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 #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 and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
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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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon