halted in a tight Congressional race and cities brace for violence.
Take time out to acknowledge the return of the NBA--and the beginning of
a political season of sorts for NBA players with a social conscience.
The last time the Detroit Tigers faced the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, the Motor City was literally aflame. What's evident this time is that the city never rose from the ashes.
The hype-masters of sports would have us believe that the return of the New
Orleans Saints to the Superdome is a sign of a city on the
verge of resurrection. It's not.
We should be cheering at sports events and screaming at politicians. But these
days, it's vice versa. Now that ESPN's Screamin' Stephen A. Smith is
acting like a pundit, things could change.
New York Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury is getting props with a $14.98 sneaker designed to appeal to low-income kids. But the criticism he's endured over
sweatshop labor shows it's hard to do good.
There's something unnerving about USA Basketball's motivational tactics
for the 2006 world championship--encouraging players to spend time with
wounded Iraq veterans, in hopes of enhancing teamwork and patriotism.
Major League Baseball's new "Faith Days" campaign is about more than family-friendly Christian entertainment with a twist of commerce.
After pressure from the local newspaper and the City Council
questioning the use of sweatshop labor to create Pittsburgh Pirates regalia, Major League Baseball seems willing to listen to activists' complaints.
If there is any message to be gleaned from the World Cup, it is
that soccer has finally shed its freight of machismo and anguish,
attracting a global audience of fans who simply want to have fun.