Losing a Hometown Hero

PITTSBURGH—Baseball is always held up as a metaphor for life in America. The struggles and disappointments, along with the workaday perseverance, form clear parallels. Both require hope. Baseball historian David Pietrusza once told me that like baseball, America is all about hope, necessarily tied up with effort and disappointment. Baseball is a game without a […]

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What If the Media Covered Sports Like They Cover Trump?

I don’t know one poll that suggested New England was going to have this kind of night,” said CNN’s Jake Tapper. “Nobody predicted this,” said Chris Matthews on MSNBC. Nobody did. Because the New England Patriots didn’t have a chance. The Jacksonville Jaguars had the experience and the elite personnel to carry them to victory. […]

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Samsung and LG are as Bad as the NFL

Americans recently were treated to the sight of muscle-bound millionaires taking a knee during the national anthem as a once-beloved institution—the NFL—refused to criticize or condemn it. Meanwhile, owners who make their huge profits in stadiums that are heavily subsidized with tax dollars, for the most part backed the party line of NFL Commissioner Roger […]

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Trump, the Classic Movies, and the NFL

Donald Trump’s mind has been furnished over the years mainly by the media, but perhaps not enough, for two iconic movies could have alerted him to the downside—and the solution—to the problem he triggered over protests in the NFL. If he hadn’t seen the connections earlier, they should have been brought home to him when […]

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The Tragic Incoherence of the NFL Protests

It has become a sort of reflex to object to the National Football League’s players’ bended knee/sitting through the National Anthem—while also conceding that their complaints have merit. But do they? To answer that question, one would have to know precisely what the protests are about. But so far the various reasons advanced are both […]

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Out with the ‘Ins’! In with the ‘Outs’!

It was a kick-in-the-gut moment for a lot of conservatives, and for a lot of normal people who just wanted some non-political space left in their lives. Already they’d watched over the weekend, in the wake of President Trump’s attack on football players kneeling during the National Anthem, as one NFL honcho after another—even presidential […]

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Don’t Blame the Kneelers—Blame Those Who Brainwashed Them

The brouhaha over political demonstrations during the National Anthem makes me think of a scene from “Junior Bonner,” a 1972 Sam Peckinpah film about rodeo cowboys starring Steve McQueen. A barroom brawl has broken out during the rodeo’s noontime break, and the biggest bruiser in the joint decides to put a stop to it. How […]

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Trump, Football, and Natural Right(s)

Sunday was a rough day for the NFL and for football fans. U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), never one to miss an opportunity to oppose President Trump, made sure to tweet his guidance to the adults of America: “NFL players: You have the right to protest Trump.” The problem for Sasse is this controversy has […]

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Trump Trumps the Ruling Class Again

Donald Trump is once again confounding his critics. He is holding fast to a common sense view of politics that puts his opponents on constant defense and busts the monopoly they once had on shaping the American mind. Trump’s tactics are plain to see for anyone who bothers to look. Over and over, he drives […]

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The Rusher Who Wouldn’t Take the Knee

No law requires the playing of the National Anthem at the outset of professional sporting events. Also, no law requires people to stand when the anthem is played, or that people to sing along—although federal law does mandate that we “should face the flag and stand at attention . . . right hand over the […]

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