Twitter GoodReads Rdio LinkedIn

Mac Danzig is retiring to prevent further damage to his brain.

Really, the only physical cue for me to step back from competition came last year, when I began to suffer repeated concussions in training, leading up to what would end up being my first ever actual knockout loss, in July. After that, my ability to take hard strikes in training without losing consciousness began to deteriorate rapidly. After 14 years of training and taking shots like a champ, my brain was finally telling me to chill out.

In the first week back from the Olympics, which were full of fantastic hockey, this happens. Because NHL. At least baseball has started and I can go back to not watching hockey.

Some recently uncovered documents show the FBI suspected that the classic Muhammad Ali/Sonny Liston fight—one of the greatest sports moments in history—might have been rigged by the mob.

Sports Illustrated named it the fourth-greatest sports moment of the 20th century. The fight also is the foundation of the Muhammad Ali story: the three-year heavyweight championship reign of dominance, followed by his three-year exile as he fought the Vietnam War draft. The Ali-Joe Frazier fights, the upset over George Foreman in Zaire, the reconstruction of Ali from a pariah to a national treasure. All of it begins with a brash Clay “shocking the world.”

Maybe it wasn’t such a shock, as 4-decade-old documents released to The Washington Times under the Freedom of Information Act show the FBI suspected the fight may have been fixed by a Las Vegas figure tied to organized crime and to Liston. The documents show no evidence that Ali was in on the scheme or even knew about it. And nothing suggests the bureau ever fully corroborated the suspicions it investigated.

The Olympic City Project is kind of sad.

The Olympic City is an ongoing documentary photography project by Jon Pack and Gary Hustwit that looks at the legacy of the Olympic Games in former host cities around the world. Hosting the Olympics has become a way for a city to show itself off on an international stage and generate toursim dollars, and cities spend millions or billions for the privilege. But after the events are over, the medals have been handed out, and the torch is extinguished, what’s next? What happens to a city after the Olympics are gone?

We have a strange recent history of laughing at Mike Tyson because Mike Tyson seems to want to be laughed at. It’s weird and awkward and we should probably stop it.

Mike Tyson, who served out a prison sentence for rape in the 1990s, is entitled to make a living. But his existence as the perpetual object of the joke isn’t good for him or for the nation. Tyson, whose 2013 memoir (written with a ghostwriter), thoughtfully dealt with his lifetime of substance abuse all while vindictively mocking an ex-wife who’s alleged abuse, is not funny. And yet he keeps getting put into situations where his presence is the joke itself, from “The Hangover” movies to the opening of the Tony Awards to Fallon’s show. Tyson, a man with a personal history at once deeply sad and wrenchingly unsympathetic, shouldn’t be in this situation, but he is! Ho, ho. There’s an uncomfortable element to the laughter, the sense that all we’re laughing at is a black man neutered.

Dick Allen and making the same mistakes with race over and over and over.

Consider the black athletes between Allen and Smart who have dealt with the same treatment in the 50 years between their times on the national sports stage. Consider those who had transcendent talent, or could have developed into a transcendent talent, who gave up the dream because constantly being handled instead of treated wasn’t worth it. Consider those who gave up because they weren’t believed, or worse, were actively slandered, because white writers couldn’t reconcile accusations of racism with the purity they ascribe to the sports they cover. Consider the athletes who have been failed, consistently, by the leagues governing them and the press covering them.

Shaun White didn’t win a medal, which is a big deal, though not necessarily a big surprise.

Gods fall. Gods get old, and younger gods come to take their place. Snowboarding is for the young, and some young gods of snowboard call their tricks YOLO and yell “YOLOOOOO” as they leave their gold medal press conference with the long wild flying hair of a Musketeer.

Why did it take so long for women’s ski jumping to get into the Olympics? Mostly because people are stupid.

The first measured ski jump was explicitly a show of manhood. In 1809, the story goes, a lieutenant in the Norwegian military launched himself 9.5 meters through the air “to show his soldiers what a courageous fellow he was.” The sport that grew out of that jump was likewise a test of manliness—far too dangerous, it was thought, for members of the gentler sex. “If a man gets a serious injury, it’s still not fatal, but for women it could end much more seriously,” a Russian ski jumping coach said. “Women have another purpose—to have children, to do housework, to create hearth and home.”

Given the sport’s longtime “masculinity,” the only surprise about that quote may have been when the man said it: last month.

Limited content, but the new PitcherGIFs.com might have the most promising domain name in baseball.

Olympic curling is one of my very favourite things. If you’re not into curling, here’s a guide for beginners.

Many tutorials describe curling as a “game of strategy, tactics and skill” which offers no helpful distinction whatsoever.

Michael Sam is a highly rated college player about to be drafted into the NFL. He’s also openly gay, which is a big deal.

