As a sports reformer and activist, sometimes you get so busy identifying what’s wrong with sports and trying to fix the problems that you forget to stop and appreciate what’s right. I’m not going to let that happen this time.
The drama I saw unfold last night — for the last month really — involving the wild card races in both the American and National Leagues was unparalleled in my lifetime. See St. Petersburg Times “This Was Baseball History; Savor It.”
I didn’t have a horse in the race. I’m not a fan of the Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, St. Louis Cardinals, or Atlanta Braves — the four teams battling for a wild card spot in the playoffs. And still I was mesmerized by the drama that was unfolding, as ESPN did a phenomenal job of keeping us up-to-date on all the twists and turns throughout the night.
But in the end, it was the Tampa Bay Rays that stole the spotlight. The Rays, a team who had slashed $30 million from its payroll, battling the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, American League East foes with payrolls about four times bigger.
The Tampa Bay Rays. Nine games back in September. Seven runs down in the eighth inning of the last game of the season. And they came back to win the wild card and move on to the playoffs. Amazing. See Tampa Bay Tribune, “Rays Are a Team to Appreciate Now, Forever.”
The unpredictability of sports — when athletes are giving it their all and the physical, mental and emotional strengths and flaws of human beings are on display for all to see — that’s one thing that’s right with sports.
It’s the real deal. The ultimate in reality TV.
–- Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan in the year 2022.
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Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Episode #20 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Youth and High School Sports Based On What’s Best for the Athlete’s Holistic Development – We chat with long-time youth, high school and college basketball coach Jim Huber.
Episode #19 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Capturing the Spirit of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with Anika Orrock – We discuss the hoops AAGPFL women had to jump through to play the game they loved as well as the long-term impact and legacy they have in advancing sports opportunities for girls and women.
Episode #18 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking about the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the Lia Thomas Controversy with Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Hogshead-Makar is a triple gold medalist in swimming, a civil rights attorney and CEO of Champion Women.
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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