Football: Bastion of the Republic

By |2014-09-22T14:02:35-05:00December 23rd, 2013|Categories: Culture, John Willson, Sports|

I came across this the other day, from the Washington Times: Kids flee football in light of NFL violence, Pop Warner participation plummeting. The author is Nathan Fenno, and I hasten to say that I am the last man in the world to wish to kill the messenger. His article is on the whole fair, [...]

The Baseball Code: A League of Extraordinary Gentlemanliness

By |2018-03-09T14:44:17-06:00August 25th, 2013|Categories: Baseball, Stephen M. Klugewicz|Tags: |

The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again.— Terrence Mann, in “Field of Dreams” The National Football League recently announced that it would be more strictly enforcing rules against [...]

Little League Baseball as Culture Tonic

By |2020-03-27T09:30:53-05:00June 15th, 2013|Categories: American Republic, Baseball, Culture, Sports|Tags: |

Baseball is republican; baseball is deliberate; baseball is particularly American. May Little League baseball endure as long as the Republic it supports. Tonight one of the most important episodes in the life of the Gregg family came to an end.  With Nolan (12) throwing a newly developed knuckle ball toward home plate, thirteen years [...]

The Smart Take from the Strong: The Basketball Philosophy of Pete Carril

By |2014-01-16T16:33:02-06:00April 19th, 2013|Categories: Books, Character, John Willson, Pete Carril|Tags: |

The Smart Take from the Strong: The Basketball Philosophy of Pete Carril by Pete Carril Bad shooters are always open.–Pete Carril Dr. Pete Carril is a bit of a snob. I emphasize the “Dr.” because last year Princeton, the school at which he coached basketball for twenty-nine years, awarded him the honorary degree, Doctor of [...]

A Theology of Football

By |2018-09-20T14:34:57-05:00October 30th, 2012|Categories: Featured, John Willson, Sports, Theology|

Knute Rockne “College football would be much more interesting if the faculty played instead of the students, and even more interesting if the trustees played. There would be a great increase in broken arms, legs and necks, and simultaneously an appreciable diminution in the loss to humanity.” — H.L. Mencken, 1922 We will [...]

A Modest Proposal: More Drugs in the Olympics

By |2014-01-13T21:30:48-06:00August 11th, 2012|Categories: Olympics, Stephen Masty|

Hosting the 2012 London Olympics is estimated to cost UK 14 billion (US 21.9 billion), up from the initial 2005 bid estimate of UK 2.37 billion (US 3.7 billion). This comes when the UK government budget is still growing, albeit more slowly, and the state fires soldiers and slows local garbage collection while protecting [...]

British Culture: The Olympic Bomb

By |2014-12-30T18:08:33-06:00July 28th, 2012|Categories: Bruce Frohnen, Culture, Olympics|

Anyone harboring concerns over the state of British culture should have had their fears laid to rest by the London Olympics’ opening ceremonies. British culture is well and truly dead. From the “signing” choir that could hardly sing, to the parade of “notable” left-wing figures carrying the flag around the stadium, the mish-mash of [...]

So Three Umpires Are In a Bar: Or Why Etienne Gilson Would Call It Right

By |2016-04-25T14:37:14-05:00July 24th, 2012|Categories: Baseball, Liberal Learning, Robert M. Woods|

Among the many conversations I have had with Great Books students over the years, none is more lively than when we discuss various theories of truth. It seems to always come up when we are reading and talking about Thomas Aquinas’s Summa. In order to make immediate connection with them, I tell the story [...]


By |2014-01-06T11:42:44-06:00July 3rd, 2012|Categories: Culture, Film, John Willson, Sports|

A couple of nerds, one of them a wannabe jock, have been making minor headlines in such classy publications as Slate, running the old “let’s ban college football” canard up the flagpole. Malcolm Gladwell and Buzz Bissinger, supposedly well-known writers (but, thankfully, ones I had never before heard of) “won” a debate against former [...]

The Big Scrum: Football über alles!

By |2014-01-06T11:47:31-06:00May 5th, 2012|Categories: Books, John Willson, Sports|

John J. Miller, The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football (Harper, 2011) “Of all these sports,” Theodore Roosevelt wrote in 1893, “there is no better sport than football.”  As in many things, TR was on the cutting edge of cultural opinion in the United States as it was about to takes its place among the powers [...]

Say It Ain’t So, Joe! (A Meditation on Power, Pundits and Penn State)

By |2015-04-13T22:50:58-05:00November 13th, 2011|Categories: Culture, John Willson, Sports|

“Shoeless” Joe Jackson “I am going to meet the greatest umpire of all–and He knows I’m innocent.” –“Shoeless” Joe Jackson “Those whom the splendor of their rank, or the extent of their capacity, have placed upon the summit of human life have not often given any just occasion to envy in those [...]

Golfers and Conservatives

By |2019-12-07T12:26:45-06:00July 5th, 2011|Categories: Conservatism, Golf, John Willson|

“Ike’s not a communist, he’s a golfer.” —Russell Kirk I haven’t been able to verify the source of this quotation (maybe there is a Kirk scholar who reads this site and who can), but a cottage industry has grown in recent months using it to bash President Obama in one way or another. Ike, [...]

Violent Sports

By |2017-06-20T12:16:27-05:00September 16th, 2010|Categories: Culture, John Willson, Sports|

All athletic contests are types of warfare, and those who are put off by that simply do not understand human nature or the nature of God’s created order.  What sports are the most violent? I guess one could make a case for bull fighting, because it always ends in death. It’s a contest that [...]