Power Forward

At The Intersection of Sports and Culture

“We Don’t Need Your Permission”

Earlier today, Vanderbilt Football’s Twitter account tweeted this: I wrote an email to two communications people in Vandy’s athletics department soon after seeing this that read: I am a reporter who spent six months prepping and writing a feature on the case of Brandon Vandenburg and Corey Batey for Sports Illustrated. I say that to establish my credentials for my criticism of this tweet that you all posted today. The slogan “We don’t need your permission” is problematic without the larger context of your program having multiple players involved in a possible gang rape of a fellow student within the last two years, the trial for all 4 defendants still

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Writing About Quidditch

Today I have my debut at Texas Monthly, which is mainly about the domination of central Texas teams in the new-ish sport of muggle quidditch: “The level of play in the southwest region is at such a higher level than the rest of the country,” says Beth Clem, a first-year graduate student at Texas State who plays on the university’s team. She credits this, partly, to the state’s football culture. Despite its cutesy origins, quidditch is a high-intensity contact sport, an advantage in Texas, where kids grow up on gridiron. “Half of the guys on our teams played football. They want to tackle; they want to be aggressive. We’re big, so

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Podcasts, Interviews, and Writing

About a month ago, I appeared on POPSspot Sports Radio. The topic was “Sports & Violence Against Women.” It was a wide-ranging discussion on this topic and I really enjoyed being on the show. (I can’t figure out how to embed the audio on my site so just click over and listen to it where POPSspot has it available). That same week, I did a podcast episode with Josh Katzowitz. He has a series called “Mightier Than The Sword” where he talks with writers “about writers, about their backgrounds and about the charcoal-to-bark, pen-to-paper, digits-to-keyboard, fingers-to-smartphone-screen world in which I love to live.” The interview covers what it’s like to write

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Quick Thoughts On NFL’s New Domestic Violence Policy

Today, NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, dropped a lengthy letter in which he admitted that he messed up when he only gave Ray Rice a 2-game suspension for domestic violence and he outlined 6 new policies that the NFL will implement regarding domestic violence and sexual assault. My quick thoughts: Everyone should read the entire letter before forming opinions about it. Good job, public and sports media who got really angry that Ray Rice only got a two-game suspension for beating his fiancee unconscious. The outcry following that punishment is most definitely the ONLY reason this letter exists today. 5 of those 6 policies are proactive. This is important. The 6th

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Why Sports Are Great: Jackie Robinson West

Today, my friend Dan Solomon texted me: “Did you watch that little league game yesterday? It was basically Exhibit A in the case for “Why Sports Are Great.”” I hadn’t watched it because I was busy doing family things with my family so I asked Dan, “And why are sports great?”. The following is his answer: Because those kids! The Chicago team [Jackie Robinson West] was just totally outplayed. They hung with [the South Korean team] okay — they managed to sneak a run in — but they only had 2 hits for the first 5 (of 6) innings. Korea, meanwhile, was up 4-1 going into the 6th, then just

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Shame On Bob Stoops

Bob Stoops is the head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners football team. Stoops’ team has worked very hard this off season to transfer Dorial Green-Beckham, a former wide receiver from Missouri, to their school to play this season (they found out on Friday that there efforts were for naught). Green-Beckham was kicked off of Missouri’s team for alleging pushing a friend of his girlfriend’s down some stairs. Gary Pinkel, G-B’s former coach at Missouri, has recently said it was because of that incident and “other information” he knew about his WR (G-B has a history of off-field incidents). The news about G-B broke in April at the same time that Missouri was still

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