The Week: Most Recent Sports Posts recent posts.en-usFri, 18 Apr 2014 07:30:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Sports Posts from THE WEEKFri, 18 Apr 2014 07:30:00 -0400NBA playoffs predictions, based on ferocity of mascot<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">As I wrote about the NFL back in January, predicting playoff outcomes is pretty much guesswork. So rather than pore over stats, prognosticators might be served well by just picking winners based on which team's mascot is more badass. And at least when applied to the NFL playoffs, that methodology held up well.</p><p class="p1">So how well will it hold up when used to predict the outcome of the NBA playoffs, which tip off Saturday? It will prove flawless, I'm sure. To the predictions:</p><p class="p1"><strong>Eastern Conference Quarterfinals</strong></p><p class="p1"><strong><em>Indiana Pacers v. Atlanta Hawks</em></strong></p><p ><br />(<em>Andy Lyons/Getty Images, Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images</em>)</p><p class="p1">The Indiana...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Fri, 18 Apr 2014 07:30:00 -04009 surefire ways to 'fix' baseball<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">I should say up front that I love baseball. It's a beautiful, boring game, and if you don't believe me you're wrong. Hopelessly, foolishly wrong.</p><p class="p1">But the truth is people don't watch baseball like they used to. Football is America's favorite sport now, its violence and machismo and Bud Light ads aligning neatly with the contemporary zeitgeist.</p><p class="p1">Yet there's still hope for the game. One anonymous league executive this week proposed shortening games to seven innings. Would it save the sport? Probably not, but points for effort to whomever suggested it.</p><p class="p1">So with that in mind, here are some other surefire...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Thu, 10 Apr 2014 09:09:00 -0400Yes, baseball is boring. That's exactly what makes it so great.<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Baseball is back and so, too, are the usual complaints that the sport is an interminable affair with little action save for the occasional angry waddle to the diamond by a red-faced manager eager to harangue an umpire. "Nation Already Sick of Baseball," <em>The Onion</em> joked last week.</p><p class="p1">There's some merit to the argument that baseball isn't living up to its billing as America's favorite pastime. For the past 30 years pro football has been the nation's most beloved game; 35 percent of adults named it their favorite sport this year, more than twice as many as the 14 percent who picked baseball.</p><p class="p1">Yet the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Wed, 09 Apr 2014 08:43:00 -0400How modern capitalism is re-segregating baseball in the 21st century<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">The Oakland A's have always been a little ahead of the curve. Their players, Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, mainlined steroids into the culture of baseball. Later, general manager Billy Beane mainstreamed advanced statistical analysis into professional front offices. But the team's next proposed move &mdash; out of Oakland and into Silicon Valley &mdash; is emblematic of a depressing trend that is reversing one of baseball's finest accomplishments, and the latest example of how modern capitalism is re-segregating the game.</p><p class="p2">Everyone seems to hate Oakland as a baseball city. Writers joke that the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/michael-brendan-dougherty" ><span class="byline">Michael Brendan Dougherty</span></a>Tue, 08 Apr 2014 06:06:00 -0400Yes, Daniel Murphy is a millionaire pro athlete. But he still deserves paternity leave.<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">On Opening Day, the wife of New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy went into labor with the couple's first child. So despite the fact that the season was just getting underway, Murphy took three days off to be with his newly expanded family.</p><p class="p1">Then the Mets dropped their first two games, and the backlash began.</p><p class="p1">"You're a major-league baseball player," whined blowhard radio host Mike Francesa. "You can hire a nurse to take care of the baby if your wife needs help."</p><p class="p1">Others joined the chorus with similar complaints: Murphy is a well-compensated professional athlete who has a four-month-long offseason...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Thu, 03 Apr 2014 14:17:00 -0400Milwaukee Brewers fans gave a drug cheat a standing ovation -- and you should, too<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun is a cheater. After being caught in the Biogenesis scandal last year, the former National League MVP admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs and accepted a season-ending suspension.</p><p class="p1">Yet in Monday's season-opener, Brewers fans gave Braun a standing ovation in his first plate appearance since coming clean. Predictably, some took umbrage with the applause:</p><center><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Standing ovation for Ryan Braun in Milwaukee is about the least surprising thing on Opening Day. Great message. Lie and we love you anyway.</p>&mdash; Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 31, 2014</blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>I had...</p></blockquote></center> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Wed, 02 Apr 2014 09:00:00 -0400Are Yasiel Puig's critics racist?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Yasiel Puig plays baseball like a kid &mdash; a supremely talented, muscular kid that is. He can throw like Roberto Clemente and hit like&hellip;well, Roberto Clemente. The problem is that he's prone to brain farts and fist-pumping, the latter of which is verboten, according to baseball killjoys.</p><p class="p1">So Puig is the most controversial baseball player on the planet, one who's inspired countless columns by fogeys outraged by his playing style. And since Puig is a black player &mdash; a Cuban player, one who speaks through an interpreter &mdash; that criticism can came off as culturally ignorant or even...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Fri, 28 Mar 2014 06:05:00 -0400Why March Madness is a progressive's worst economic nightmare<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Four years ago, the NCAA struck a $10.8 billion, 14-year TV deal with CBS and Turner Sports to air March Madness. As for the players driving this entertainment spectacle? They'll get zilch from that mountain of money.</p><p class="p1">That college players aren't paid to play is a well-worn subject, though it bears repeating in the context of the NCAA's marquee sporting event. The intercollegiate athletics body earns about 90 percent of its entire revenue from the tournament. In 2012, when the NCAA hauled in $872 million, that translated into almost $785 million in earnings from a single month of college basketball...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Thu, 20 Mar 2014 13:35:00 -04005 research-backed ways to improve your March Madness bracket<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Since very soon everyone will be watching basketball and no one will be doing any work, I figured it would be good to look at the scientific research on sports so you can improve your bracket.</p><p><strong>Tip #1: Going with your gut only works for experts.</strong></p><p>Do you really know college basketball inside and out? If so, research says stop thinking and go with your instinct:</p><p >&hellip;for the experts who spent time not thinking about their predictions, there was a correlation between their ranking knowledge and predictive accuracy. Not consciously thinking about the problem at hand seemed to ensure that experts...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Eric BarkerWed, 19 Mar 2014 07:22:00 -0400Here's how to convince your boss it's OK to watch March Madness at work<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">March Madness is here once again, which means two things: 1) Everyone in your office now thinks they're bracketologists, and 2) We're deluged with stories about how terrible the tournament is for worker productivity. But though both annual occurrences are as indelible to the Big Dance as Dick Vitale, they're also both eminently false.</p><p class="p1">"March Madness ready to distract workers nationwide," declares <em>Fox Business</em>, citing one study that claims companies could lose an astounding $1.2 billion from preoccupied employees this year. Other stories on the subject parrot the same study &mdash; which comes...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Tue, 18 Mar 2014 14:07:00 -0400