Category : Sports

(Local Paper front page) South Carolina unlikely to legalize sports betting, despite U.S. Supreme Court ruling

A short stack of South Carolina legislators is pushing to allow sports betting in the Palmetto State following a U.S. Supreme Court decision Monday that overturned a federal ban.

But the odds are long.

The ruling by the nation’s high court leaves states to decide whether people can legally bet on football, basketball and other sports. Under the 1992 federal law it struck, Nevada was the only place where people could bet on results of a single game.

About three dozen states could offer sports betting within five years — from California to Iowa to Delaware. At least five states including New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia have passed laws awaiting the high court’s ruling.

But don’t bet on those including South Carolina, where even church raffles weren’t legal until 2015.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Law & Legal Issues, Sports, State Government, Supreme Court

(NPR) Supreme Court Rules States Are Free To Legalize Sports Betting

The Supreme Court’s court decision reversing that outcome will make it easier to open the door to sports betting.

But the status quo struck down by the Supreme Court looks almost quaint in light of increased pressure to legalize sports betting across the board.

The American Gaming Association estimates that illegal sports betting has grown to $150-billion-a-year market. And cash-starved states are salivating at the thought of raising billions from legalizing and licensing that activity, not to mention taxing the proceeds.

New Jersey, home to at least a half dozen shuttered Atlantic City casinos, is a state where Republicans and Democrats since 2011 have been trying to overturn the federal ban or somehow get around it.

After oral arguments in December, then-Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., said on the Supreme Court steps, “If we’re successful here, we can have bets being taken in New Jersey within two weeks of a decision by the court. We’re like boy scouts; we’re prepared.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Law & Legal Issues, Sports, State Government, Supreme Court, Theology

(WSJ) A Mad Night for European Soccer—and a Pair of Boston Owners

Two upsets 1,300 miles apart lit up European soccer’s most prestigious tournament on Tuesday night, one in Manchester and one in Rome. But the impact of those results, which stunned the soccer world, was felt by fans far beyond either city.

Specifically by a couple of Boston-based billionaires with a habit of buying sports teams: John W. Henry and James Pallotta.

Neither name is exactly chanted from the stands here in Europe, but without their investments, Tuesday night’s stunning results in the Champions League might never have happened. First, Henry’s Liverpool—the team he acquired in 2010 after helping to turn around the Boston Red Sox—knocked off the Premier League’s dominant force, Manchester City. Then, in Italy, Pallotta’s Roma stunned Spanish giant Barcelona, marking the club’s most significant result since he added it to a portfolio that also includes the Boston Celtics in 2011.

Between them, Henry and Pallotta have sunk over $1 billion into their respective clubs. But in European soccer, that is simply the price of doing business. Despite years of investment, this is the first time in either one of their tenures that their clubs have qualified for Europe’s final four. There, they can expect to meet perennial contenders Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, who are both in commanding positions in their own quarterfinals.

Read it all.

Posted in England / UK, Europe, Italy, Men, Sports

Congratulations to Patrick Reed, 2018 Master’s Champion

Posted in America/U.S.A., Men, Sports

(GR) Washington Post attempts the near-impossible: Profiling Virginia Mens Basketball Coach’s Tony Bennett without mentioning faith

Tony Bennett — the coach, not the singer — is quirky. Mysterious. Someone who believes “it’s okay to be different.”

That’s the basic storyline for an in-depth Washington Post profile of Bennett, whose Virginia Cavaliers men’s basketball team enters March Madness as the No. 1 overall seed.

Strangely enough (ghosts, anyone?), the Post manages to write 1,850 words about Bennett without any reference to terms such as “faith,” “Christian” and “prayer.”

Those familiar with Bennett will understand why that’s so remarkable.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Education, Media, Religion & Culture, Sports, Young Adults

U of South Carolina current men’s basketball coach Frank Martin’s miraculous journey to a new life

Watch and enjoy it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Health & Medicine, Spirituality/Prayer, Sports

(Phil Inquirer) After decades pining for a Super Bowl win, euphoric Eagles bring it home to Philadelphia

This night will be remembered for decades in Philadelphia, when old friends reminisce about where they were on Feb. 4, 2018, and parents tell their children about the moment the Eagles won their first Super Bowl. They’ll remember when Doug Pederson called the trick play at the goal line, when Zach Ertz dove into the end zone in the fourth quarter, when Brandon Graham stripped Tom Brady of the ball, and when the greatest dynasty in NFL history fell to an improbable champion from Philadelphia.

The Eagles won the Super Bowl. You can read that again. It’s not going away. The Eagles beat the Patriots, 41-33, at U.S. Bank Stadium to hoist the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in franchise history. A team with a backup quarterback and with players who wore underdog masks throughout the playoffs because they were never favored to win sent Brady and Bill Belichick home with a Super Bowl loss.

Pederson gathered his team together in the postgame locker room after the players danced and sang and chewed cigars and sipped scotch and enjoyed a euphoria that can only be experienced after winning a Super Bowl. He recited what had become a mantra for the team.

