As the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots prepare to face off at the Super Bowl on Sunday, a scandal about under-inflated footballs is still dominating headlines.
While that subject has been a trending topic on Twitter, it is just the latest in a series of controversies this season. So many recent stories about the nation's most popular sport have focused on domestic abuse and sexual assault allegations, as well as the dangerous effects of concussions and other long-term health consequences for players.
Nearly half of all reported sports concussions occur during a high school football game or practice. And even when injured bodies are ready to get back on the field, injured brains might not be ready to return to class.
Every Saturday just before our show begins I get on the public address system here to announce to our crew, "It's a beautiful day for a radio show. Let's do two today!"
It's an admiring imitation of Ernie Banks, the Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame baseball player who died last night at the age of 83. Ernie used to say, especially in the long years of hot summers — including this last one, when the Cubs were stuck in last place — "It's a beautiful day for a ballgame. Let's play two today!"
Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 8:16 am
Two men are sparring on a wooded slope in Haiti. Each has one hand behind his back. From afar, it looks as if they're fencing. But instead of using swords, the men are wielding machetes.
Yes, you read that right. They are aiming machetes at each other.
The older man is "Professor" Alfred Avril, a 70-year-old Haitian farmer who is also a master of tire machet, or Haitian machete fencing. He's quick but deliberate in his movements. His son and student, Jean-Paul, sways backward, descending to the ground to dodge the strikes.
Baseball's Chicago Cubs report that Hall of Fame shortstop Ernie Banks has died. "Mr. Cub," who began his career in the Negro leagues, was the first black player for the team — eighth in the majors overall — and played in 14 All-Star games in his 19 seasons, all with the Cubs.