Rivals (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 11) A charming entrepreneur opens a casino to rival Quark’s

Rewatching ST:DS9 A man in a fancy suit charms a wealthy widow at Quark’s, as she reveals her secret investment plans. Just when Martus asks about a partnership, Odo apprehends him for a previous con. O’Brien, in schlubby workout clothes, trundles into an angular, futuristic racquetball court and is crestfallen to find Bashir already there, doing fancy warmup exercises in a spiffy outfit. The good doctor cheerfully brags about being captain of his team in med school. In a jail cell with Martus is an ill-looking humanoid with a blinking sphere that he plays with (it keeps making an alien…

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Firstborn (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 7, Episode 21) Worf prepares his reluctant son for a rite of passage

Rewatching ST:TNG Worf awkwardly rehearses a speech to prepare Alexander for a rite of passage. Doused by a water balloon intended for Alexander, Worf bungles the speech. He’s even more rattled when Alexander admits he doesn’t want to become a warrior. Picard suggests Worf visit a nearby Klingon outpost for an upcoming festival. Wide-eyed Alexander is enchanted by a participatory street theater bat’leth opera, and runs off to see the sights with friends (mentioned only in dialog). When three bad guys surround Worf and Alexander, a stranger steps in to help fight them off. K’Mtar says he was sent by…

The beauty from some Olympic skaters was not worth seeing a child emotionally broken on live television.

I didn’t watch any of the video, and I have no desire to. This article was painful to read. “I hate it! … I don’t want to do anything in figure skating ever in my life! … Everyone has a gold medal, and I don’t!” One can forgive a teenage girl for having an emotional response to disappointment in a high-stakes situation, but Trusova’s reaction was an ugly display of poor sportsmanship, happening mere feet from a devastated Valieva. Trusova would later have to be coaxed into even coming back onto the ice to accept her second place finish. As Valieva…

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu Logo

In October 2001, I was blogging about nothing, apostrophes, the anthrax scare, and Boilerplate

In October 2001, I was blogging about Nothing Matters. (A teaching metaphor that had a big impact on my pedagogy… I’m glad I had the occasion to revisit it. Even when I blogged it 20 years ago there were a lot of broken links on the site, but the main idea is still completely valid) The Apostrophe Protection Society Job Hunting Tips (satire from The Onion) Walking Sports Database Scorns Walking Sci-Fi Database The need for editors on the Web Boilerplate: Mechanical Marvel of the 19th Century (a steampunk robot photoshopped into historical photos creates an alternate history timeline that…

Brett Favre Urges Ban On Youth Tackle Football, Pleads For No Hitting ‘Til 14

Concussions in sports often a topic my students pick for their researched term papers. Most seem to put their trust in mandating better training for coaches, funding for better equipment, education to make sure players are wearing their equipment properly, or better treatment for players who end up disabled. The idea of fundamentally changing the sport to make it safer (at least for kids) rarely comes up, so here’s a notable endorsement. Brett Favre is calling for a ban on youth tackle football … saying he believes no child should participate in live, full-contact games until at least the age of…

Why are sports in trouble in the U.S.? Because we didn’t do the work.

Hard-hitting column from Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post. Baseball is facing a new crisis not even a week into its pandemic-delayed season. It’s an axiom in sports: Your results speak for themselves. The scoreboard says more than a dozen major league baseball players are sick after just five days of play, and the only record this country is leading in is the number of deaths. If there is one thing sports teaches, it’s that just wanting to win is not enough. You have to do the work, or you’re going to fail and maybe even embarrass yourself. You can’t cheat…

How “Hail Mary” Became Inextricably Linked to American Football

I am revamping an existing “News Writing” course so that it becomes “News, Arts and Sports Reporting,” and am thus trying to educate myself about sports writing. Good writing is engaging no matter what the subject is. This is a great example. The headline is written for an international audience. Without assuming that the reader already knows what a “Hail Mary pass” is, and without assuming that the reader knows what the “Hail Mary” prayer is, the writer informs without belaboring the obvious or alienating the informed. The Hail Mary, like an anvil falling from the sky toward Wile E.…

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The Rhetoric of Anthems and the Drama of Kneeling

I don’t follow sports, so I don’t feel fully equipped to comment on the issue, but when a friend raised it via an email I thought I’d share my thoughts about the rhetorical and dramatic nature of patriotism and protest. I have often wished I could attend a concert/literary discussion where singers performed the national anthems of countries from trouble spots around the world, and then people from those countries walked the audience through a translation and a discussion of the meaning of the lyrics, maybe also throwing in a poem or a literary monologue from some culturally significant text.…