“An individual can make a difference,” Pederson told them,” but a team makes a miracle!”

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Men, Sports

(Times Picayune) Ted Jackson offers a stunning portrait of a former NFL star who played in 2 Super Bowls–The search for Jackie Wallace

One foot in front of the other, the hulking old man trudged up the ramp to the Pontchartrain Expressway. A cold wind stiffened his face, so he bundled tighter and kept walking. His decision was made. A life full of accolades and praise meant nothing to him now. A man who was once the pride of his New Orleans hometown, his St. Augustine alma mater and his 7th Ward family and friends was undone. He was on his way to die.

The man was tired. In his 63 years, he had run with the gods and slept with the devil. Living low and getting high had become as routine as taking a breath. A hideous disease was eating his insides. He was an alcoholic, and he also craved crack cocaine. He was tired of fighting. He was tired of playing the game.

He crossed the last exit ramp and continued walking the pavement toward the top of the bridge. He dodged cars as they took the ramp. No one seemed to notice the ragged man walking to his suicide. If they did notice, they didn’t stop to help.

Only a half-mile more and it would all be over. One hundred and 50 feet below, the powerful currents of the Mississippi River would swallow his soul and his wretched life. He dodged another car. But why did it matter? Getting hit by a car would serve his purposes just as well as jumping.

How did it come to this? This was long after Jackie had turned his life around, or so we both thought….

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, History, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Police/Fire, Sports, Theology

(CT) Rachel Denhollander–My Larry Nassar Testimony Went Viral. But There’s More to the Gospel Than Forgiveness.

Do you remember reaching a point where you doubted God’s goodness?

My biggest struggle was understanding God’s perspective on sexual abuse, ultimately a conclusion I really had to come to myself through a lot of wrestling, a lot of tears, and a lot of studying.

Where did you find an answer?

Going to Scripture directly.

Was there a particular Bible verse or passage that you felt spoke to your situation?

One was from John 6, where Jesus asks Peter, “Do you want to leave too?” Peter says, “Where else would I go, Lord? You have the words of life.” There was a point in my faith where I had to simply cling to the fact that although I didn’t understand or have the answers, I knew that God was good and that he was love. Whatever else I didn’t understand couldn’t be a contradiction to that.

Beyond that, it was learning more about God’s justice, that contrast between darkness and light, and how to properly interpret God’s sovereignty and Bible verses that command us to give thanks or reveal God’s promises of bringing goodness out of evil. When those verses are interpreted properly they are glorious and beautiful truths. More often than not, particularly in the case of sexual assault, they’re really used to mitigate and to minimize—almost as if the victim handles it “properly,” if the victim just forgives, all of the feelings are going to go away. That’s not true and that’s not what Scripture teaches.

Read it all.

Posted in Christology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sports, Theology: Scripture, Violence

The stunning Christian portion of Rachael Denhollander’s full victim impact statement about Larry Nassar

From there:

You have become a man ruled by selfish and perverted desires, a man defined by his daily choices repeatedly to feed that selfishness and perversion. You chose to pursue your wickedness no matter what it cost others and the opposite of what you have done is for me to choose to love sacrificially, no matter what it costs me.

In our early hearings. you brought your Bible into the courtroom and you have spoken of praying for forgiveness. And so it is on that basis that I appeal to you. If you have read the Bible you carry, you know the definition of sacrificial love portrayed is of God himself loving so sacrificially that he gave up everything to pay a penalty for the sin he did not commit. By his grace, I, too, choose to love this way.

You spoke of praying for forgiveness. But Larry, if you have read the Bible you carry, you know forgiveness does not come from doing good things, as if good deeds can erase what you have done. It comes from repentance which requires facing and acknowledging the truth about what you have done in all of its utter depravity and horror without mitigation, without excuse, without acting as if good deeds can erase what you have seen this courtroom today.

If the Bible you carry says it is better for a stone to be thrown around your neck and you throw into a lake than for you to make even one child stumble. And you have damaged hundreds.
The Bible you speak carries a final judgment where all of God’s wrath and eternal terror is poured out on men like you. Should you ever reach the point of truly facing what you have done, the guilt will be crushing. And that is what makes the gospel of Christ so sweet. Because it extends grace and hope and mercy where none should be found. And it will be there for you.
I pray you experience the soul crushing weight of guilt so you may someday experience true repentance and true forgiveness from God, which you need far more than forgiveness from me — though I extend that to you as well.

Throughout this process I have clung to a quote by CS Lewis where he says,

“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of unjust and just? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

Larry, I can call what you did evil and wicked because it was, and I know it was evil, and wicked, because the straight line exists. The straight line is not measured based on your perception or anyone else’s perception, and this means, I can speak the truth about my abuse without minimization or mitigation and I can call it evil because I know what goodness is.

And this is why I pity you, because when a person loses the ability to define good and evil, when they cannot define evil, they can no longer define and enjoy what is truly good. When a person can harm another human being, especially a child, without true guilt, they have lost the ability to truly love.

