On the other side of the Atlantic, 3,500 miles from State College, Pa., a very tall Penn State alum tries to make some sense of this contemporary Greek tragedy. Like so many, his emotions whipsaw. He is devastated for the alleged victims. He is disappointed by how his school handled this from the outset -- whenever that may have been.
The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has a new ally and his name is Tim Hardaway. The former NBA All-Star traveled to El Paso, Texas, last Thursday -- where he perfected his killer crossover dribble, also known as the UTEP-Two Step -- to stand up for gay rights. There is a group in El Paso who are trying to recall mayor John Cook and two members of the city counsel for re-establishing domestic partner benefits for both gay and unmarried couples. Hardaway arrived from Miami to speak at a press conference organized by the "No Recall" group.
It's taken 10 years but the NBA's new era has achieved its peak. Before 2001, teams were obsessed with crowding the paint defensively and isolating the best offensive players, which resulted in little movement of the ball. The rules changed in 2001 to open up the game offensively, and a decade later the transformation is complete: Offensive skills have been blended into the game so thoroughly that there is no longer a single championship contender that can be branded as an all-out defensive team.
John Amaechi played five seasons in the NBA with Cleveland, Orlando and Utah but never fully introduced himself to the world until February, when he became the first current or former NBA player to admit he is gay in his book, Man in the Middle. His revelation, three years after his retirement, caused a firestorm of opinions from current and former players, ranging from understanding to downright disgusted.
1. Verne Lundquist, CBS: In the history of Vernes, he'd rank below both Jules Verne and Verne Troyer but it's a good time to recognize the veteran CBS sportscaster after his election this month to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame. His five-decade résumé is remarkable. Lundquist has called among other notable events: Jack Nicklaus winning the 1986 Masters; the 1992 Regional Final between Kentucky and Duke (a.k.a. the first time Christian Laettner really annoyed you); Tiger Woods' fourth Masters victory in 2005 and George Mason's upset over Connecticut last year. Lundquist has long been the voice of CBS's Southeastern Conference football coverage and he's one of a handful of broadcasters you can honestly call underrated. "One of the reasons the [Hall of Fame] hit me like a bolt is because I'm not one of the lead guys even at our network," Lundquist told SI.com this week. "But I have a versatility to our network and I think CBS values me as an employee. So I suppose the c
Periodically now, a former professional player nobody ever heard of when he was playing comes out with a book revealing that he is gay. The latest is John Amaechi, late of the NBA. Each account invariably details the difficulty the player had in keeping his secret amidst such a macho culture. Then, following that is the inevitable response, which is to show compassion for what the gay athlete endured while castigating his league for being so homophobic a culture.
We've been patting ourselves on the back lately, celebrating how much progress the sports world has made in terms of racial equality. We're supposedly so colorblind that when two African-American coaches reached the Super Bowl last week, the general reaction was, "What? Dungy and Lovie are black? I hadn't noticed."