Gene Chizik won a National Championship at Auburn, and was unemployed and nearly unemployable in college football not long after. All things considered, he's doing okay.

It's easy, and not necessarily incorrect, to see the America's Cup as an unwitting self-satire on its vain, wealthy participants and the Bay Area they've made. But everything looks different from the water.

This year's Padres aren't a very good baseball team. But what's been truly bad and sad about them in recent years, and the reason they've lost a fan base that seemed ready to love them, has less to do with baseball than how business gets done in San Diego.

Originally published October 16, 2013.

My pager buzzed. This was the pager I reserved exclusively for NBA jobs. I told Latrell Sprewell to keep the beer and found a payphone.

“Hello.” The voice was deep and gruff.

“This is Macadamia Charles,” I said. “Who’s this?”

“This is Glenn Robinson.”

Fall on the track with your butt as your padding a couple times—everyone does, before painful repetition drills into you that kneepads are there for a reason—and you’ll have the fresh realization that your ass is just the very bottom of your back. This is how roller derby starts, and it is the worst you have ever been at anything.

John Rawls, one of the greatest American philosophers, was also a pretty serious baseball fan. Still, there are some serious holes in his recently unearthed argument for baseball as "the best of all games." Also, though, there's some basic emotional truth about being a fan.

Veteran big man Jason Collins has come out as the NBA's first openly gay player, which is good for him and the game and those of us who care about it. He did it with all the invisible but palpable grace and modesty that has helped keep him in the league all these years.

The vastness of God Shammgod's legend always outpaced his on-court performance. But after a long career on the court, the streetball legend seems ready to make his next move.

On conference rivalries, huge amounts of money, made-for-TV spectacle, flag-motif sneakers, the gentleness of Florida State's Michael Ojo, and other jests of varying length.

Horse racing, as a sport, is written about mostly as a thing that's dying. Which is a shame, because that ignores how alive and strange it is, even now.