Larry, you have shut yourself off from every truly beautiful and good thing in this world, that could have, and should have brought you joy and fulfillment. And I pity you for it. You could have had everything you pretended to be. Every woman who stood up here truly loved you as an innocent child. Real genuine love for you and it did not satisfy.

I have experienced the soul satisfying joy of a marriage built on sacrificial love, and safety, and tenderness, and care. I have experienced true intimacy in its deepest joy’s and it is beautiful and sacred and glorious and that is a joy you have cut yourself off from ever experiencing and I pity you for it.

You really should read the whole statement in full. There is a reason Judge Aquilina praised Ms. Denhollander for opening the floodgates…[and said] “You are the bravest person I have ever had in my courtroom”–KSH.

Posted in Children, Christology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Sports, Teens / Youth, Theology: Scripture, Violence, Women

Congratulations to Roger Federer for winning the Australian Open+his 20th Grand Slam Final

Posted in Australia / NZ, History, Men, Sports

Congratulations to the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles for making the 2018 Super Bowl

Posted in America/U.S.A., Sports

(ACNS) Church of Uganda in race to end gender-based violence

The Archbishop of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali, will be the lead runner in a race designed to raise awareness of gender-based violence (GBV) next month. Archbishop Stanley will take part in the Gender Justice Run as part of the 16-Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. The international 16-Days of Activism campaign begins tomorrow (Saturday 25 November) and runs through to Human Rights Day on 10 December.

The run, at Mengo Senior School in Kampala, begins at 6.00 am EAT (3.00 am GMT) on Saturday 2 December; and follows the successful Run to End FGM mini-Marathon, which was held in Sebei on 16 September this year.

The Run to End FGM was established by the Diocese of Sebei as its response to the Church of Uganda’s campaign against female genital mutilation, which is sometimes called female circumcision (FGM/C). The Church’s campaign began in 2015 in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Uganda’s Ministry of Labour and Social Development, and district teams.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Uganda, Ethics / Moral Theology, Sexuality, Sports, Uganda, Violence

(FB) Matthew Continetti–The Great American Earthquake: Can the foundations of our society hold?

I have thought a lot about Kristol’s essay in recent weeks, as one American institution after another has found itself beleaguered, besieged, crippled, and delegitimized. We may be richer and healthier and safer in the aggregate than our predecessors. But the parade of ugliness we face bears more than a passing resemblance to theirs.

Riots and the suppression of freedoms on campus, drug addiction, deadly clashes between white nationalists and left-wing radicals, increasing numbers of hate crimes, mass shootings, bitter arguments over the national anthem resulting in declining ratings and support for the National Football League, a cascading stream of allegations of sexual impropriety against figures in entertainment and in politics, the slow-motion disintegration of our major parties—it’s as if America itself has been thrown into the midst of a demolition derby, with every one of our prominent figures and major institutions targeted for destruction by Monster Truck.

Beginning with the sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, and carrying on through our ambiguous interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the financial crisis, the rollercoaster ride of the Obama and Trump presidencies, the comeuppance of the elite media and political class in the 2016 election, and the racial and sexual and class-based chaos of today, the temporal and spiritual authorities to whom we once looked for guidance have been subverted, disestablished, exposed. And all the while the erosion continues of the civic-bourgeois culture to which Kristol referred….The slightest glance at political, entertainment, and business headlines demonstrates that the bourgeois virtues of restraint, frugality, reticence, self-control, self-discipline, and fidelity are not only absent in our public life. They are denigrated. Nor is this a mere political phenomenon. The liberation of the sovereign self transcends race and creed, religion and party. It has bloated our waistlines along with our national deficits, tossed families into a spin cycle of disorientation and breakdown, and endangered and addled children.

Read it all; also cited by yours truly in the morning sermon (my emphasis).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Marriage & Family, Media, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sports

(SI) Bruce Arena’s New Legacy and its Impact on the Future of the USMNT in Soccer

Bruce Arena will always be the coach who took the USA past Portugal and Mexico and into the quarterfinals at the 2002 World Cup. He’ll always be the coach who launched so many legendary careers at the University of Virginia and who managed MLS’s two great dynasties in D.C. and Los Angeles. He’s among the most pivotal people in the history of U.S. soccer. He’s on its Mt. Rushmore.

Christian Pulisic is 19 years old. He’s the face of the American game’s new era, which is now kicking off a bit earlier than most would’ve preferred. Pulisic wasn’t yet born when Arena coached D.C. United to the first two MLS Cup titles, and he probably doesn’t remember those giddy days in South Korea a few years later. That temporal disconnect highlights the strain Arena’s legacy now faces following his failure to qualify the USA for next summer’s World Cup.

The sport has grown. American soccer isn’t what it used to be, and that’s not only a good thing but a testament (in part) to Arena’s contributions. But the years are flying by, and the number of people reading about Arena’s accomplishments eventually will surpass the number of people who remember them. Charlottesville, RFK, Jeonju and Carson will fade away, while Tuesday’s nightmare in a place called Couva, Trinidad, will resonate. That’s the unfortunate, uncompromising nature of sports and an inevitable consequence of the passage of time.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Men, Sports