The United States will have a presence at today's semifinal World Cup match between Brazil and Germany. It won't be the U.S. National Team on the field, but American referee Mark Geiger. FIFA selected Geiger to be on the officiating crew of the high-stakes match. It's the first time a U.S. referee has been used this late in a World Cup.
After a wrenching loss to Belgium ended the U.S. team's World Cup run, fans are still touting the play of goalkeeper Tim Howard, Photoshopping his head onto U.S. currency and even (briefly) dubbing him Secretary of Defense on Wikipedia.
In Tuesday's game, Howard set a new World Cup record by making 16 saves. The mark dates back to at least 1966, when organizers started keeping records of that statistic. He was elected man of the match in the 2-1 loss.
Ante-millennium America was ho-hum about soccer as a sport, because it is a game with: nonstop motion, international players, loose rules and corruption, low expectations of scoring and an imprecise ending.
Amateurism is dead, revealed so in the trial against the NCAA now in progress in Oakland, Calif., U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken presiding. Before her skeptical eyes, amateurism has been laid out naked on a courtroom slab for a jury of all fans to see that it has no beating heart.
Amateurism, Judge Wilken has been told in the case, commonly known as the O'Bannon trial, nobly protects college athletes from being exploited by evil outsiders â€” so the NCAA knighthood was created in order that colleges could tie up athletes all by themselves.
Fifty years ago this week, teenager Jim Ryun of Wichita, Kan., ran a mile in under four minutes, the first high school boy to break the mythical barrier. But in the past few decades, the mile as a racing distance has fallen out of favor.