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May 24, 2010

Five Ridiculous Things in This Girls' Flag Football Article

1. The title: No Tackling, but a Girls’ Sport Takes Some Hits. Haven't all possible tackling-related cutesy puns been used? Can we declare a moratorium?

2. "But rather than applaud the new opportunities, some women’s sports advocates call it a dead-end activity." Supposedly, flag football is less worthy because you can't do it professionally. This kind of thinking about school sports drives me nuts. Everyone, let's take a deep breath and admit the fact that odds are overwhelmingly in favor of the fact that no student in your high school is going to become a professional athlete, regardless of sport. That isn't the point of having sports programs, just as training professional musicians isn't the point of having a high school band.

3. "But one advocate for women’s sports said that by recognizing sports like flag football, administrators were artificially pumping up girls’ participation numbers." Wait, what? They're participating, right? And they're not being forced into it or anything? How is this artificially pumping up numbers?

4. "Its popularity has led to grumbling by coaches of other spring sports, who say they have lost their best athletes to flag football." Doesn't sound like that's saying something bad about flag football. It sounds like the other sports need to do better marketing themselves, or, I don't know, be more fun.

5. "Ms. Hogshead-Makar, who also serves as the senior director for advocacy at the Women’s Sports Foundation, said girls missed the educational benefits if they did not take a sport seriously." This, of course, following quotes from actual girls saying they like the sport because there's less pressure. I mean, sure, I suppose you could say there's an educational benefit to undergoing that sort of pressure, but the main benefits of playing sports - exercise, strategic thinking, teamwork - are the same regardless of whether the athletes are worried about getting scholarships.

(That does, however, make me wonder about one issue not mentioned in the article. When some sports at a high school can lead to college scholarships and others can't, does team make-up end up being split along socioeconomic lines to any extent? Anyone know if there's research out there on this?)

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2010

Race Car Drivers for Senate!

(Warning: complete silliness ahead.)

Before all this Bayh stuff exploded in the last few days, I will readily admit that most of my associations with Indiana had to do with the Indy Racing League rather than politics. So I thought - hey! A bunch of racing type people live there. Maybe one of them could end up in the Senate. I asked my friend John Andrews, who writes the Techie column for the Hippo and is the one who got me into racing in the first place. Here's what he said:

Well, a number of 2009 drivers claim at least partial residence in Indianapolis.
Ed Carpenter is Tony George's stepson and grew up there.
Sarah Fisher was born in Ohio.

From there we get increasingly foreign people. I assume one must be a citizen to be a Senator, but there's none of that "natural-born" nonsense, right?*
Darren Manning
Scott Dixon
Tomas Scheckter
Hideki Mutoh
Will Power

Are those in order of least to most foreign?
And by "increasingly foreign," of course, I mean England (parent) -> New Zealand -> (fellow colony) -> South Africa (they speak English, right?) -> Japan (don't even write with letters). Will Power is last because he only claims partial residence, and his hometown of Toowoomba is far too silly-sounding for him to have a chance.
Ed Carpenter definitely has the cred of being local, and he's never going to be a real star in racing.
And on second thought:
I think South Africa should maybe be before New Zealand. Looks like they gained full independence in 1931, and New Zealand didn't bother to ratify the same document until 1947. Or maybe that means they're farther away, barely? South Africa is like the oldest cousin and New Zealand is a younger one?

* Correct: "No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen." Therefore, I believe Sarah Fisher would be the only one of the above who would actually be eligible.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2010

Just call it "Turin."

I hadn't given a lot of thought to the name of the "Torino" Olympics until I read Yglesias's post about it. But the man makes some good points, and I think I'm on his side. There's no reason why we call that one Torino and not Turin, when we call every other Olympics host city by its English name. The Times agrees.

Posted by Kat at 05:00 PM | Comments (1)

February 08, 2010

10 Thoughts on the Super Bowl

1) I am not particularly a fan of either team, but I was rooting for the Saints because a) I like underdogs and b) that's who my father said we liked. (I tend to outsource these decisions to my father and/or brother.) So, that ended happily.

2) This is self-evident, I suppose, but football is so much more interesting now that I have some idea what's going on.

3) Of course, the problem with caring about both the football and the commercials is that it makes it hard to figure out when to get up to get a snack.

4) So. THAT was the Tebow ad? Well played, Focus on the Family, well played. You got us all excited about something that didn't even mention abortion. The message was in the pre-ad controversy, not in the ad itself.

4a) To all of you saying how bizarre it is for a college football player to tackle his mother, I ask: Have you spent much time with college football players recently? They do that all the time. In my experience, though, they're usually joking around and don't actually knock their mothers over.

5) The rest of the commercials, though! If they are a reasonable metric of society (and I certainly hope they are not), women are evil and/or worthless and men must assert their masculinity by buying cars. Or, um, pants. Seriously, though, I was shocked by the consistent level of misogyny, and if Twitter is anything to go by, I wasn't the only one.

6) Mark Sanchez's ad about women and heart disease, however, was a lovely exception to the ongoing assumption that only men were watching this broadcast.

7) And Google's ad was adorable. I choose to believe that the fact that they advertised does not mean that they are in any danger from Bing, but was instead done as a public service to give us a break from all the awful ads.

8) Oh! And the Harry Potter thing! I want to go!

9) So yes, The Who are past their prime, but I enjoyed their performance. But then, I like old British rockers. (I was disappointed that they did a weird medley thing instead of whole songs, though.)

10) Drew Brees's son is adorable. And who did the little ones in pigtails belong to? SO CUTE.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2010

Presidents and Football!

I was noticing that it's the 44th Super Bowl and we have the 44th president, and I figured something could be made of that, but I couldn't quite get there. Luckily, someone else did. Via Andrew Sullivan: America Bowl.

Posted by Kat at 07:32 PM | Comments (0)

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