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 #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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.
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