I love Gregg Popovich, head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, as a coach and as a personality. One of the two or three greatest coaches of all time, Popovich’s teams play smart basketball and the colorfulness of his personality adds greatly to the game. He is even fun to make fun of – see here at 1 minute, 58 seconds. Unfortunately, Popovich has been speaking out on politics recently. Here is an excerpt from a speech: "Obviously, race is the elephant in the room, and we all understand that, but unless it is talked about constantly, it is not going to…
World Cup 2014 competition resumes this week, with 32 teams in eight groups competing for 16 spots. Each group features four teams in a round-robin format, so every team will play three matches. The two top point-earning teams in each group will advance to the round of 16. (The Americans’ prospects for advancement appear somewhat but not altogether bleak.)
European football has always puzzled me in comparison to American sports. Europeans often pride themselves in advancing a more egalitarian society in which opportunities for success are widespread rather than concentrated. By contrast, the Americans, they argue, allow for great disparities and inequalities of income and wealth. (Some argue that the facts do not support this fulmination against income inequality, but leave that aside for purposes of this argument.)
The basic impulse of this criticism is a desire to promote equality of outcome, rather than greatness. If some at the top have to be moved down a notch or two, we may sacrifice magnificence at the top, but we will provide greater and more widespread opportunity overall.
The reason I find this puzzling is that, when applied to sports, Americans tend to prefer egalitarianism – known in sports as parity – when compared to their European counterparts. All joking about the Yankees and Lakers aside, championships are more widespread in American sports than in European football.
The cheerleaders at Kountze High School, 95 miles northeast of Houston, may deploy Christian-themed banners at school sporting events, a State District judge ruled. Some photos of the banners (with cheerleaders) may be seen here.
In Texas, religious free exercise cuts a wide swath, as its State Supreme Court displayed in Pleasant Glade Assembly of God v. Schubert (2008). A member of the church, a suffering Laura Schubert, had hands (lots of them) laid on her, as her faith calls for, and came out of the experience with physical injuries and psychological trauma. The Court concluded that