Frank Deford http://wfae.org en Remembering How The Great War Changed U.S. Sports http://wfae.org/post/remembering-how-great-war-changed-us-sports When America entered the Great War in 1917 — a war that began 100 years ago this summer — Major League Baseball faced a special problem: It had a hefty German heritage. Its best-known team, the New York Giants under John McGraw, was even sometimes called "McGraw's Prussians" for its tough, fighting spirit. Obviously, just as sauerkraut became "liberty cabbage," that had to go, too.<p>Among the many German-American ballplayers, the most prominent was Honus Wagner, known as The Flying Dutchman. "Dutch" didn't refer to the Netherlands, but was derived from <em>Deutsch</em>. Wed, 16 Jul 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Frank Deford 55006 at http://wfae.org Remembering How The Great War Changed U.S. Sports A Golf Prodigy Grows Up, And Goes All The Way To The Top http://wfae.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 54507 at http://wfae.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://wfae.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 54079 at http://wfae.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://wfae.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 53605 at http://wfae.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://wfae.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 53142 at http://wfae.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://wfae.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 52669 at http://wfae.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://wfae.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 52243 at http://wfae.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://wfae.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 51799 at http://wfae.org Don't Overlook The Unsung Umpire; Referees Can Be Pretty, Too Don't Judge Exceptional Players By The Company They Keep http://wfae.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 51357 at http://wfae.org Don't Judge Exceptional Players By The Company They Keep The Olympics: A Modern Day World's Fair (And Money Magnet) http://wfae.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 50892 at http://wfae.org The Olympics: A Modern Day World's Fair (And Money Magnet)