Posts tagged sports
VEDAD IBISEVIC ACCELERATES his black Mercedes-Benz into Stuttgart traffic, almost outrunning the memory of his family crammed into an overcrowded bus, fleeing another home. His memories are always there, exerting both lift and drag. Today he is a star striker in the German Bundesliga. 

Twenty-two years ago, in a four-month period, the following things happened to him and his Bosnian family: Serb neighbors invaded his mother’s village, Pijuke, and called out familiar names on a bullhorn, promising that no one would be hurt. 

They murdered everyone who emerged. The ethnic-cleansing militia tortured and killed as many Muslims as they could find, burning down every house. 

They split his grand­father’s head open and carved a cross into the chest of a local shop owner, a man who kept chocolate in his store for children like Vedad. Eleven of the estimated 100,000 killed in the Bosnian civil war died on May 8, 1992, in a little town surrounded by rolling green hills and grazing white sheep. 

The soldiers forced 7-year-old Vedad and his family from their nearby city of Vlasenica and sent them fleeing, from Bosnia to Switzerland to St. Louis. Vedad slept in forests and buses and refugee camps. 

He hid in a hole. Soldiers burned down his father’s village, a place named Gerovi, which was where Vedad had always felt most at peace as a child. Soccer had taken hold of his imagination there, at a field next to the river, down a narrow path from the town. 

Gerovi was his favorite place in the world, and like everything else he’d known in the first eight years of his life, it was gone. His fingers curl around the steering wheel as he drives away from practice. 

He is here and he is there. When the war started, there wasn’t room in the family’s two bags for him to bring a soccer ball or for his sister to carry her new doll, though she did squeeze the doll’s shoes into their luggage. His past throws a poignant shadow onto his present, making something as emotionally insignificant as a doll’s shoes or this car, an AMG-designed, twin-turbo, 577-horsepower E63 sedan, seem like a triumph of the human spirit. He once fled a war in a bus, and now his feet rest on stainless steel racing pedals. 

The distance between these things can be dizzying. An old Bosnian love song plays on his stereo. The music reminds him of home, which reminds him of the goal he scored against Lithuania last year, which sent his nation to its first World Cup. 

"People from other countries," he says, "they don’t understand. To them, it’s just another soccer game and the goal I scored is just a goal. But it’s not just a goal. I think the people who know me and know my family members, they have the same feeling. It’s not just a goal. It’s much more than that. It’s the whole story." 

Nothing can stay buried - Bosnia-Herzegovina forward Vedad Ibisevic returns to homeland

VEDAD IBISEVIC ACCELERATES his black Mercedes-Benz into Stuttgart traffic, almost outrunning the memory of his family crammed into an overcrowded bus, fleeing another home. His memories are always there, exerting both lift and drag. Today he is a star striker in the German Bundesliga.

Twenty-two years ago, in a four-month period, the following things happened to him and his Bosnian family: Serb neighbors invaded his mother’s village, Pijuke, and called out familiar names on a bullhorn, promising that no one would be hurt.

They murdered everyone who emerged. The ethnic-cleansing militia tortured and killed as many Muslims as they could find, burning down every house.

They split his grand­father’s head open and carved a cross into the chest of a local shop owner, a man who kept chocolate in his store for children like Vedad. Eleven of the estimated 100,000 killed in the Bosnian civil war died on May 8, 1992, in a little town surrounded by rolling green hills and grazing white sheep.

The soldiers forced 7-year-old Vedad and his family from their nearby city of Vlasenica and sent them fleeing, from Bosnia to Switzerland to St. Louis. Vedad slept in forests and buses and refugee camps.

He hid in a hole. Soldiers burned down his father’s village, a place named Gerovi, which was where Vedad had always felt most at peace as a child. Soccer had taken hold of his imagination there, at a field next to the river, down a narrow path from the town.

Gerovi was his favorite place in the world, and like everything else he’d known in the first eight years of his life, it was gone. His fingers curl around the steering wheel as he drives away from practice.

He is here and he is there. When the war started, there wasn’t room in the family’s two bags for him to bring a soccer ball or for his sister to carry her new doll, though she did squeeze the doll’s shoes into their luggage. His past throws a poignant shadow onto his present, making something as emotionally insignificant as a doll’s shoes or this car, an AMG-designed, twin-turbo, 577-horsepower E63 sedan, seem like a triumph of the human spirit. He once fled a war in a bus, and now his feet rest on stainless steel racing pedals.

The distance between these things can be dizzying. An old Bosnian love song plays on his stereo. The music reminds him of home, which reminds him of the goal he scored against Lithuania last year, which sent his nation to its first World Cup.

"People from other countries," he says, "they don’t understand. To them, it’s just another soccer game and the goal I scored is just a goal. But it’s not just a goal. I think the people who know me and know my family members, they have the same feeling. It’s not just a goal. It’s much more than that. It’s the whole story."

Nothing can stay buried - Bosnia-Herzegovina forward Vedad Ibisevic returns to homeland

Shabazz Napier is everything that the N.C.A.A. says it wants student athletes to be. And, on Monday night, the twenty-two-year-old senior scored twenty-two points while leading the University of Connecticut to a 60-54 victory over John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats for the national championship. 

Napier grew up in tight circumstances in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and went to prep school on scholarship in order to qualify to play in college. He stayed at Connecticut after Jim Calhoun, the coach that recruited him, stepped down. 

He stayed through the school’s temporary ban from postseason play, in 2013, for failing to meet the N.C.A.A.’s academic standards. He was tempted to leave early to try his luck in the N.B.A. draft, but ultimately decided to stay in school. 

He was his conference’s player of the year, an All-America First Team selection. 

And his fine play in the tournament gave him the kind of visibility that is sure to raise his draft stock among professional teams in June. His story would be the one that the keepers of the college-basketball status quo would tell to young men across the country. 

Except, there is a problem. Speaking to reporters earlier in the tournament, Napier said that while he had played for Connecticut—making money for the school, his coaches, Nike, and so many other stakeholders in the system—he had not always had enough spending money to buy food. 

It might have gotten lost amidst the excitement of the national championship, were the contrast between the image of a hungry student athlete and that of the immense profits made from his sport not so striking. Asked about the recent ruling that would allow members of the Northwestern football team to vote on forming a union, Napier called it “kind of great.” 

A reporter asked if he considered himself an employee. No, he responded, he was a student athlete, but one who felt stretched thin. He didn’t think college kids needed to be paid hundreds of thousands of dollars (he, of course, has been worth more than that to UConn over the past four years), just enough to eat. 

Napier seemed to mean that literally; he talked about hungry nights. “We’re definitely blessed to get a scholarship to our universities, but, at the end of the day, that doesn’t cover everything,” he said. Athletic scholarships, which are capped in value, do not necessarily cover all of the costs of attending college, meaning that players have to pull resources together in other ways. 

Those ways, of course, may not involve using their considerable celebrity to make money via related employment or endorsements. Napier talked about that, as well: “It may not have your last name on it, but when you see a jersey getting selled … you want something in return.” This is what a voice of reason sounds like. 

Shabazz Napier and UConn: One Shining Moment of Truth: The New Yorker

Shabazz Napier is everything that the N.C.A.A. says it wants student athletes to be. And, on Monday night, the twenty-two-year-old senior scored twenty-two points while leading the University of Connecticut to a 60-54 victory over John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats for the national championship.

Napier grew up in tight circumstances in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and went to prep school on scholarship in order to qualify to play in college. He stayed at Connecticut after Jim Calhoun, the coach that recruited him, stepped down.

He stayed through the school’s temporary ban from postseason play, in 2013, for failing to meet the N.C.A.A.’s academic standards. He was tempted to leave early to try his luck in the N.B.A. draft, but ultimately decided to stay in school.

