Frank Deford http://publicradioeast.org en A Golf Prodigy Grows Up, And Goes All The Way To The Top http://publicradioeast.org/post/golf-prodigy-grows-and-goes-all-way-top Child actors are invariably distinguished by being cute as a button, being naturals at acting and having an aggressive parent. Few of them can sustain their stardom as they grow up. Athletic prodigies, however, often continue succeeding smoothly into adulthood — look no further than LeBron James or Bryce Harper.<p>Since girls mature earlier than boys, many female athletes become very good very early and then stay the course. This goes right on back to Suzanne Lenglen and Sonja Henie, the first famous female athletes of almost a century ago — teenage champions who kept dominating their sports. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 07:34:00 +0000 Frank Deford 45887 at http://publicradioeast.org A Golf Prodigy Grows Up, And Goes All The Way To The Top The Time Of Our Sports Lives: How Europe's Games Neglect The Clock http://publicradioeast.org/post/time-our-sports-lives-how-europes-games-neglect-clock Why is it that Europeans don't pay as much attention to time in sports as we do?<p>You American novices to soccer, who climbed on the World Cup bandwagon this summer –– you must have been completely baffled by how soccer has a thing called "stoppage time." That means that the game goes on after regulation time is up for an undisclosed period that only the referee knows. <br /> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 07:40:00 +0000 Frank Deford 45361 at http://publicradioeast.org The Time Of Our Sports Lives: How Europe's Games Neglect The Clock Deford: NCAA Says Amateurism Is Alive And Well, But The Jig Is Up http://publicradioeast.org/post/deford-ncaa-says-amateurism-alive-and-well-jig Amateurism is dead, revealed so in the trial against the NCAA now in progress in Oakland, Calif., U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken presiding. Wed, 25 Jun 2014 07:28:00 +0000 Frank Deford 44790 at http://publicradioeast.org Deford: NCAA Says Amateurism Is Alive And Well, But The Jig Is Up Deford: How To Host A Sports Extravaganza That Won't Break The Bank http://publicradioeast.org/post/deford-how-host-sports-extravaganza-wont-break-bank You know, it is the 21st century, and it is possible to acknowledge that <em>and</em> make both the World Cup and the Olympics more affordable. The current waste and opulence simply aren't defensible anymore.<p>For the soccer pooh-bahs to demand that Brazil build new stadiums, costing billions of dollars, is unconscionable. Wed, 18 Jun 2014 07:26:00 +0000 Frank Deford 44229 at http://publicradioeast.org Deford: How To Host A Sports Extravaganza That Won't Break The Bank Go Ahead, Host A Giant Sports Spectacular. But It Will Cost You http://publicradioeast.org/post/go-ahead-host-giant-sports-spectacular-it-will-cost-you Wednesday welcomes the year's second global sports extravaganza, as the World Cup begins. Just a few months ago, we worried that terrorists would invade the Russian Olympics. Now we wait to see if riots will tarnish the Brazilian World Cup.<p>The organizations that run the two events are similar, in that they manage to get cities and countries the earth over to do their bidding at exorbitant costs. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 07:40:00 +0000 Frank Deford 43640 at http://publicradioeast.org Go Ahead, Host A Giant Sports Spectacular. But It Will Cost You Will A Triple Crown Win Save Horse Racing? Don't Bet On It http://publicradioeast.org/post/will-triple-crown-win-save-horse-racing-dont-bet-it At the start of a movie these days, how often do you read: "Based on a true story?" But if a movie was made about California Chrome, whether or not the horse wins the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, it would read: "Based on a dream."<p>Because the colt — of the most undistinguished heritage, bred by neophytes and trained by a kindly septuagenarian –– well, the whole thing is a ridiculous reverie.<p>California Chrome has been dubbed America's horse, and, for his owners and trainer, the American dream has been regularly invoked. Wed, 04 Jun 2014 07:39:00 +0000 Frank Deford 43074 at http://publicradioeast.org Will A Triple Crown Win Save Horse Racing? Don't Bet On It Don't Overlook The Unsung Umpire; Referees Can Be Pretty, Too http://publicradioeast.org/post/dont-overlook-unsung-umpire-referees-can-be-pretty-too Not so long ago, while enjoying a libation in a decorous saloon, the proprietor — who happened to hail from the fabled Windy City — suddenly jarred the genteel assembled by turning on the Cubs game. Just at that moment, a Cubby was heading toward the plate when the throw came in, and the runner (spoiler alert!), being a Cub, was tagged out.