The Week: Most Recent Sports Posts recent posts.en-usThu, 18 Dec 2014 06:09:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Sports Posts from THE WEEKThu, 18 Dec 2014 06:09:00 -0500Could better U.S.-Cuban relations thwart baseball's human smuggling problem?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">For the past two years, Yasiel Puig has been one of the best players in Major League Baseball. Signed to a $42 million contract, the Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder has slashed .305/.386/.502 (average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) since his 2013 debut, making him the fifth-best hitter in that span, per one all-encompassing offensive metric.</p><p class="p1">But like many Cuban-born players, Puig's journey to the big leagues could easily have ended in disaster and death, not riches and fame.</p><p class="p1">With the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba firmly in place, Puig turned to smugglers to sneak off the island. And as has...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Thu, 18 Dec 2014 06:09:00 -0500The hidden bias of refs<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>In the midst of a tumultuous 3-11 campaign, the Washington football team's loss to the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium wasn't all that noteworthy. There was the usual display of failed offensive execution, defensive ineptitude, and questionable coaching &mdash; the stuff that invariably leads to a 3-11 record. For a franchise that's been steeped in failure for the better part of this past decade, this was just another day of the same old, nothing more.</p><p>Except, of course, for that would-be touchdown.</p><p><iframe width="560" height="560" src="" frameborder="0"></iframe></p><p>Leading 10-7 in the waning seconds of the first half, Washington quarterback Robert Griffin...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Max UfbergWed, 17 Dec 2014 09:06:00 -0500On Ferguson, stop telling athletes to 'shut up and play'<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">On Sunday, five St. Louis Rams players did exactly what scolds have demanded of demonstrators outraged by the non-indictment of officer Darren Wilson: They protested peacefully. During pre-game introductions, the Rams' Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Kenny Britt, Jared Cook, and Chris Givens walked on to the field with their arms raised in the "Hands up, don't shoot" pose, signaling their support to the protesters barely 10 miles away in Ferguson, Missouri.</p><p class="p1">It was a simple gesture, an acknowledgement that they, too, saw something wrong with a white police officer killing an unarmed black man, and...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Thu, 04 Dec 2014 06:07:00 -0500How low can marathon times go?<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>The Conversation<br /></p><p>This fall, Dennis Kimetto set a new world record in the marathon, clocking 2:02:57 at Berlin. He is the first man to run those 26.2 miles in under 2:03 and his time sparked speculation about when the two-hour barrier for the marathon might fall. Just how fast can a human being run in an endurance race like this?</p><p><strong>The marathon's start</strong></p><p>The marathon is based on the legend of Philippides, a messenger who, the story goes, ran about 25 miles from the battlefield at Marathon to Athens in 490 BC. He announced a great Greek victory over the Persians and then promptly died. No word on his official time...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Michael JoynerSat, 15 Nov 2014 12:00:00 -0500Baseball's new secret to success: Don't strike out<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">The Kansas City Royals are not, as some have suggested, the future of baseball. They are a flawed team that squeaked into the playoffs with only 89 wins and a healthy bit of luck. They outperformed their expected record by five games, third-highest in the majors, and their offense rated out as 6 percent worse than the league average this year.</p><p class="p1">Yet the Royals are indeed on the forefront of a new baseball wave in one crucial respect: They refuse to strike out.</p><p class="p1">"Don't strike out" may seem like a facile maxim, as obvious a suggestion as telling a team to blast a bunch of homers. Yet in baseball's...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Wed, 22 Oct 2014 06:10:00 -0400The addictive ecstasy of a good mixed martial arts fight<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">The fight book of our generation has landed. And that's no small thing. Sport-fighting has always attracted some of the best writers. Homer wrote beautifully on a fight between Epeios and and Euryalos in <em>The Iliad</em>. William Hazlitt's 1822 account of a fight includes this very contemporary-feeling description:</p><p >By this time they had stripped, and presented a strong contrast in appearance. If Neate was like Ajax, "with Atlantean shoulders, fit to bear" the pugilistic reputation of all Bristol, Hickman might be compared to Diomed, light, vigorous, elastic, and his back glistened in the sun, as he moved...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/michael-brendan-dougherty" ><span class="byline">Michael Brendan Dougherty</span></a>Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:07:00 -0400Why you should absolutely watch this confounding, wonderful World Series<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">The pairing of teams in the World Series beginning Tuesday night is both improbable and delightful &mdash; like a foul ball bouncing perfectly into your beer cup. It's not what you expected, but it's time to chug anyway. And you'll be glad you did.</p><p class="p1">The scrappy San Francisco Giants overcame a string of injuries, the decline of some of their best pitchers from the last half decade, their division rival Los Angeles Dodgers' massive payroll, and then, in the National League Championship Series, the terrifying St. Louis Cardinals to take the National League pennant for the third time in five years...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/michael-brendan-dougherty" ><span class="byline">Michael Brendan Dougherty</span></a>Mon, 20 Oct 2014 06:06:00 -0400The best football stadium food in America<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>The average football game lasts three hours, ten minutes. Within that span of time, there will be a flurry of penalties and television timeouts, as well as the general halting that's built into the game. It's also a long time to go without eating.</p><p>(<strong>More from <em>Tasting Table</em>: </strong>Fowl play)</p><p>Should you find yourself in the stands of any of these stadiums, tear yourself away the next time your team gets a first down and hightail it to one of these concessions stands, at which big-name chefs have eschewed standard stadium fare for the signature dishes that made them famous.</p><p><strong>FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By Jillian KingSun, 19 Oct 2014 12:00:00 -0400How Bill Simmons' unjust suspension exposes America's toxic Football Industrial Complex<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">On Wednesday, ESPN suspended Bill Simmons for saying out loud what ESPN's own reporting had already confirmed.</p><p class="p1">The <em>Grantland</em> editor &mdash; who is probably ESPN's most valuable commentator &mdash; called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a "liar" in an expletive-filled tirade on his popular podcast Monday. Simmons was blasting increasingly implausible NFL claims that Goodell had not seen or been aware of horrifying video of star running back Ray Rice punching his wife in the face before giving the former Baltimore Raven a meager two-game suspension. Indeed, Simmons' broadside against Goodell came...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Thu, 25 Sep 2014 13:40:00 -04004 cool tech innovations that could revolutionize sports<img src="" /></P><p><strong>1. Smart basketball court</strong></p><p ><br /><br />(<em></em>)</p><p>Sometimes, the best way to learn something is by combining your own experiences with the experiences of others. A basketball court in Shanghai called The House of Mamba &mdash; named after Kobe "Black Mamba" Bryant &mdash; applies that principle to the sport with the help of cutting-edge technology.</p><p>The House of Mamba is a smart basketball court developed by tech company AKQA and Nike. It has a floor that lights up to guide players through expertly designed training programs. The court is comprised of LED screens, sensors, and motion-tracking devices...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/michelle-castillo" ><span class="byline">Michelle Castillo</span></a>Fri, 19 Sep 2014 14:15:00 -0400