sports

Roger Federer Pursues Titles, Not Top Ranking

Stephanie Nebehay

Roger Federer is no longer chasing the top ranking and would rather be a contender at Grand Slams than battling Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal to be world number one, the Swiss tennis great said on Friday. The 20-times Grand Slam champion has held back the clock in the twilight of his remarkable career and became the ATP’s oldest world number one last year a few weeks after clinching his sixth Australian Open at the age of 36.

Olympics: Controversy Follows Lolo Jones to Sochi

Mark Starr

But just two months later, Jones was back training, with her sights set on another Olympics, this time in an entirely different discipline and season. The American bobsled team had long been impressed by the explosive starts of track athletes and, for more than three decades, had been luring them to their icy track, where they would excel as pushers on the back end of sleds. Intrigued by the challenge, Jones bulked up, donned the sport’s weighty gear and took the plunge. 

Olympics: Shani Davis Skates for History

Mark Starr

Over the past decade, Davis has dominated speed skating’s middle distances: four Olympic medals, including two golds; 20 world championship medals; 57 World Cup victories, second most all-time; and world records at both 1,000 and 1,500 meters that have stood since 2006. Now, at 31 years old and still the world’s top-ranked speed skater, he will toe the line at the ice oval in Sochi, Russia, with his sights set on some lofty historic milestones.

Cashing in on College Athletics

George White

The college athletes who generate revenue in all sports will be compensated for the first time in the 107-year history of the NCAA if O’Bannon wins his lawsuit (O’Bannon vs. NCAA). The litigation is in the spotlight again, because the case is expected to go to court in June, and because more and more media commentators, scholars and law professors are siding with the athletes and calling for reforms.

Et Tu, Etas Unis? Soccer and the American Dream

Tyler Huggins

Since 2012, every MLS team maintains a free and full-functioning academy with moderate success. Each academy sources from local clubs, showcases, and camps, whisking away the most promising talents and training them for future MLS contracts within their respective organizations. As a model, the U.S. academies bear a considerable resemblance to the German academies, sans the $300 million euros Germany invests in youth development annually and the ideological devotion to a dominant German national squad. All that and some comparable results. 

Should College Athletes Be Paid?

Alex LaFosta

"To pay, to not to pay?" That is the question many have been asking about student athletes. As the records for professional athlete salaries begin to soar, and as more and more reports of multimillion dollar deals being made within the NCAA every year, the question that usually arises is, “Why aren’t the college athletes seeing any of this money?” NCAA President Mark Emmert stated in the Wall Street Journal in January of 2012 that paying student athletes is “a terrible idea.”

Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story

Kurt Thurber

Much like Dick Butkus or Bo Jackson, Gordie Howe was the epitome of virility. However, the Canadian-born Howe played a violent, physically grinding game at an elite level for much longer than any of his professional peers, finally retiring at age 52. Howe did it all without wearing a helmet. The film “Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story” begins at the end of Howe’s career with the Detroit Red Wings. The film depicts a predictably bored Howe who misses the day-to-day action of being a professional athlete as a figurehead in the Red Wings front office. 

Roller Derby Mania: The No Coast Derby Girls Sweep Lincoln

Anna Elizabeth Mazzariello

The Pershing Center in Lincoln, Nebraska gushes with fans.  They have eagerly gathered to support Lincoln’s No Coast Derby Girls – the local flat-track roller derby league.  Parents attempt to control their rowdy children; sallow-skinned teenagers hold hands and kiss beneath fluorescent lights; burly men sip Budweiser from plastic cups, chuckling softly.  Though rapt with curiosity, I am lamentably lost within this subculture and  ashamed that my only exposure to the feminist sport remains “Whip It”—the 2009 indie flick directed by Drew Barrymore, which highlights banked track derby in Austin, Texas. 

Al Davis (R.I.P.), A Champion of Diversity

Lee Hubbard

From New America Media: There were a lot of words used to describe Al Davis, the 82-year-old owner of the Oakland Raiders National Football franchise, when it was announced he passed away at his Oakland residence last [month]. Davis was called a legend, tough, demanding, ruthless, sneaky, renegade, pioneer, hall of famer and Oakland Raider. Davis was all of these, as well as a stand-up man for diversity in sports and in particular his team. 

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