“Connemara,” Oscar Wilde said, “is a savage beauty.” A wild mountainous protrusion into the Atlantic along the west coast of Ireland, where sheep huddle behind stone walls to escape blowing rain even in summer, the landscape still fits his description.
Last year Guy Consolmagno, S.J., received the Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society for outstanding communication of planetary science to the general public. A gray-bearded, amiable presence in front of about 150 people last week at Notre Dame, he hopped easily across cobblestones of conversation: meteorite hunting in Antarctica, multiverses, the warming planet’s rising seas, insights from science fiction, and the confusion of communication between science and religion.
The president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studies explores the questions of leadership and creativity in his book Creativity.
An 80-minute feature version of 1916: The Irish Rebellion will be screened in theaters and at global events, beginning with the March 16 world premiere in Dublin hosted by the Irish government. The U.S. premiere will be March 21 at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, with screenings to follow in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Various PBS…
Geoffrey Siwo is ahead of his time — and he’s taking others along with him.
Professional sports have become vast global industries, billion-dollar enterprises and powerful cultural forces. Where does this leave their fans?
Obvious concussions are easy to identify. You don’t have to be a doctor to recognize the symptoms: confusion, memory loss, nausea, balance problems. It’s like watching one of those viral videos of someone staggering through a field sobriety test. You just know. The problem is that athletes who suffer head injuries don’t always show such signs.
Lance Armstrong should be sorry, particularly to the people he slandered to protect his good name and to the millions of credulous true believers who took him at his defiant word. As for the doping, in and of itself? I’m one of the few people on earth who doesn’t think Armstrong needs to apologize for that.
Manti Te’o is the main character in a bedtime story that helps everyone involved with college football sleep at night. He’s a great player, he seems like one of the all-time good guys and he endured traumatic personal losses this season with inspiring grace. But that doesn’t make him a Heisman Trophy candidate.
John Gagliardi left his office door open while he studied game film, an unheard of security breach compared to the paranoid lockdown of most college football programs. It’s true that Gagliardi, the head coach at Division III Saint John’s University for 60 years until his retirement on Monday, operated outside the scope of the sport’s most intense surveillance. Still.
After one of the more recent indignities heaped on the Notre Dame football team — Michigan State’s heart attack inducing fake field goal, I think — a faculty member vented on Facebook: “OK, joke’s over. Could whoever turned us into the Wile E. Coyote of college football these past years, please turn us back into the Road Runner?”
Urban Meyer violated one of the terms of his Ohio State coaching contract on the first day the football team gathered this summer. Not his contract with the university, the six-year deal worth $26-plus million. Meyer breached the agreement he made with his family.
It’s a familiar pattern repeated in similar circumstances far beyond Penn State, far beyond sports. Police, soldiers, priests, politicians—human beings—we all align ourselves with institutions that come to define us. To acknowledge flaws in them feels like a betrayal worse than the original misconduct.
When the Four Horsemen, the seven mules and Knute Rockne’s other farm animals finished grazing, only Elmer Layden hung around the Notre Dame dining hall to bus tables. “He wasn’t asked to help, and he didn’t expect thanks,” wrote Red Smith, who knew because he was the student waiter on duty. “He just was, and is, that kind of gentleman.”
For years Notre Dame women’s basketball players operated in relative obscurity, but they could always play. And once, on the old courts outside Stepan Center, a couple of them offered an impromptu clinic to a skeptical local audience. Skylar Diggins, and all she represents, was not yet a glint in anybody’s eye, but Karen Robinson ’91 and Coquese Washington ’92, ’97J.D. were her equivalent at the time.
When Orlando Woolridge died last month, the collected details of his life and personality illustrated just how little I knew about the man who once inspired my rapt attention — how little we all know about the athletes who pass through our consciousness, then go on with their lives while we size up their replacements.
Wrigley Field’s organist played “My Way” while Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood walked off the mound for the last time. Wood probably came as close as any professional athlete could to retiring on his own terms, which says a lot about the reluctant endings of most careers.
Every year the Bowl Championship Series recycles one or two of the controversies that illustrate its inherent contradictions. But there is a simple solution to the BCS nonsense.
It may have seemed that time heals the brain after severe blows to the head, but the evidence shows a cumulative effect may cause long-term suffering.
How do you know when the vapors have overcome college football? When an official pulls out a yellow handkerchief, not to fan himself over the affront to his sensibilities, but to call a taunting penalty on . . . Navy.
David Bruton, ND class of 2009, couldn’t disguise himself for long. As a substitute teacher last spring during the NFL lockout, the Denver Broncos free safety tried to keep his football career a secret. A bunch of second-graders found him out.
Apparently some “scientist” has “proven” that predictions, no matter how informed the prognosticators, are no better than wild guesses. So I guess that makes me the equivalent of an expert. Remember that as you read my wild guesses about how the 2011 Notre Dame football season will unfold.
It probably won’t become the sports equivalent of “hiking the Appalachian Trail,” but as excuses go, the North Korean coach’s explanation for his team’s World Cup loss to the United States has a certain electromagnetic appeal. The team was struck by lightning.
Winning the Tour de France seven times, like hitting 70 home runs, seems almost impossible. Without artificial performance enhancement, a cancer survivor rolling down the Champs Elysees year after triumphant year at an advancing age in a sport known for rampant doping defies not just belief but biology.
Word of Ohio State football players receiving “preferential treatment” from the owner of a Columbus tattoo parlor reached NCAA headquarters, where preserving the game’s honor supersedes all other priorities.
With numbers, if not words, economists call football coaches wimps. Their calculations indicate that punts and field goals on fourth down are acts of surrender to misguided conformity, statistical risks under the guise of prudence.
In a span of one spring week, concentrated doses of sports pomposity will be sprayed like bad cologne on television sets across the country. Anybody with a passing interest in college basketball, golf or baseball will be besieged with the bigger-than-the-game significance of it all.
I don’t claim to know what’s right for anyone in mourning, but in sports there seems to be only one choice: Play through the pain, with black armbands, helmet stickers, initials inked onto sneakers and moments of silence.
Reports that Dave Duerson had killed himself didn’t make me think of football at first. They stirred up vague recollections about business and family problems. The game’s potential role didn’t register until the chilling detail that he shot himself in the chest, preserving his brain to be tested for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) — a football side effect.
Among college basketball’s lifer-legends like Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim and Jim Calhoun; among the earnest stewards of regal programs like Roy Williams, Bill Self and Ben Howland; among the slippery, the nomadic and the pugnacious, like John Calipari, Rick Pitino, and Tom Izzo, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey cuts a modest profile.