<p>Visualize the tableau: The runner. The catcher. But also a third figure: the umpire. And see him now: feet spread well apart, solidly grounded, mask off in his left hand, and his right arm flies up, thumb to the heavens. Wed, 28 May 2014 07:36:00 +0000 Frank Deford 42498 at http://publicradioeast.org Don't Overlook The Unsung Umpire; Referees Can Be Pretty, Too Don't Judge Exceptional Players By The Company They Keep http://publicradioeast.org/post/dont-judge-exceptional-players-company-they-keep Ty Cobb, miserable human being that he was, is still considered the greatest American athlete of his era. But did you know the Georgia Peach never played on a championship team? Still, when the first Baseball Hall of Fame elections were held, he got the most votes –– even more than Babe Ruth.<p>Ted Williams was never a champion, either. Wed, 21 May 2014 07:17:00 +0000 Frank Deford 41914 at http://publicradioeast.org Don't Judge Exceptional Players By The Company They Keep The Olympics: A Modern Day World's Fair (And Money Magnet) http://publicradioeast.org/post/olympics-modern-day-worlds-fair-and-money-magnet Because it's the 50th anniversary, there's been a wave of nostalgia for the last New York World's Fair. It made me wonder: Whatever happened to World's Fairs?<p>Well, it turns out that they still exist. In fact, you, too, can go to a certified World's Fair next year in Milan, where the fun theme is "Feeding the planet, energy for life" — real cotton candy stuff that helps explain why World's Fairs are not so popular anymore.<p>I bring this up because I always thought that World's Fairs and the Olympics were sort of global first cousins, but what a contrast! Wed, 14 May 2014 07:47:00 +0000 Frank Deford 41309 at http://publicradioeast.org The Olympics: A Modern Day World's Fair (And Money Magnet) Draft Season: All-American, Twisted And Downright Infectious http://publicradioeast.org/post/draft-season-all-american-twisted-and-downright-infectious For those of you who haven't been paying attention, there is now a fifth season in major American team sports to go along with baseball, football, basketball and ice hockey. Well, it's sort of an adjunct season, but it's very real and is passionately followed by die-hard fans. It is the draft season, which begins tomorrow with the NFL and extends through late June, when the NHL holds its draft. Wed, 07 May 2014 07:37:00 +0000 Frank Deford 40743 at http://publicradioeast.org Draft Season: All-American, Twisted And Downright Infectious Bad Behavior From A Sports Franchise Owner? That's Not New http://publicradioeast.org/post/bad-behavior-sports-franchise-owner-thats-not-new Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life from the NBA after he made racist comments.<p>Sports bans aren't new.<p>In 1990, New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was banned from day-to-day management of the club by Major League Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent.<p>Steinbrenner was reinstated in 1993.<p>Sterling is 80. Wed, 30 Apr 2014 11:47:00 +0000 Frank Deford 40193 at http://publicradioeast.org Bad Behavior From A Sports Franchise Owner? That's Not New Sports Reporting: The Way It Was ... And Is http://publicradioeast.org/post/sports-reporting-way-it-was-and When I was a young, cocksure lad in this business, one thing I hated was for anyone in the Old Guard to preface an observation about sports by saying, "It used to be ... "<p>Invariably, the point was that it used to be better.<p>I promised myself that I'd never become a "used-to-be" guy. But for the benefit of today's young, cocksure lads in the business, here I go:<p>It used to be that people always asked me if athletes weren't making too much money. Nobody ever asks me that anymore. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:36:00 +0000 Frank Deford 39574 at http://publicradioeast.org Sports Reporting: The Way It Was ... And Is Despite Everything, Tiger Will Always Be No. 1 http://publicradioeast.org/post/despite-everything-tiger-will-always-be-no-1 Most famously, Babe Ruth has been credited with saving baseball after the Black Sox scandal. Riding on the wave of the women's movement, Billie Jean King more or less created women's professional tennis. And Muhammad Ali kept boxing alive for its last hurrah.<p>But really, especially over a sustained period of time, has any one athlete ever mattered so much to a sport as Tiger Woods does to men's golf?