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Sports

Thoughts on sports and games

Courage of Detroit

Soon, a few quotes and a reference to a great article in Sports Illustrated.

But first, a message from our sponsors! I believe my photo gallery is back up and fully functional. I had not realized it had been busted for the past few weeks, but I believe it is now working. I may soon start adding photos again!

And now - some of you may not realize that Mitch Albom, author of some popular self-helpish books, is actually a sportswriter. And a damn talented one.

He wrote a brilliant article - "The Courage of Detroit." As I have been writing off and on about the bailout and the absurd positions taken by many in Congress regarding the bailout, I wanted to link to this article.

We're not gum on the bottom of America's shoe. We're not grime to be wiped off with a towel. Detroit and Michigan are part of the backbone of this country, the manufacturing spine, the heart of the middle class -- heck, we invented the middle class, we invented the idea that a factory worker can put in 40 hours a week and actually buy a house and send a kid to college. What? You have a problem with that? You think only lawyers and hedge-fund kings deserve to live decently?

Interestingly, on our flight from Detroit to Allentown on New Year's morning, I asked our flight attendant (a hilarious woman who had a rust belt style about her - there is just something about rust belt middle aged women ... a certain toughness or style that makes them easy for me to pick out of a lineup) if she was from Detroit and she said "Oh God no, I hate even having to tell people that I work out of Detroit."

As we were flying in, I was thinking about the difficulties of Detroit - and how amazing it would be if the city were able to turn around, restoring itself. Detroit is not entirely unique - how different is it than Baltimore or Cincinnati? These places are hard hit also and have been declining for perhaps as long as Detroit though they do not have the same sports history as Detroit.

I love that Mitch challenges the reader toward the end:

Do you think if your main industry sails away to foreign countries, if the tax base of your city dries up, you won't have crumbling houses and men sleeping on church floors too? Do you think if we become a country that makes nothing, that builds nothing, that only services and outsources, that we will hold our place on the economic totem pole? Detroit may be suffering the worst from this semi-Depression, but we sure didn't invent it. And we can't stop it from spreading. We can only do what we do. Survive.

Empires decline - ours will sooner or later. I hope we will be better prepared as a country than Detroit was as a city.

Men Basketball Photo

This was a fun one - he scored the scoop.

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Basketball Photos

Let's see if I can start getting more photos up here. Macalester women's basketball highlights from a game last week.

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Fellow Photographer

I've had the pleasure of hanging out with Jim during Gopher Football games and he is a great guy. I can only hope to achieve a small bit of what he has done. Saw this on the Pioneer Press and wanted to share it.

Mayne Street

Just had a hilarious lunch. Turns out ESPN's short farcical "Mayne Street" show is available online. I love this guy. 5 episodes so far, I watched 3 and laughed at each one. Here is the first:

Sports Illustrated on Hunting

Just read a really interesting piece in Sports Illustrated - A More Dangerous Game: Bears On The Golf Course, Deer On The Windshield, Wolves On The Walk Back Home.

I enjoyed this article in part because it deals with wolves and I am fascinated by human interactions with wolves. They are such incredible creatures (the wolves, but we aren't half bad either).

But it also deals with something I am very interested in - how animals are adjusting to human customs and behaviors. Unfortunately, I do think the article misses something I have been considering. Animals have only had a few generations (depending on the animal's lifecycle) to adjust to our roads, the loss of habitat, etc. Over time, I think it realistic to see them increasingly aggressive, not just because of their declining natural habitat, but because they are increasingly accustomed to us - and those that reproduce will be the ones most ready to cope with our world.

So I see this continuing, and I find it fascinating.

Gopher Soccer - NCAA Tournament on Friday

What are you doing on Friday night?

Watching GOPHER SOCCER!!! The NCAA tournament has come to Minnesota - and Minnesota is playing its best season in over a decade. Friday night, 6:00 PM, the place to be is the soccer stadium - Elizabeth Lyle Robbie - north of the St. Paul Campus (ask me for directions). Gophers are hosting the first round of the national playoffs.

Gophers fell in the Big Ten Title match to Penn State on Sunday - and I want to blog about it, but I'm swamped with work of all varieties.

You should definitely plan to attend this game. Dress warm. Have fun. Support great soccer in Minnesota!

Soccer in the Snow

It doesn't happen every year, but probably about 1 in 3. That is how often I get to shoot soccer in the snow. It is cold, but the photos are usually neat. Here is a celebration in the first goal of the Gopher win last Sunday - when they realized they could avoid overtime and warm up that much faster.

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Football Insight

As I've noted before, football is an intelligent game that requires a lot more brainpower than most give it credit. I found a recent Sports Illustrated article quite interesting - the difficult of playing the corner position. Selena Roberts wrote "Go Strong or Get Toasted" in the Oct 27, 2008 issue - unfortunately the issue is mostly about the boring NnBA (National not-Basketball Association) season preview.

Back to the point, the cornerback - responsible for defending against receivers - is a difficult position to play in the modern NFL and this article explains how they do it.

Crushing Header

I have not posted many sports photos from this season. I've been taking more than ever, but I never seem to find the time to actually put them up.

I love this shot - and the closeup below it.

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