Friday, February 26, 2010
Here's one of the best quotes about Canada's women taking gold, and the ensuing celebration on the ice:
Is it possible to just see something like this, laugh at it, and be happy for these girls?
I wonder, and would like to hear from readers and fellow contributors, if the same sort of uproar over the on-ice celebration would be happening if it was a men's hockey team celebrating a gold medal victory?
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Should ultimate fighting be against the law? Does the money involved make this a political necessity for New York? Is ultimate fighting really a "human cockfight"? Is violent sport immoral? Is legal paternalism warranted in this case?
Ultimate fighting advocates push for legalization in NYS
Posted at: 02/18/2010 6:56 PM
By: Matt McFarland
ALBANY - Ultimate fighting is a billion dollar industry, an industry that is currently banned in New York.
But while fans of the sport feel New York is getting closer to legalizing it, their biggest opponent is not yet ready to throw in the towel. From the cage to the Capitol, the knock down, drag out fight to legalize this popular yet polarizing sport continues.
Saying there must be pioneers in sports, Nick Sanzo is speaking from experience. Thirteen years ago, ultimate fighting was no holds barred, bare knuckle brawling. U.S. Senator John McCain even called it "human cock fighting." In 1997, then-governor George Pataki and the legislature banned the sport from New York State. But since then, mixed martial arts, and specifically the Ultimate Fighting Championship, has morphed into a billion dollar industry.
Sanzo says the sport has changed over the years. "We have rounds, we wear gloves. There are a lot of rules: where you can strike, how you can strike," he says. "It hasn't affected the sport. It's made it bigger and more popular."
Ultimate fighting may be popular, yet it is still not legal in the Empire State.
Sanzo, who trains aspiring fighters and runs New York Mixed Martial Arts, argues that, "We're a New York based company that takes our shows to Vermont, but we'd love to have them in New York State. We'd love to see that revenue come to New York state."
And so would Governor David Paterson, even putting it in his budget. Paterson says legalizing MMA could bring the state up to $2 million a year in taxes. Back in 2008 while lobbying the state, UFC released a study. Its findings claim that an upstate show would generate more than $5 million for the local economy.
Without throwing a punch or a kick, Colonie Assemblyman Bob Reilly is without a doubt MMA's toughest opponent. Spearheading the drive to keep the sport outlawed, Reilly claims a recent Marist poll supports his cause. Nearly seven out of ten New York State voters say no to MMA. Reilly cites wide public support against allowing MMA in the state saying, "People literally come up to me every day, saying keep up the fight against it, we don't want it." Reilly adds, "At some time we have to say no to the lobbyists, no to the money and no to the violence."
Right now the sport is legal in forty-two states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and most recently getting the green light in Massachusetts. Also there have been UFC cards in Connecticut at the Mohegan Sun Casino, as well as up in Montreal. Essentially making New York an island. MMA supporters argue there is money to be made and that New York is losing out.
Sanzo thinks, however, the ban is likely to change. "I think we're going to see them at Madison Square Garden. We're going to see them right here in Albany," he predicted. "I think its going to happen. It's just a matter of time."
Reilly counters by saying a "violent" sport is no way to build an economy. "That's not something I want to do," Reilly says. "I hope it's not what the governor wants to do. I hope that's not what the legislature wants to do."
Friday, February 19, 2010
The entire article is at http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/02/19/genetic.doping/index.html?hpt=T2 .
Andy Miah, a bioethicist and University of the West of Scotland professor, argues that society is morally obligated to find safer means to genetically enhance athletes.
"If we can develop technologies that more carefully align with an athlete's individual physiology, then the chances of it leading to unforeseen side effects diminishes considerably," Miah said.
If it's possible to create webbed fingers so that swimmers can improve their stroke, he's for it.
"Some will recoil at the idea of this, since they feel it will sully the good name of so-called 'clean' sports. My response is that this is already happening," he said. "Every athlete makes a choice about what technology they will use to help them prepare for competition. Some athletes will reject the advice of nutritionists, psychologists, physiotherapists and so on.
"They may not even wear running shoes. However, the majority of athletes immerse themselves in a world of technology -- whether they perceive it or not -- and modern sport has always been about the obsession to evolve performance, beat world records and generally test the boundaries of human capability."
I am just very curious what people have to say about the relation of an athlete's off-the-field behavior and his on-the-field behavior, or about Woods's remarks more specifically. His statement, "I need to make my behavior respectful of the game," implies that he at least sees the two as related.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
HT: Rob Sica
Monday, February 15, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
There is a considerable body of philosophical literature on whether sport is fascistoid, as well as other aspects of the dark side of sports. And while Hitchens tells many stories in support of his thesis that sports breed conflict and bring out the worst in human nature, there are many stories one could tell of how sports bring out the best in human nature that deserve to be told.
One of the beautiful aspects of the Olympic Games is that we'll witness examples of perseverance, courage, humility, and hope. Sure, there will be stories of cheaters, people with athletic skill but little moral excellence, and so on, but in this way sport is like the rest of human life. My own hope is that we'll attend more to the good stories, not only of the culmination of years of training as medals are won, but as we see actual lives reflecting the Olympic words "It's not the triumph, but the struggle."
Friday, February 5, 2010
Recently, Books and Culture, a book review magazine published by Christianity Today, reviewed two books in the article "And God Created Football." The End of Autumn: Reflections on My Life in Football (again, NFI), and Football and Philosophy: Going Deep (small FI) each contain material relevant to the connections between football and religion as well as the issue of whether football in some sense constitutes a religion. Whatever one ultimately thinks about these issues, it does seem that sport, including American football, offers moments of transcendence for athletes, coaches, and fans.In recent years the United States has seen an influx of Christian athletes and coaches into big-time sports, as well as a heightened importance placed on sports in church programs and at Christian schools and colleges. However, as Shirl Hoffman critiques, a Christian vision of sport remains merely superficial—replete with prayers before free throws and praises after touchdowns but offering little, if any, alternative vision from the secular sports culture. Good Game retells numerous fascinating stories from the world of ancient and contemporary sports and draws on the history of the Christian tradition to answer “What would it really mean to think Christianly about sport?”