Sports Have No Redeeming Social Value. Thank God.

It’s one of the last sacred spaces left in the Western world, so naturally people can’t leave it alone. To conservatives, it’s the last bastion of red-blooded manhood, a place to strive and bleed in honor of—well, of America. To liberals, it’s a place for social engineering, where it’s necessary to put people who don’t … Continued

Entertainment, Sports

‘The Bad News Bears’ and Female Empowerment

A kick-ass female lead in a genre usually thought of as male; a desert setting; speeding and reckless driving; bad language. Mad Max: Fury Road? Nope: The Bad News Bears, which celebrates its fortieth anniversary next year. Decades before critics praised Fury Road as a groundbreaking feminist film, The Bad News Bears was celebrating a … Continued

Entertainment, Movies

The Curse of the Participation Trophy

Last weekend Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison posted an Instagram photo of a pair of “participation trophies” that were awarded to his two sons—and apparently to everyone else on the team as well—by their sports league. Harrison announced firmly that he is returning the trophies because they weren’t earned. “While I am very proud of my boys … Continued

Culture, Entertainment, Parenting, Sports


Possibly The Worst Movie Ever Made: FIFA’s Ode to Itself

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has done plenty to earn his shoddy reputation in the eyes of football fans and the general public: from his questionable handling of player-related domestic violence cases to his acquiescence toward the league’s pay-for-patriotism arrangement with the National Guard. I’ve never felt compelled to defend him, until I watched United Passions. … Continued

Entertainment, Movies, Sports

Is Football Immoral?

Football has taken some hard hits in the news recently, from domestic violence scandals to revelations about brain damage. It has also become the gridiron for a culture war – on one side, traditionalists who defend the game’s character-building values, and on the other, a swelling tide of moral revulsion. Is football good for us? … Continued

Entertainment, Sports


How to Save Football

Fewer games. Fewer pads. Weight limits. It wouldn’t be hard to save professional football in America. We just have to acknowledge reality, which can be hard to do when you’re dealing with something that is so emotional to so many people and that brings in such huge revenue. Saving the NFL is like trying to … Continued

Entertainment, Sports

ESPN and Public Apologies

It all started back in late March when Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was charged with aggravated assault after an altercation with his then-fiancée at a New Jersey casino. In May, Rice was allowed by the court to enter a counseling program for first-time offenders instead of facing any potential jail time. Then last … Continued

Culture, Entertainment, Sports, Television