He was his conference’s player of the year, an All-America First Team selection.

And his fine play in the tournament gave him the kind of visibility that is sure to raise his draft stock among professional teams in June. His story would be the one that the keepers of the college-basketball status quo would tell to young men across the country.

Except, there is a problem. Speaking to reporters earlier in the tournament, Napier said that while he had played for Connecticut—making money for the school, his coaches, Nike, and so many other stakeholders in the system—he had not always had enough spending money to buy food.

It might have gotten lost amidst the excitement of the national championship, were the contrast between the image of a hungry student athlete and that of the immense profits made from his sport not so striking. Asked about the recent ruling that would allow members of the Northwestern football team to vote on forming a union, Napier called it “kind of great.”

A reporter asked if he considered himself an employee. No, he responded, he was a student athlete, but one who felt stretched thin. He didn’t think college kids needed to be paid hundreds of thousands of dollars (he, of course, has been worth more than that to UConn over the past four years), just enough to eat.

Napier seemed to mean that literally; he talked about hungry nights. “We’re definitely blessed to get a scholarship to our universities, but, at the end of the day, that doesn’t cover everything,” he said. Athletic scholarships, which are capped in value, do not necessarily cover all of the costs of attending college, meaning that players have to pull resources together in other ways.

Those ways, of course, may not involve using their considerable celebrity to make money via related employment or endorsements. Napier talked about that, as well: “It may not have your last name on it, but when you see a jersey getting selled … you want something in return.” This is what a voice of reason sounds like.

Shabazz Napier and UConn: One Shining Moment of Truth: The New Yorker

He saw it in me before anyone else—the ability to be a shutdown corner—when I was still in high school. But even though I didn’t wind up playing for Pete Carroll at USC, I’m sure glad I am now. If you’re looking for reasons the Seahawks are in the Super Bowl, start with him. And it’s not just his game plans, either. 

Richard Sherman’s tribute Pete Carroll’s role in Seahawks Super Bowl

He saw it in me before anyone else—the ability to be a shutdown corner—when I was still in high school. But even though I didn’t wind up playing for Pete Carroll at USC, I’m sure glad I am now. If you’re looking for reasons the Seahawks are in the Super Bowl, start with him. And it’s not just his game plans, either.

