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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
5:17 PM Mon, Nov. 12th

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Jordan Kobritz, Syndicated Columnist

Stories by Jordan

Kobritz: Maryland football, university redefining the word debacle

Beyond the Lines

Embarrassing. Disgraceful. Shameful. Dysfunctional. Pathetic. Those are the words that come to mind when describing the fiasco that unfolded at the University of Maryland last week.

Kobritz: New York Mets creating ethical dilemma

Beyond the Lines

The New York Mets have settled on Brodie Van Wagenen to fill their General Manager position, resurrecting a debate on whether it’s appropriate or ethical for a sports agent to go from representing players to being their boss.

Kobritz: Is baseball a game of skill or luck

Beyond the Lines

Branch Rickey, one of the greatest pioneers in baseball history, famously said, “Luck is the residue of design,” the result of planning and hard work. While the benefits of hard work are undeniable, it doesn’t always lead to the result you desire. Sometimes, the only explanation for success is plain old luck, which often happens in sports.

Kobritz: Flyers mascot Gritty is frightening

Beyond the Lines

The origin of the first sports mascot is a matter of debate but the genre may trace its roots to 19th century France. History suggests the word mascot derives from a French opera, “La Mascotte,” the story of an Italian farmer whose crops wouldn’t grow until he was visited by a virgin named Bettina. With her help, his fortunes turned around.

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Kobritz: ‘Most miserable fans’ goes to Kings, with Patriots on the other end of spectrum

Beyond the Lines

ESPN recently surveyed fans of teams in the four Major League team sports to determine the most miserable fan base in professional sports.

Kobritz: Compensating players for promoting beer

Beyond the Lines

Lost amid the excitement of September pennant races and the tabloid coverage of which NBA players slept with their teammate’s girlfriend, was an announcement that AB InBev (ABI), makers of Budweiser and other brands, had signed agreements to feature active MLB and NBA players in beer ads.

Kobritz: Legal sports betting may add billions to Major League teams

Beyond the Lines

Mark Cuban recently said: “I think everyone who owns a top four professional sports team just basically saw the value of their team double.”

Kobritz: Can we rid sports of performance enhancing drugs?

Beyond the Lines

On Sept. 3, 2003, federal agents raided BALCO, the San Francisco Bay Area Laboratory that provided performance enhancing drugs to several athletes.

Kobritz: A novel proposal to save baseball

Beyond the Lines

A pair of academics have proposed a radical change to save baseball which is guaranteed to make traditionalists apoplectic.

Kobritz: Assault on the diamond, pitchers who throw at batters are ‘cowards’

Beyond the Lines

Headhunting in baseball is a euphemism to describe the actions of a pitcher who intentionally throws at a batter’s head. In any other setting we would simply describe the practice as assault.

Kobritz: Athletes and social media, a toxic brew

Beyond the Lines

What do Josh Hader of the Milwaukee Brewers, Trea Turner of the Washington Nationals, Sean Newcomb of the Atlanta Braves, and Sonny Gray of the Yankees have in common?

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Kobritz: Brian France should do the right thing for NASCAR

Beyond the Lines

Brian France, CEO of NASCAR, announced he was taking an “indefinite” leave of absence to address his “problems” after he was arrested last weekend in Sag Harbor, New York, for aggravated DWI. He would be doing all of NASCAR Nation a great service if he made his leave permanent.

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Kobritz: Urban Meyer saga won’t end well, for someone

Beyond the Lines

Winning in college sports is highly valued, no more so than in football. That’s why elite coaches, who are integral to the success of a program, are paid such astronomical salaries.

Kobritz: The mental game of baseball

Beyond the Lines

Yogi Berra once said, “Ninety percent of the game is half mental.” Berra, one of the most quotable baseball players of all time, was credited with innumerable sayings, some of which he never said.

Kobritz: Parents behaving like, well, their children

Beyond the Lines

Earlier this month, parents of two 12-and-under girls softball teams participating in a USA Softball tournament in Kingsport, Tennessee, got into a shouting match when the parents of players on one team thought the umpire was favoring the opponent.

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Kobritz: Baseball needs to address its declining attendance

Beyond the Lines

As MLB takes a break from the regular season to play the 89th All-Star Game, one of the hot topics this year has been attendance, or rather, the lack of it. According to Baseball-Reference, overall league attendance is down over 2.5 million this year, with 22 of 30 clubs showing a decline from 2017 numbers.

Kobritz: Predictions of doom over the creation of super teams in the NBA is much ado about nothing

Beyond the Lines

The predictions of doom over the creation of super teams in the NBA is much ado about nothing. The wailing comes from people who aren’t old enough to remember the league’s early days or those who haven’t checked the history books.

Kobritz: Does Oregon State’s Luke Heimlich deserve a chance?

Beyond the Lines

In an increasingly polarized world, a host of issues are viewed in black and white – our President, climate control, abortion, to name a few. One issue may stand out above all others: sex abuse.

Kobritz: Phillie Phanatic injures fan with flying hot dog

Beyond the Lines

Ballpark and stadium entertainment is a staple at sporting events, a necessary means of attracting and entertaining fans young and old. Most entertainment routines are harmless, even if they border on being sexist or inappropriate, like cheerleaders at NFL and NBA games and ice girls at NHL games.

Kobritz: North America snags the World Cup

Beyond the Lines

The World Cup, the greatest sporting spectacle on the planet, is coming to North America. The combined U.S., Mexico and Canada proposal, dubbed the “United Bid,” for the 2026 World Cup was overwhelmingly approved last week by delegates from 199 countries. The United bid prevailed over rival Morocco by a 2-1 margin.

Kobritz: Justify among one of the greatest race horses of all time

Beyond the Lines

Justify thrilled the racing world along with millions of people around the globe when he became the 13th horse in history to win the Triple Crown.

Kobritz: NFL’s new anthem policy will do exact opposite of what it intends

Beyond the Lines

After spending months in discussions, NFL owners announced a compromise that, according to them, will end a two-year run of player national anthem protests.

Kobritz: Dying sport, huh? More children flocking to baseball

Beyond the Lines

Hold your horses on the notion that baseball is a dying sport. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), a non-profit trade organization that promotes sports and fitness participation, youth participation in baseball is on the rise.

Kobritz: Major League Baseball needs to lighten up

Beyond the Lines

Major League Baseball has an identity problem. It’s a $10 billion a year business with 30 divisions, all of which are profitable, but management and labor can’t agree on what they want the sport to be.

Kobritz: Track’s new gender rules simple, yet complex

Column: Beyond the Lines

If you prefer to consume your sports without sex, this week’s column may not be for you. In an effort to maintain “fair and meaningful competition within the female classification,” and ensure a level playing field, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), track and field’s world governing body, recently published regulations limiting testosterone levels in female athletes who compete on the world stage.

Kobritz: NFL cheerleader problem returns

Column: Beyond the Lines

The NFL cheerleader problem is back, and this time the league may not be able to resolve the issue as easily as it did the last time.

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Kobritz: Surprise ... root of NCAA is money

Column: Beyond the Lines

In the wake of last fall’s federal indictments involving men’s basketball scandals, the NCAA formed a commission to address reforms. After months of deliberations, the commission issued a 60-page report containing a number of recommendations. ...

Kobritz: Lance Armstrong concedes defeat

Column: Beyond the Lines

Lance Armstrong has conceded defeat, perhaps for the first time in his life, by throwing in the towel on a $100 million lawsuit brought by former cycling teammate Floyd Landis and the U. S. government.

Kobritz: Baseball brawls will continue until the end of time

Column: Beyond the Lines

Two weeks into the 2018 baseball season and two trends have dominated the headlines. The first one concerns hit batsmen. Batters are being hit (HBP) at a historically high rate, a total of 149 batters or 0.42 per game.

Kobritz: Are baseball’s unwritten rules outdated?

Column: Beyond the Lines

The importance – or folly, depending on your view – of the unwritten rules of baseball was on display during the opening week of the 2018 season.

Kobritz: Whether you like it or not, the Yankees are back

Column: Beyond the Lines

The Yankees are back and whether you’re a Yankees fan or not, their resurgence is good for baseball. As recently as two years ago the team was arguably irrelevant, finishing the season with a middling record (for them) of 84-78 and bereft of star power. Home attendance was the lowest it had been in almost two decades.

Kobritz: Jets fans sue team over personal seat license devaluation

Column: Beyond the Lines

The New York Jets, who have struggled to compete against NFL teams, find themselves in a battle with a group of disgruntled fans. The team is a defendant in a class-action lawsuit brought by James Gengo, a season ticket holder.

Kobritz: Is tanking in baseball a problem like the NBA?

Column: Beyond the Lines

The 2018 baseball season is almost upon us but before the games begin, fans of a number of teams are advised to consider the words of Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto.

Kobritz: MLB, other leagues may want ‘integrity fee’ from sports gambling

Column: Beyond the Lines

Sports gambling is on the cusp of becoming a reality in the U.S. and professional sports leagues are intent on reaping a piece of the financial windfall.

Kobritz: Win-first culture enabling monsters

Column: Beyond the Lines

First, it was USA Swimming. Then it was USA Gymnastics. And now, we have USA Volleyball following in the footsteps of its sister organizations. They all knew, and did nothing.

Kobritz: Olympic games not about gold medals, but life lessons

Column: Beyond the Lines

The 2018 Winter Games are over, leaving behind memories and medal counts. While U.S. athletes undoubtedly left Pyeongchang, South Korea with a lifetime of memories, Team USA’s medal count has been called “disappointing” – or worse.

Kobritz: Miami-Dade County suing Jeffrey Loria

Column: Beyond the Lines

Paul Beeston, a former executive of the Toronto Blue Jays and a chartered accountant in Canada, once tried to explain how businesses — including baseball teams — could engage in creative accounting.

Column: Once a thriving sport, NASCAR running low on fuel

'Beyond the Lines'

NASCAR will open its 70th season on Feb. 18 with the running of the Daytona 500, the sport’s premier race. Unfortunately, the excitement generated by the race is in sharp contrast to the business prospects for the once-thriving sport.

Column: Baseball’s economic system favors the owners

'Beyond the Lines'

If you think this winter has been a cold one, it’s been even colder for MLB free agents. With pitchers and catchers reporting next week, 110 players remain unsigned, wondering if they’ll have a job this season.

Column: Clemons, Bonds still on the outside looking in

'Beyond the Lines'

Four players were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this year but in their sixth year of eligibility, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will not be among the inductees on July 29.

Column: Super Bowl ads now focus on women viewers

'Beyond the Lines'

While the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles and their fans are preparing for the Super Bowl on Feb. 4, not everyone will be focused on the game. Viewing, analyzing and comparing the Super Bowl ads — dubbed the “Ad Bowl” — is a ritual almost as old as the game itself.

Column: The escalation of college football coaches salaries

'Beyond the Lines'

College football is a revenue machine on par with most professional sports leagues in the country. And football coaches have the salaries to prove it.

Column: How big-time college sports dodge taxes every year

'Beyond the Lines'

When Alabama beat Georgia for the national championship it put an end to the 2017 college football season, what will continue is the tax dodge engaged in by college sports programs around the country.

Column: Is it time to rid baseball of instant replay?

'Beyond the Lines'

If the names Don Denkinger and Jim Joyce ring a bell, you know why we have instant replay in sports. The two former MLB umps are part of MLB history – for the wrong reason.

Column: Looking ahead to sports in 2018

'Beyond the Lines'

The age-old question – where does the time go – can never be adequately answered.

Column: Tennessee will pay Greg Schiano for not coaching

'Beyond the Lines'

On Nov. 26, the University of Tennessee hired Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano to be its next football coach. Within a matter of hours, the school experienced a case of buyer’s remorse, a decision that will cost the university millions of dollars.

Column: NCAA ruling makes absolutely no sense

'Beyond the Lines'

Perhaps the only certainty in college sports is that the NCAA, the governing body for Division I, II and III sports, has made a cottage industry out of denying basic human rights while simultaneously embarrassing itself.

Column: The hidden finances of military sports programs

'Beyond the Lines'

If you want to know how much U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis earns, you can look it up ($207,800 annually). However, try to find out how much coaches at U.S. Military Academies make and you run into a steel curtain.

Column: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban a prophet

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban knows a thing or two about trends and investing, knowledge that made him successful in business. Now you might be able to add NFL prophet to his list of qualifications.

Column: Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones at war with NFL

'Beyond the Lines'

Forget the Russian probe. Jerry Jones versus the NFL – and Commissioner Roger Goodell – is the most interesting legal matter in the country.

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