We’re all part of Eli athletics

Athletics is not the priority of this University. Nor should it be. Except for a particularly prominent few, Yale athletes remain nearly as unknown as our best pianists and painters. After all, no one student’s passion deserves more respect than any other’s. With that said, sports holds a very special place in our society, as […]

Back up the trash talk, or just stay quiet

In May 2007, golfer Rory Sabbatini voiced the inconceivable: “I think he’s more beatable than ever.” The “he” to whom the South African made reference was the so-called “new Tiger Woods.” Coming from a player who has only won three tournaments in his career, the comment rightly caught many off guard. Sabbatini’s artificial confidence exposed […]

To Djokovic, Mountaineers and the rest of the underdogs

40-Love. The world’s No. 1 player at his mercy. Poised to shock the tennis world. Novak Djokovic entered Sunday’s showdown with tennis great Roger Federer as a tremendous underdog. Few gave Djokovic any chance of upsetting this generation’s brightest star, despite the fact that the 20-year-old Serbian had defeated the Swiss less than a month […]

Taking the bad with the good

I am as much a proponent of the positive values of sports as anyone. I believe that sports can provide children and young adults with effective role models. Children who play sports learn fundamental qualities that will make them better members of their communities and better providers for their families. And while I will always […]

Talent isn’t all it takes to make a great captain

Eric Flato ’08 and Will Engasser ’08 were named captains of the Yale basketball and hockey teams, respectively, last week. On paper the two have little in common, but are clearly both terrific leaders. Now, it’s just a question of whether they’ll be good captains. Flato offers tremendous on-court production. He led Yale in scoring […]

It’s all about the hardware (or the jacket)

Zach Johnson joined a prestigious club on Sunday, not only because he is just the 43rd Masters winner, but also because, with his victory, he became a member of Augusta National, which is by definition a prestigious club. His green jacket serves as proof of membership. He will never need a number or tag on […]

The Ernie and Bert of world-class athletes

With 22 major tournament victories between them, Roger Federer and Tiger Woods share something unique: They are the most dominating athletes of their generation and can each be considered one of the best ever to play their games. The two’s much publicized budding friendship therefore seems to make sense. Except for a very limited group […]

Would you juice up if you could?

I took the necessary drug test for my summer internship last Thursday. As I entered the company’s health center, a woman wearing a white lab coat and taking herself a tad too seriously asked me to remove the contents of my pockets onto a white paper towel that she had stretched out on a counter. […]

Top exports: Wheat, cars… and baseball?

Here’s a first: baseball as a tool of American foreign policy. As the world’s sole superpower, the United States constantly spreads its influence around the globe. But rarely has baseball been the machine used to endear America to foreigners. However, in 110 days, on Jun. 24, or should I say the 8th of Tammuz 5767, […]

Believe it or not, Knight might actually be right

I often watch the ESPN “100 Greatest Sports Images of the 20th Century” video that sits on my desktop. The whole thing is basically just a montage set to Aerosmith’s “Dream On.” But one image became particularly interesting to me recently — that of Bobby Knight tossing a chair onto the Indiana basketball court in […]

Old research offers laughs, secret of life

Efficiency and precision are hallmarks of successful athletes and teams. In fact, efficiency is probably one of the only terms that can be applied as a gold standard throughout sports. Pitchers do their best to eliminate wasteful motion in their delivery. Football offenses of all varieties strive to march down the field as quickly and […]

Football has parity. So what?

In line with the rest of the world’s infatuation with one-stop shopping, the sports industry has turned to single metrics to quantify success. In baseball, there has been the rise of OPS in evaluating a batter; in football, there’s passer rating. Despite these efforts, there is still a struggle to quantify the success of an […]