<p>Anyone? Ever?<p><em>Click on the audio link above to hear Deford's take on the issue. </em> <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:44:00 +0000 Frank Deford 39017 at http://publicradioeast.org Despite Everything, Tiger Will Always Be No. 1 Time To Root, Root, Root For Final Innings http://publicradioeast.org/post/time-root-root-root-final-innings Sometimes the most disparate of people end up as pairs. As baseball begins, here's your 2014 All-Star Odd Couple: Bud Selig and Derek Jeter. Wed, 09 Apr 2014 07:35:00 +0000 Frank Deford 38446 at http://publicradioeast.org Time To Root, Root, Root For Final Innings Deford: Paying College Athletes Would Level The Playing Field http://publicradioeast.org/post/deford-paying-college-athletes-would-level-playing-field For many decades, baseball had a reserve clause, which essentially tied a baseball player to a franchise in perpetuity. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 07:57:00 +0000 Frank Deford 37868 at http://publicradioeast.org Deford: Paying College Athletes Would Level The Playing Field The Mystery And History Of Sport's Front Office http://publicradioeast.org/post/mystery-and-history-sports-front-office One great mystery of sport is why they call the place that the general manager rules over the front office. Obviously, it's the box office that's out front. What they call the front office is really the "office office."<p>The front office has grown exponentially. Once it was pretty much just the general manager. Now it's added scouts and assistant GMs and statisticians. Another change: The general manager is usually called president. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 07:19:00 +0000 Frank Deford 37325 at http://publicradioeast.org The Mystery And History Of Sport's Front Office There's A Reason They Call It Madness http://publicradioeast.org/post/theres-reason-they-call-it-madness More than any other nation, America is awash in teams. There are the pro teams, the college team, the high school team, the fantasy teams.<p>Well, at a certain point, something has to give — and apparently, the team sport that's given way the most is men's college basketball.<p>Yes, college hoops has its fleeting moment in the vernal equinox. It's fun. You make out brackets — but it's not like other sports where you're familiar with the principals.<p>Take fantasy football. Fans make up their own teams, yes, but they know who the players are. Wed, 19 Mar 2014 09:08:00 +0000 Frank Deford 36778 at http://publicradioeast.org There's A Reason They Call It Madness In Sports, There's No Such Thing As A Bad Hustle http://publicradioeast.org/post/sports-theres-no-such-thing-bad-hustle Surely, "hustle" is the single most beloved word associated with sport. As color is to rainbows, as chocolate to the palate, as sweet nothings to love, hustle is to sport.<p>Hear it now:<p><em>Hustle up! </em><br /> <em>Hustle down the line!</em> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 07:44:00 +0000 Frank Deford 36217 at http://publicradioeast.org In Sports, There's No Such Thing As A Bad Hustle A Star Tennis Coach And The End Of The All-Around Athlete http://publicradioeast.org/post/star-tennis-coach-and-end-all-around-athlete Tennis coach Nick Bollettieri's deserved acceptance into the International Tennis Hall of Fame came late in life, at age 82. What makes him so important is not his long career but how he changed the way we bring up our athletic children.<p>The ultimate young athlete used to be the boy (girls didn't have the chance then) who starred in several sports. The <em>all-around </em>athlete. But Bollettieri changed that.<p>He built the Bollettieri Academy in Florida in 1978, a boarding school where young players could go to study and play tennis, if not necessarily in that order. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 08:09:00 +0000 Frank Deford 35691 at http://publicradioeast.org A Star Tennis Coach And The End Of The All-Around Athlete It's Time To Shrink Home Plate http://publicradioeast.org/post/its-time-shrink-home-plate It's time to make home plate smaller. I know: That's heresy; that's sacrilegious. But there are simply too many strikeouts in baseball now, and that hurts the game, because if the ball isn't in play, it's boring.<p>The size of home plate was not decreed by God. Back when it was an iron plate — where the name came from — it was, in fact, round. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 08:38:00 +0000 Frank Deford 35166 at http://publicradioeast.org It's Time To Shrink Home Plate