Richard Sherman’s tribute Pete Carroll’s role in Seahawks Super Bowl

The Frozen Closet | Timeline: LGBT Moments in Figure Skating
"Growing up straight in a dominantly homophobic and homosexual sport was hard for me and for them," he adds. "I remember my family defending my sexuality before I even understood what sexuality meant."
"I remember being constantly asked, ‘Oh, you’re a figure skater now? So you’re gay?’"
At 12, Larcom went to live and train as a pairs skater in Tampa, Fla. Despite being thousands of miles from home, he encountered the same stereotypes. Once, a girlfriend, a fellow skater, dumped him because her friends teased her about dating a male figure skater. Hockey players called him “fag,” “gay,” “homo” and “queer.”
"I’d be holding my skating partner’s hand [while practicing on the ice], and I’d want to go faster and stronger to prove I could beat them," Larcom says about the hockey players. "I thought, You’re playing with sticks, but I have this girl who I can lift and throw. You try to look like you’re Goliath." MORE | Timeline
ZoomInfo
The Frozen Closet | Timeline: LGBT Moments in Figure Skating
"Growing up straight in a dominantly homophobic and homosexual sport was hard for me and for them," he adds. "I remember my family defending my sexuality before I even understood what sexuality meant."
"I remember being constantly asked, ‘Oh, you’re a figure skater now? So you’re gay?’"
At 12, Larcom went to live and train as a pairs skater in Tampa, Fla. Despite being thousands of miles from home, he encountered the same stereotypes. Once, a girlfriend, a fellow skater, dumped him because her friends teased her about dating a male figure skater. Hockey players called him “fag,” “gay,” “homo” and “queer.”
"I’d be holding my skating partner’s hand [while practicing on the ice], and I’d want to go faster and stronger to prove I could beat them," Larcom says about the hockey players. "I thought, You’re playing with sticks, but I have this girl who I can lift and throw. You try to look like you’re Goliath." MORE | Timeline
ZoomInfo
The Frozen Closet | Timeline: LGBT Moments in Figure Skating
"Growing up straight in a dominantly homophobic and homosexual sport was hard for me and for them," he adds. "I remember my family defending my sexuality before I even understood what sexuality meant."
"I remember being constantly asked, ‘Oh, you’re a figure skater now? So you’re gay?’"
At 12, Larcom went to live and train as a pairs skater in Tampa, Fla. Despite being thousands of miles from home, he encountered the same stereotypes. Once, a girlfriend, a fellow skater, dumped him because her friends teased her about dating a male figure skater. Hockey players called him “fag,” “gay,” “homo” and “queer.”
"I’d be holding my skating partner’s hand [while practicing on the ice], and I’d want to go faster and stronger to prove I could beat them," Larcom says about the hockey players. "I thought, You’re playing with sticks, but I have this girl who I can lift and throw. You try to look like you’re Goliath." MORE | Timeline
ZoomInfo
The Frozen Closet | Timeline: LGBT Moments in Figure Skating
"Growing up straight in a dominantly homophobic and homosexual sport was hard for me and for them," he adds. "I remember my family defending my sexuality before I even understood what sexuality meant."
"I remember being constantly asked, ‘Oh, you’re a figure skater now? So you’re gay?’"
At 12, Larcom went to live and train as a pairs skater in Tampa, Fla. Despite being thousands of miles from home, he encountered the same stereotypes. Once, a girlfriend, a fellow skater, dumped him because her friends teased her about dating a male figure skater. Hockey players called him “fag,” “gay,” “homo” and “queer.”
"I’d be holding my skating partner’s hand [while practicing on the ice], and I’d want to go faster and stronger to prove I could beat them," Larcom says about the hockey players. "I thought, You’re playing with sticks, but I have this girl who I can lift and throw. You try to look like you’re Goliath." MORE | Timeline
ZoomInfo

The Frozen Closet | Timeline: LGBT Moments in Figure Skating

"Growing up straight in a dominantly homophobic and homosexual sport was hard for me and for them," he adds. "I remember my family defending my sexuality before I even understood what sexuality meant."

"I remember being constantly asked, ‘Oh, you’re a figure skater now? So you’re gay?’"

At 12, Larcom went to live and train as a pairs skater in Tampa, Fla. Despite being thousands of miles from home, he encountered the same stereotypes. Once, a girlfriend, a fellow skater, dumped him because her friends teased her about dating a male figure skater. Hockey players called him “fag,” “gay,” “homo” and “queer.”

"I’d be holding my skating partner’s hand [while practicing on the ice], and I’d want to go faster and stronger to prove I could beat them," Larcom says about the hockey players. "I thought, You’re playing with sticks, but I have this girl who I can lift and throw. You try to look like you’re Goliath." MORE | Timeline

picturedept:

The Flying Women of London
Amazing images of the balance beam competition during today’s gymnastics at the 2012 Olympics.
1. Ralitsa Mileva of Bulgaria photo: by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images2. Deng LinLin of Chinaphoto: by Jamie McDonald / Getty Images3. Deng LinLin of China photo: Carl de Souza, AFP/ Getty Images4. Yuko Shintake of Japan photo: by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images5. Deng LinLin of China  photo: Adrian Dennis / Getty Images

Is it weird that I like the feet one the best?
ZoomInfo
picturedept:

The Flying Women of London
Amazing images of the balance beam competition during today’s gymnastics at the 2012 Olympics.
1. Ralitsa Mileva of Bulgaria photo: by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images2. Deng LinLin of Chinaphoto: by Jamie McDonald / Getty Images3. Deng LinLin of China photo: Carl de Souza, AFP/ Getty Images4. Yuko Shintake of Japan photo: by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images5. Deng LinLin of China  photo: Adrian Dennis / Getty Images

Is it weird that I like the feet one the best?
ZoomInfo
picturedept:

The Flying Women of London
Amazing images of the balance beam competition during today’s gymnastics at the 2012 Olympics.
1. Ralitsa Mileva of Bulgaria photo: by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images2. Deng LinLin of Chinaphoto: by Jamie McDonald / Getty Images3. Deng LinLin of China photo: Carl de Souza, AFP/ Getty Images4. Yuko Shintake of Japan photo: by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images5. Deng LinLin of China  photo: Adrian Dennis / Getty Images

Is it weird that I like the feet one the best?
ZoomInfo
picturedept:

The Flying Women of London
Amazing images of the balance beam competition during today’s gymnastics at the 2012 Olympics.
1. Ralitsa Mileva of Bulgaria photo: by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images2. Deng LinLin of Chinaphoto: by Jamie McDonald / Getty Images3. Deng LinLin of China photo: Carl de Souza, AFP/ Getty Images4. Yuko Shintake of Japan photo: by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images5. Deng LinLin of China  photo: Adrian Dennis / Getty Images

Is it weird that I like the feet one the best?
ZoomInfo
picturedept:

The Flying Women of London
Amazing images of the balance beam competition during today’s gymnastics at the 2012 Olympics.
1. Ralitsa Mileva of Bulgaria photo: by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images2. Deng LinLin of Chinaphoto: by Jamie McDonald / Getty Images3. Deng LinLin of China photo: Carl de Souza, AFP/ Getty Images4. Yuko Shintake of Japan photo: by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images5. Deng LinLin of China  photo: Adrian Dennis / Getty Images

Is it weird that I like the feet one the best?
ZoomInfo

picturedept:

The Flying Women of London

Amazing images of the balance beam competition during today’s gymnastics at the 2012 Olympics.

1. Ralitsa Mileva of Bulgaria photo: by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images
2. Deng LinLin of Chinaphoto: by Jamie McDonald / Getty Images
3. Deng LinLin of China photo: Carl de Souza, AFP/ Getty Images
4. Yuko Shintake of Japan photo: by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images
5. Deng LinLin of China  photo: Adrian Dennis / Getty Images

Is it weird that I like the feet one the best?

They just keep moving the goalposts. It’s unfortunate for me, because I’m in the middle of it, but it’s unfortunate for all athletes…If I can’t face my accusers, that’s a joke. We did that in medieval times.
Lance Armstrong says U.S. anti-doping officials are ‘moving the goalposts’ in an attempt to discredit him by reportedly delaying suspensions against his accusers.
Thanks to Amendola’s idiocy, we actually could see the 67-year-old Sandusky. We could feel this alleged sexual predator, just like he apparently wooed his child victims with soft talk, attempting to do the same with us in proclaiming his innocence of butt-f—-ing, getting blow jobs, c—- groping, and other depraved acts on eight different minor victims over a 15-year span.
Buzz Bissinger, again pulling no punches, on accused child rapist Jerry Sandusky’s odd NBC interview—and the lawyer (Amendola) who made it happen.
We need to stop the daintiness and describe the alleged offenses for what they truly are in the vernacular to somehow try to capture the monstrousness. Not anal intercourse or oral sex, which sounds clinical, but butt-f—-ing and blow jobs and cock-grabbing and pants-groping and other assorted acts that the 67-year-old Sandusky allegedly inflicted on eight minor victims over a 15-year span, according to the 23-page grand-jury report, and resulted in 40 counts of serial sex abuse of minors.
That’s Buzz Bissinger on the Penn State sex scandal.