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Stories by Patrick Daugherty

Sports don’t kill people, sports teams kill people

So, it’s Seattle versus New England in the Big Game. Yes, I’m going to watch it, I’ll be with friends, there’ll be booze, food, laughing, and good fellowship. But, I do not fool myself. I ...

Sports under duress

Playing a sport under duress changes the experience. The amount of change depends on the type and intensity of duress. Starting from the low end of the scale: the Duress of Indecision. A friend calls ...

Say, what happened with that whole Ray Rice thing?

We are deep into the NFL playoffs and villagers feel the energy. Big like for the 7-8-1 Carolina Panthers making it to the second round. Cowboys-Packers should be good, Broncos-Colts, Ravens-Patriots set up nicely, and ...

That old black magic

The problem with the Chargers is that Philip Rivers is cursed.

In terms of fan interest, yes, the Chargers Saturday night comeback ranks right up there. The Bolts push on with their December heroics, every game is a must-win game, every game is a walking–to-the-edge thriller, ...

Playing through pain

Rub some dirt on it and get out there!

Tricky topic. Civilians and athletes have different tolerances when it comes to pain, although, counterintuitively, they have similar “pain thresholds” (the point where pain begins to be felt). According to a research article in the ...

Thanksgiving as we know it

True greed has no end. Greed grows until something makes it stop. There will be three NFL games televised on Thanksgiving. Games run from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. According to a 2010 Wall Street ...

Your move, sexy Grandmaster


The World Series is over, the NFL season is only now coming to speed, the NBA and NHL seasons have just begun. We are becalmed in a brief sports sweet spot where one has time ...

World Series issue

Homeland Security has MLB’s backside

You’ve probably read the story. Agents from Homeland Security raided Birdies Panties and confiscated merchandise. Birdies is a modest, two-woman lingerie shop located in downtown Kansas City. Kansas City is excited about the Royals finally ...


Empty your head, pull the trigger.

“Two, five, ten — who knows how many thousand snow geese have lifted from a marsh forming one huge skein of geese, a swarm of geese, a living tornado of geese, and is flying toward ...


Wake up, people, it’s Super Sports Time

The NFL season is running at max RPM. College football is well underway. Baseball playoffs have begun. Hockey kicks in next week. The NBA preseason starts Saturday, and Major League Soccer is ongoing. Wake up, ...

Not about Ray Rice

Will women in lingerie football uniforms rule the world?

How many of you remember...or should I say, follow the Lingerie Football League, now doing business as the Legends Football League (LFL)? Click over to and check out the video, LFL USA FEMALE ATHLETES ...

Knowing when

It’s an odd skill — esoteric, really — knowing when to quit, when to walk away. It’s not taught in school, parents don’t coach it, friends either don’t know or don’t like to talk about ...

“Competition is a sin”

First step taken toward paying college athletes.

The words above are attributed to John D. Rockefeller, human template for American monopolies. We know he was rich, but few people know how rich he actually was. According to the the New York Times, ...

The public doesn’t like dead horses

The cost of doing business

The tenth horse died at Del Mar on Saturday, August 2. This one was Chattering Gambler, a three-year-old colt who collapsed during the third race as he drove toward the finish line. This makes 10 ...

Information and analysis

No Alone Sports magazine. How can this be?

Follows is an in-depth analysis of NFL preseason magazines, pointing toward the absurdity of buying a magazine written months ago, printed weeks ago, purporting to give the reader inside information on teams that haven’t settled ...

Settlement II: Concussion cases become a headache for NFL

World Cup soccer fans, cheer up, the NFL preseason starts in 24 days. Since we have time to kill, the pre-preseason may be the perfect occasion for a heart-to-heart about — always a crowd favorite ...

Big Deal tennis, anyone?

The just-born San Diego Aviators

World Team Tennis (WTT) has been around since 1974 with one three-year break. This year the WTT season runs from July 6 to July 27. The league has seven teams, reaching from Boston to the ...

The sports bubble is one tough bubble

Everybody loves to count money, theirs and other people’s. Regard the $2 billion offered for the recently above-average L.A. Clippers. Donald Sterling may be a demented racist (maybe not), but the man knows how to ...

Amazing and super stupendous

The circus that is minor-league baseball.

A friend emails a link, says I must needs watch the video. Ever the obedient householder, I click and behold Tara the Hero Cat. You’ve seen it, a four-year-old boy is playing on his bicycle ...

Fling that Frisbee — there's hundreds in it for you!

Carlsbad world champion

I have former world-champion disc-golfer, Frisbee pioneer, Carlsbad resident John Kirkland on the phone. Kirkland, 67, says, “I was there at the very beginning and I’m still doing it seven days a week. “When I ...

I support them and give them food...

One NBA owner will watch the playoffs from the doghouse.

It hasn’t always been about glamor, fame, women, and good works for Donald Sterling, owner and, may I add, benefactor to the Los Angeles Clippers as well as a patron to all people of color ...

The Falconer: Part 3

Finishing with Kate Marden, master falconer and owner of West Coast Falconry, an establishment that provides falconry classes and services. Marden says, “If you have a bird of prey, and you’re not hunting with that ...

The Falconer: Part 2

How to catch a baby dragon.

In the United States, our falconry, we’re not pet keepers, it’s a hunting sport... Kate Marden, master falconer. Marden, 55, owns West Coast Falconry in Marysville, California. Onsite are a Barn Owl, Eurasian Eagle Owl, ...

The Falconer: Part 1

This vulture will crack you up.

