Steve Cotler

Steve Cotler

Category Archives: Sports

“Muslim” March Madness

Ali Farokhmanesh Omar Samhan What is the overlap between the set of all rabid NCAA Basketball Tournament fans and the set of all knee-jerk despisers of anything Islamic? I suspect the intersection is large. If so, then the first two rounds of March Madness may promote more US-Islamic tolerance than all the State Department visits […]

How to Bet on the NCAA Final Four

You pays your money and you takes your chances, but the House always has an edge. Did you ever wonder how big that edge is? Among the simplest edges to compute is Las Vegas roulette.  If your chips are on one of the numbers from 1 to 36, and you win, you get paid 35-1. […]

Rule Book Racism: Can a Black Athlete Celebrate?

Clay mouths off after defeating Liston In 1964, Cassius Clay, then only 22, brashly boasted that he would upset 7-1 favorite Sonny Liston for the world heavyweight championship. “I am the greatest!” he shouted. In retrospect, Clay clearly was the greatest. Why did his outbursts upset so many white sportscasters and fans? One of TO’s […]

The Worst Performance by a Winning Pitcher

SF Giants Pitcher Matt Cain On August 20, San Francisco Giants starter Matt Cain, after an excellent seven and two-thirds innings against the Florida Marlins, left the game ahead 5-2. Giants reliever Tyler Walker got the last out in the eighth, and with the score unchanged, closer Brian Wilson came in in the top of […]

The Filly is Put Down

© Time While campaigning in Kentucky on Thursday, Hillary Clinton, identifying with Eight Belles, the only filly running in the 134th Kentucky Derby, said, “I want everybody to place a little money on the filly.” Today, Eight Belles came in second to Big Brown, collapsed, broke both front ankles, and had to be euthanized on […]

Baseball: Recapturing Youth

As a kid, baseball was my sport. I was too short to be effective in basketball, no one played soccer in the 50’s, and although I was fast and could catch, my lack of bulk marginalized me in football. I played Little League, made the All-Star team, and loved the game. I played softball in […]

NCAA Final Four Math

By missing their last shot, tenth-seeded Davidson lost to top-seeded Kansas 59-57…and for the first time in NCAA tournament history, all four #1 seeds made it to the Final Four. What are the odds of that happening? My assumptions are arbitrary—I admit that—but here’s the math.

Embarrassingly Partisan Baseball

photo credit: Duane Burleson/AP Steroids in Major League Baseball should not be a political issue.  But it is. Who’s the liar? Brian McNamee or Roger Clemens? I don’t know…and actually, I don’t much care. Damn them all. Professional baseball is full of over-amped egos and self-defined Masters of the Universe. Yesterday, however, continuing the outrageously […]

After Fidel

Administration after administration has perceived Cuba as an irritant inside our hemispheric shell and coated it with layer after layer of economic and political nacre, which unlike mother-of-pearl, has not created value. In fact, U.S. policy has rendered Cuba nearly irrelevant. Fidel, of course, has been the focus of our sedimentary relationship, one that has […]

“Running to Win!” in Iowa

The Grinnell College men’s basketball team once scored 149 points in a game…and lost. Last night, however, with the temperature in Grinnell, IA (pop. ~10,000), well below zero, the team’s nearly unique playing style heated up the crowd as the Pioneers trounced the Knox College (IL) Prairie Fire 100-80, bringing their record to 15-7. John […]