It’s the opening game of the 2014 NFL season and I’m at Buffalo Wild Wings with friends. As always for such events, the restaurant is packed. It’s a good mix of Seahawks and Packers jerseys and the pregame atmosphere is already buzzing.
Flanked by two shaven-headed handlers, Martin Brodeur sat at a rickety wooden table that looked slightly too small to be comfortable in a bookstore that has long since been put out business. Outside the store, devoted fans lined up for yards, standing in concentric loops in an adjacent strip mall, chattering excitedly or fidgeting with their fans’ jerseys—this was before smartphones dulled the pain of waiting on a line.
It is 6 p.m. and I’m sitting with hundreds of fellow equine fanatics in a stadium flanked for miles on either side by farmhouses, wooden fence lines and flat, sandy fields speckled with horses. Many around me wear baseball caps to keep the sinking Florida sun out of their faces; a few had the foresight to bring a blanket for the inevitable temperature drop later tonight, when the stadium will be lit by giant electric flood lights.
Lionel Messi, the star of FC Barcelona and the man widely considered to be the best soccer player in the world, is stepping up to the penalty spot. He stares down the goalkeeper for a moment, takes a few steps back and then slams his left foot into the ball, sending it predictably perfectly into the corner of the goal. 1-0.
“She never seemed a hundred percent after that,” Isabella Bersani, a sophomore teammate and friend of Caroline Feeley, says while recalling a match in December of 2012. Certainly, Caroline was less than 100%. On that day during the annual mixed doubles Christmas tournament, Caroline had hurt her MCL in nothing more than a game held for fun between the men and women of Princeton squash.
My parents’ room had the smallest TV in the house. My mom was already under the covers and I was watching while kneeling to her left on my dad’s side of the bed. He arrived home from a business trip right around the eighth inning—just in time to see Jorge Posada drop a game-tying bloop double into shallow centerfield off an absolutely dominating Pedro Martinez.
Here’s a proposal. Next time you play pool, ignore the rule that scratching on the eight-ball makes you lose. Hold on, that’s madness: That’s like the main rule in pool. In my small experience, a frustrating majority of games of … Read More
Like many sports that rely on brute force, taekwondo sometimes requires athletes to cut weight. We just call it cutting, which to outsiders might evoke associations with another kind of unhealthy behavior. My 5’2” frame is small enough that many are surprised I need to cut at all, but not quite small enough to fit into weight classes created for tiny-boned Korean women.
I bounded through the dance studio’s door, hiding my apprehension under several layers of brightly colored spandex. I had never been to Zumba before. In fact, I have only ever attended one aerobics class in my short 18 years. It was in Rome, and a classmate who convinced me that it would be fun dragged me along. Obviously, my friend and I defined “fun” very differently.
As a frequent yoga-goer and a hopeful future yoga-instructor, I brushed off a glow-in-the-dark Zumba class as another easy, minimal-cardio workout. The sensations in my body the next day suggested otherwise. I had gone to Zumba a few times before, … Read More
When the Body Combat instructor pushed to the front of the crowd and introduced herself, I could not help but be reminded of a bygone era. Her thick pink headband, stretch pants, and neon athletic top made her seem as if she had just arrived in a time machine from an 80s aerobics class. Of course, I have never experienced the 80s for myself, so I cannot be sure that all aerobics instructors wore such tight, shiny fabric, but the movies of the time seem to indicate they did.