Dan Bornstein


Articles

Pulse of the Sports World

There have been times in my four years at Dartmouth when I’ve envied my friends at powerhouse athletic schools. For them, Saturday football was a ritual. Everybody, regardless of their knowledge of sports, would get swept up in the fervor of college football and attend the game together. Each winter, they watched their school face off in long-established college rivalries, and then follow the team through the NCAA Tournament.


Pulse of the Sports World

This weekend the baseball team will play in its seventh consecutive Ivy League championship. Yet the team’s longstanding success has hardly captured the same attention as, say, the football team’s third-place finish this past fall. That’s rather jarring, considering how deeply baseball is ingrained in American sports culture, snd shows the large gap in popularity between professional and collegiate baseball.


Pulse of the Sports World

When Rita Jeptoo tore through the blue finish line on Monday, winning the Boston Marathon, it probably came as no surprise that another Kenyan distance runner topped the field. Distance running is deeply embedded in certain regions of the country’s culture.


Pulse of the Sports World

Since college basketball entered the national spotlight, it has been marked by class warfare. The most well-regarded programs receive lucrative television and equipment deals, while most produce little revenue. Schools like University of Kentucky and the University of North Carolina have an essentially unlimited recruiting budget.


Pulse of the Sports World

With the Olympic Games comes a celebration of the world-class talent of individual athletes. There’s something about the Olympics that is inherently different from our dominant American sports culture: it’s rare that we appreciate individual sports rather than the team sports associated with large stadiums and die-hard fans. For a nationwide sports fan base so committed to particular teams — some, like the Cleveland Browns’ Dawg Pound, in fanatical way — it’s quite jarring to witness the sudden shift to admiring individual athletes. We should use the Sochi Games as an opportunity to reflect on why individual sports have been pushed so far to the periphery in our collective sports consciousness and how better appreciating them would do justice to athletes at the college level.


Pulse of the Sports World

The role of student-athletes in an increasingly business-oriented college sports world has been thrust back into the spotlight this week as Northwestern University quarterback Kain Colter, together with former University of California at Los Angeles football player Ramogi Huma, announced the establishment of the College Athletes Players Association. The group aims to give athletes a greater voice in NCAA policy, and would essentially function as a labor union. Among the demands on its agenda: prevention of brain injuries, scholarships that cover the full cost of tuition, funding for continued education and guaranteed retention of scholarships for athletes whose careers are ended due to injury.


Pulse of the Sports World

As the Big Green men’s basketball team travels to St. John’s University tomorrow, players are part of a long history of teams eagerly descending on New York City to play at the center of college hoops. But as I wrote in last week’s column, the relationship between college basketball and New York has been dramatically altered in a tragic way.


Pulse of the Sports World

Conference play opened in the Big East this past week, but the group that had long stood out as the nation’s premiere college basketball league has crumbled as part of the money-driven, corporate-minded shift in college athletics. The conference’s vaunted history and rivalry match-ups have all but disappeared as a consequence of the reshuffling. Schools’ zealous quest for higher-paying television contracts seems to have undermined their interest in being part of a conference once considered the mecca of college hoops. Realignment will bring an end to a long-celebrated basketball tradition.


Pulse of the Sports World

As the college basketball season gets underway, there is little doubt that fans across the Ivy League are contemplating what Harvard University’s stunning NCAA tournament win last year might mean for the program. In the first round, the 14th-seeded Crimson upset third-seeded University of New Mexico, shocking the nation and busting many brackets. Harvard’s win was an indicator to many that an Ivy League team can indeed compete at the highest level of Division I basketball.


Pulse of the Sports World

It’s quite a breakthrough moment in sports media when TV networks respond to sports fans by creating an announcing team that most of us have only dreamed of seeing. As I developed admiration for Johnson and Raftery, I began to watch games simply because one of them was announcing.


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