Former NFL receiver Antwaan Randle El regrets ever playing football

“There’s no correcting it. There’s no helmet that’s going to correct it. There’s no teaching that’s going to correct it. It just comes down to it’s a physically violent game. Football players are in a car wreck every week.” […] Randle El is not naive to the profitability of the sport or the impact it has on society, but with the concussion and life-long injury issues getting more attention than ever before, the nine-year veteran thinks the end may be near. “Right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if football isn’t around in 20, 25 years.” —The Washington Post

Sports writing: Once a passion, now merely a job

Once, working for an online sports section, it was immediately stressed that the rule of thumb was to churn out six articles over an eight-hour shift for studies showed quantity resulted in more hits than quality. And beyond that, there is even a growing model in some newspaper titles where a league table exists for journalists based on who gets the most clicks and, by extension, they are deemed to be the most relevant and valuable to a company. But the idea of a sports journalist was never to be popular for the wrong reasons, but often to be unpopular…

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Key and Peele sportscenter teacher parody: New sketch imagines teachers as athletes (VIDEO).

Oh, how I wish we lived in a world where this was NOT a spoof. A spot-on parody of SportsCenter’s hyperbole-laden talking heads, busy CGI ticker screens, and obsessive play-by-plays, the clip cleverly reimagines athletes as the educators we entrust our children to every day.Unsurprisingly, it’s a biting critique that says a lot about the economic and symbolic power we assign to an industry in which men are considered exceptional for throwing a ball. But the best part of “TeachersCenter” might just be the incredible ads dropped in throughout—being a teacher has never looked so sexy. Source: Key and Peele…

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The 3 Scariest Words A Boy Can Hear (“Be a Man”)

Former NFL player and current pastor Joe Ehrmann reflects on the power coaches have over the identities of boys. There’s two kinds of coaches in America: You’re either transactional or you’re transformational. Transactional coaches basically use young people for their own identity, their own validation, their own ends. It’s always about them — the team first, players’ needs down the road. And then you have transformational coaches. They understand the power, the platform, the position they have in the lives of young people, and they’re going to use that to change the arc of every young person’s life. I think…

The Case Against High-School Sports

“I’ve been in hundreds of classrooms,” says Singleton, who has spent 15 years as a principal and helped turn around other struggling schools. “This was the worst I’ve seen in my career. The kids were in control. The language was filthy. The teachers were not prepared.” By suspending sports, Singleton realized, he could save $150,000 in one year. A third of this amount was being paid to teachers as coaching stipends, on top of the smaller costs: $27,000 for athletic supplies, $15,000 for insurance, $13,000 for referees, $12,000 for bus drivers. “There are so many things people don’t think about…

Manti Te’o’s Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax

Great example of investigative journalism, piecing together a coherent narrative from conflicting bits and pieces culled from various sources. A reminder that journalists — even when they are fighting deadlines, and even when they are writing more-fluffy-than-the-crime-beat pieces — must verify claims before going public. Too many sports journalists reported unconfirmed bits and pieces of a long-term story that turned out to be a hoax. Upon receiving the news of the two deaths, Te’o went out and led the Fighting Irish to a 20-3 upset of Michigan State, racking up 12 tackles. It was heartbreaking and inspirational. Te’o would appear…

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SportsWorks Adventure at the Carnegie Science Center

I confess that I have never been all that physical. I do try to take the stairs instead of the elevator at work. I let my daughter talk me into auditioning for a community theater musical (and while my dancing was definitely in the bottom third, or maybe the bottom tenth, I didn’t humiliate myself). I did enjoy playing pick-up volleyball in college, and I did enjoy spending quality time with my dad when he signed me up for sporting events. But SportsWorks is not usually where I spend most of my time at the Carnegie Science Center. A few…

Obituary: Les Banos / Spy against the Nazis, longtime sports photographer

My son and I heard Mr. Banos speak just last week at a Holocaust memorial ceremony. There was one evening a few years ago when someone browsing the television channels could see Les Banos’ face and European accent in two unrelated historical documentaries demonstrating the breadth of an unusual life. In one made by the BBC, the Hungarian-born Mr. Banos was interviewed about the German occupation of his homeland during World War II, when he served in the Hungarian Nazi SS division while a spy for the Allies’ OSS. He surreptitiously used his SS role to hide and assist Jews,…

NBA Players Scoff at Mathematical Model Suggesting When to Shoot

Interesting application of math to sports. In analyzing teams’ shot quality, shot rates and shot percentages, Skinner found that the average NBA squad has a 4 percent probability of shooting the ball when left with 15 seconds on the shot clock in their final possession. The ideal rate is 12 percent. Skinner didn’t offer guidelines for exactly when a team should shoot. So many variables exist, particularly the subjective nature of defining a quality shot, that it’s difficult to say for certain when a shot attempt is worthy. But Skinner’s data showed teams could increase their average points-per-possession from .86…