As the pace of the gay rights movement has accelerated in recent years, the sports industry has changed relatively little for men, with no publicly gay athletes in the N.F.L., the N.B.A., the N.H.L. or Major League Baseball. Against this backdrop, Mr. Sam could become a symbol for the country’s gay rights movement or a flash point in a football culture war — or both.

Rookie has gathered some reactions. (Side note: despite the total lack of analysis and in-depth writing, I really like the Rookie format.)

An oral history of the Baltimore Stallions.

The CFL couldn’t fill the void, but they could partially fill the void. They knew that.

Four years later, luge is still feeling the impact of Nodar Kumaritashvili’s death in Vancouver.

The Luge Federation blamed Kumaritashvili within 12 hours, right after the opening ceremony, in which the Georgian delegation marched with black armbands. The dead young man was blamed again in a comprehensive report released two months later. Pilot error, they said, which was true; as noted by American luger Christian Niccum to the New York Times, he let go of his sled. The fact that the track had caused other competitors, and in fact the president of the International Luge Federation, to express worry — well, that wasn’t deemed as important. And as Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili said at the time, “no sports mistake is supposed to lead to a death. No sports mistake is supposed to be fatal.”

Rookie is kind of cool.

Rookie is a sports site. But it’s not like any sports site you’ve read before. Instead of regurgitating the same scores and boring articles as everyone else, we’re working behind the scenes, hand-selecting the storylines that are important, and using quotes and comments from people that matter to tell them (players, coaches, and insiders). Accompanying the stories are the best sports photos you’ll find this side of an art gallery.

Ichiro is amazing always and forever.

There are ways to describe this, but nothing quite sufficient. The standard compliment of his stellar “technique” makes him sound like the means to a perfect mirepoix. It falls woefully short, but so does most everything else. Ichiro transcends the game. He defies compare. He is slender and small and still pretty unbelievably fast. Ichiro is elemental, singular in his approach and ability; his deliberate cultivation of a decades-long career has been artful and, in a way career arcs ordinarily are not, seemingly authored by him. This sounds like a lot, and is a lot, but this isn’t the hyperbolic adoration of a fan. Ichiro’s greatness renders a knee-jerk recognition. No one really dislikes Ichiro, and no one quite understands him, either.

I, personally, have long suspected that at night, Ichiro returns to his feline form.

Super Bowl XLVIII… so that happened.

Denver fans started leaving the stadium early in the fourth quarter. Seattle already had thirty-six points on the board. Maybe it was forty-three; the points, the minutes, the blunders all started to run together. At least viewers at home had commercials to distract them; in the press box, people were calling for a mercy rule.

I haven’t watched much football this year, but I did watch the last two Seahawks games, and despite how terrible the Broncos looked (and between the safety, the terrible pick-six and the kickoff return, they looked fucking awful), I was more struck by how good Seattle looked. I had to text my father and ask if they’d been this good all year, but he said he couldn’t remember watching a single Seahawks game (he’s a Patriots fan).

The Breaking Madden series has been wonderful. But the finale is just one of the most amazingly awesome things you could hope for.

Over the course of the season, I’ve discovered lots of different ways to hack Madden NFL 25 into a thing that no longer resembles football as we know it. I’ve played around with rules, injury settings, all manner of player ratings, player dimensions, and anything else the game’s developers have made available to us.

This time is special, though, because I’m pulling out every single one of the stops at the same time. No other scenario I’ve built in Madden has been so abjectly cruel or unfair; no other scenario has even been close.

This time is also special because we’ve saved all the good for the real world, and saved all the evil for the video game.

The long winter of Roger Federer. (There are few sports narratives more interesting to me than the G.O.A.T. conversations in tennis for the foreseeable future.)

The Federer that dominated — gracefully, understatedly, and also unequivocally — the world of tennis in the middle of the last decade was a torturer. He was, to be accurate and to be fair, a torturer who had pace to burn; we’re talking after all about the highest echelon of the ATP tour, not O.N.A.N. prep tennis. But Federer was a torturer, and he won a lot of matches tormenting world-class would-be killers like Andy Roddick. This was all pretty incredible to watch: partly because he was on pace to catch Sampras, but only partly.

U.S. colleges are aggressively recruiting female athletes in their early teens.

Haley is not a once-in-a-generation talent like LeBron James. She just happens to be a very good soccer player, and that is now valuable enough to set off a frenzy among college coaches, even when — or especially when — the athlete in question has not attended a day of high school. For Haley, the process ended last summer, a few weeks before ninth grade began, when she called the coach at Texas to accept her offer of a scholarship four years later.

A guide to the injuries that plagued the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays. As a fan of the team, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll shit your pants.