Frank Deford http://wuwm.com en Remembering How The Great War Changed U.S. Sports http://wuwm.com/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 36125 at http://wuwm.com Remembering How The Great War Changed U.S. Sports Deford: NCAA Says Amateurism Is Alive And Well, But The Jig Is Up http://wuwm.com/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 34534 at http://wuwm.com 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://wuwm.com/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 34011 at http://wuwm.com Deford: How To Host A Sports Extravaganza That Won't Break The Bank Will A Triple Crown Win Save Horse Racing? Don't Bet On It http://wuwm.com/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 32975 at http://wuwm.com 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://wuwm.com/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 32448 at http://wuwm.com Don't Overlook The Unsung Umpire; Referees Can Be Pretty, Too Don't Judge Exceptional Players By The Company They Keep http://wuwm.com/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 31926 at http://wuwm.com Don't Judge Exceptional Players By The Company They Keep The Olympics: A Modern Day World's Fair (And Money Magnet) http://wuwm.com/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 31380 at http://wuwm.com The Olympics: A Modern Day World's Fair (And Money Magnet) Bad Behavior From A Sports Franchise Owner? That's Not New http://wuwm.com/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 11:49:00 +0000 Frank Deford 30325 at http://wuwm.com Bad Behavior From A Sports Franchise Owner? That's Not New Time To Root, Root, Root For Final Innings http://wuwm.com/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 28748 at http://wuwm.com Time To Root, Root, Root For Final Innings Deford: Paying College Athletes Would Level The Playing Field http://wuwm.com/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 12:58:00 +0000 Frank Deford 28257 at http://wuwm.com Deford: Paying College Athletes Would Level The Playing Field