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A Diamond In The Rough: Ray Weschler’s Weekly Ballgame

On a cloudy Sunday in mid-May, Raymond Weschler chose Jim McGuire (Cal professor of biology) as his opposing captain, and teams were drawn up. Ray’s booming voice announced the lineup as chatting players finished stretching and headed out to the field. On the diamond at Berkeley’s magnificent Codornices Park, players are surrounded by towering oak […]

Sports Sociologist Harry Edwards on NFL “Plantation Mentality”

Now that a few days have passed, the decision by National Football League owners to fine teams with players who do not “stand and show respect to the flag and the [national] anthem” hardly seems Solomonic; rather than ameliorating tensions, it almost assures another football season marked by player protests, discord both inside and outside […]

WATCH: The Play

Saturday’s Big Game marks the 35th anniversary of the five-lateral kickoff return so legendary that it’s simply known as The Play.

Kapp Redux: Revisiting Joe Kapp v. NFL in Light of the Kaepernick Case

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s lawsuit against NFL owners for colluding to keep him out of football because he launched the “take-a-knee” protests against racial injustice evokes an earlier landmark sports case, one involving another player whose surname shares a phonetically identical initial syllable with Kaepernick’s. Way back in 1971, Boston Patriots, and […]

Steady Crawl: The Life of an Elite Swimmer Mom After the Olympics

In the afternoons, Dana Vollmer, 7-time Olympic medalist, takes her kid to the playground near their house in Danville. Sometimes people recognize them. But not usually. “It’s always the moms,” she says, who recognize her. Or more accurately recognize her and her 19-month-old son, Arlen, together. Swimmers don’t typically get spotted in public; they look […]

Who Gets to be a Woman in the Olympics?

The debate raging about testosterone tests in track and field will come to an ugly climax in Rio, and reasonable people on both sides agree it is unfair that the ugliness has landed squarely on the shoulders of women like South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya. Semenya, who first came to international attention after she […]

Olympics Preview: Cal Athletes Aim to Make a Splash and Score in Rio Games

With so many world-class athletes, UC Berkeley is always well represented at the Olympics. The joke in 2012 was that if Cal were its own country (and isn’t it, in its own way?), it would have tied for sixth in the world for the number of gold medals won. That number was 11, by the […]

Victory Vantage: Ex-Cal Star Shares New Life on Warriors Coaching Staff

It is April 12, one day before the Golden State Warriors will barge into NBA history with their 73rd victory of the season, and practice is winding down at the team’s downtown Oakland headquarters. Stephen Curry lofts majestic three-point shots at one basket, as usual. Klay Thompson sharpens his silky-smooth release nearby. And on an […]

Keeping up with the Kerrs: As Dad Coaches Warriors Champs, Kids Hit Courts for Cal

In the spring of 2014, Maddy Kerr was the only member of her family living in the Bay Area. She was nearing the end of her freshman year at UC Berkeley, on the brink of walking into an Intro to Film final exam, when her phone buzzed with a text from her dad. Steve Kerr […]

The Selfless Quarterback: Cancer Intercepted Joe Roth’s Career, Not His Enduring Legacy

In 1975, two years before Tom Brady was born, another Golden Boy burst upon the football scene.

Golden Anticipation: For Now, Cal Football Fans Can Claim “We’re in First Place!”

The best time to be a Cal football fan is the long, languid dog-days of summer. Memories from last season have healed, the first hopeful reports from training camp have started trickling in, and technically we haven’t yet been eliminated from Rose Bowl contention. In fact, we’re tied for first place! It’s a wondrous time. […]

Who Knew? Before Becoming a Media Mute, Super Bowl Star was a Publicist’s Dream

In the countdown to Sunday’s Super Bowl, suspense is building over the question on the mind of every devoted football fan: What will Marshawn Lynch say—or, more accurately, not say—to the media after the game? However popular the Seattle Seahawks’ running back is with Seattle fans, he has a lot fewer friends at NFL headquarters, […]