We’re going to spend some time with Kate Marden, master falconer. Marden, 55, owns West Coast Falconry in Marysville, California, and is a partner in West Coast Falconry–San Diego, which can be found in Alpine. ...

Sports scandal aftermath

The Box applauds rebounders

Great scandals. The world is agog. The world moves on. The world forgets. How many of the following scandals do you remember? Where is Tim Donaghy, the corrupt NBA referee? August 2007, Donaghy pleaded guilty ...

It’s about the locker room?


It’s Gay Week in the NFL. Michael Sam, 24, will be auditioning at the NFL Scouting Combine starting Saturday. As anyone with a TV or internet access knows, Michael Sam is gay. He came out ...

NBC and Facebook won’t skimp on the Winter Olympics

We’re talking real money. The 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City cost $2 billion to produce. The 2006 edition in Turin, Italy, cost $4.1 billion. Four years later, in Vancouver, the bill was $8 ...

Wretched excess XLVIII

Behold, sports fan, the most expensive game ever played.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... Super Bowl 48 will be played in the $1.6 billion MetLife Stadium, which is nestled within the romantic confines of East Rutherford, New ...

The NFL ought to worry about TiVo

The NFL and me

Remember the three-out-of-four-NFL-wildcard-games-might-be-blacked-out story? Things are changing in the NFL. Which makes sense; my relationship with the NFL has changed several times. Relationship 1. I’m hitchhiking with Gretchen, heading south on Highway 99, somewhere around ...

Holiday in South Africa, part 4

The Boer doesn’t tell us what to do here.

Part four of a four-part story about apartheid-era South Africa. First published in The Monthly, November 1986. Reprinted in the Reader, summer of 1990. In memory of Nelson Mandela.

Holiday in South Africa, part 3

Black townships, like Soweto, represent the place where everything went wrong.

“The man was an informer.” Riggs and I are sharing daytime fun, a black guy and a white guy driving around black townships, at risk both from South African security forces and enraged blacks who, ...

Holiday in South Africa, part 2

Next morning I begin making the rounds, schedule interviews with a well-known activist who’s teaching at University of Witwatersrand (he has since been detained), with Brendon Berry, president of the National University Student Association, recently ...

The NFL — get this — is a nonprofit trade association

How they got there

The best way to become an NFL team owner is by inheriting an NFL team. Second best is by marrying someone who owns an NFL team. Third best is by inheriting a colossal amount of ...

Holiday in South Africa: Johannesburg in 1986, revisited

May 8, 1986. I am the only passenger on the 30-minute shuttle from Jans Smuts International Airport to Johannesburg’s city center. Joburg’s population is three million plus and its downtown bears an uncanny resemblance to ...

Not too late to stake your claim in Flyboarding

Present at the creation

The first Flyboard video I saw was a game-changer. There was a man in a wet suit, slowly emerging from the ocean. His head, now shoulders, now torso, grow out of the water. And then ...

Two Thanksgiving POVs

Bad timing for turkeys and West Coast NFL fans

Found on Mrs. Lambert’s (Nauvoo-Colusa Middle School) Social Studies web page: “The first Thanksgiving was not a feast, but rather a time when Native Americans helped Pilgrims by bringing them food and helping them build ...

Rumble at the Hyatt, part 2

As of Monday, the World Chess Championship is even. There have been two quick draws. Defending his title is five-time world champion Viswanathan (Vishy) Anand, 43. The challenger is Magnus Carlsen, a 22-year-old Norwegian and ...

Rumble at the Hyatt

World-class chess is sexy...and full of weirdness

A friend, who has been a serious chess player, recently emailed me, “I don’t know if you have any interest in covering professional chess, but something pretty epic is happening right now: a Westerner is ...

That one time...

Patrick Daugherty recalls August 1983 and the pick-up baseball game in Alaska that he played in which he could do no wrong.

Future-future-future bets

A look at the Golden Nugget point spreads for pre-season college football, 117 days after the season got under way.

The firing of Lane Kiffin

Another team lets Lane go

USC becomes another employer who has a hard time being satisfied with the coaching savvy of Lane Kiffin.

Tim Tebow's career decision

The Moscow Black Storm has offered Tim Tebow $1 million to play in two games.

The NFL’s paltry concussion settlement

Sleight-of-hand sports

Should footballers trust the NFL brain trust with their brains?

As the America's Cup turns

Mainstream the mainsails!

Team Oracle in the America’s Cup Challenge — the U.S. entry in the race — has been accused of cheating.

Glamping: Where the rich folk camp

Now to Labor Day is high season for camping. Collect spouse, kids, dogs, pack up SUV, set course for somewhere in Cleveland National Forest, Palomar Mountain, or the sweat lodges of Anywhere, Imperial County. That’s ...

Zeke Hindle is not quite a tennis bum. Close, though

On the tour

Making a living as a professional athlete is for a very few. Making a good living is for a tiny percentage of the very few. Introducing Zeke Hindle (real name), 27, professional tennis player. Zeke ...

The sinking of America’s Cup

Then there were three. Maybe.

Considering the field of competitors for the America’s Cup sailing challenge in the aftermath of a declaration that boats are unsafe because rudders aren’t long enough.

Left-handed sports

A survey of sports played (and not played) by the left-handed.

San Diego national champions

Not all San Diego competitors are failures! A rundown of teams that have posted winning seasons.

Annual state of the NFL report

Drip. Drip. Drip.

The NFL of today will not exist in 20 years, says a retired player.

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