Book Review: The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier’s Education, by Craig M. Mullaney.

In Phoenix’s 110-plus degree summers, my husband survived high school football practices where coaches sometimes withheld water or made players run laps without stopping until they puked. When he told me about it, I was bewildered. “Why didn’t you just walk off the field?” That’s what high-school-me would have done in a similar situation. Then as now, I didn’t conform much, I didn’t push myself too hard physically, and I hated being told what to do. Continue reading

The Super Bowl of Gay Rights

Being from the San Francisco area, I was one of many locals horrified by Chris Culliver’s homophobic remarks last week (about how he’d never play with a gay team-mate – “We don’t got no gay people on the team. You know, they gotta get up out of here if they do. Can’t be with that sweet stuff”).  Being the daughter of a former English teacher, I was one of many writers almost as equally horrified by his mangling of the language. But the reaction he prompted was incredibly reassuring. Of course the 49ers organization condemned his remarks – they know their market! – but plenty of other NFL players chimed in, offering their support for gay rights and marriage equality. Seemingly overnight, because of one fairly idiotic remark, the homophobia that has long been ingrained in sports culture seems to be dissolving. Continue reading

Super Bowl Math: 2013 Edition

It’s Super Bowl time again! And since I’m a nerd, I can find a way to link math back to pretty much anything, even sports. A lot of people just watch for the commercials, but it’s more fun if you also understand what’s going on in the game. If nothing else, you can impress your friends with some truly random trivia. Obviously this isn’t a comprehensive guide to all things related to American football, but hopefully it’ll make watching the game a bit more fun. Continue reading