Sports at Large with Milton Kent

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Estelle Kline for wypr

Ah, the first week of April in Baltimore, a time when the senses are stirred anew by the smell of freshly mown grass on the Camden Yards diamond and the sound of bat hitting ball, along with the sight of piles of nervously bitten fingernails.

Caroline Terp via flickr

By this time next week, the 2014-15 college basketball season will be but a memory. And with the Maryland men’s advance to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2010, that memory is a pleasant one. But, over the weekend, the Terps and coach Mark Turgeon got news that could make next season tip way past pleasant all the way to delirious.

Chad Cooper via flickr

In a couple of weeks, when a new men’s college basketball champion is crowned, CBS will air its annual montage of tournament highlights over a song called “One Shining Moment.” And you can bet that one of those moments will be the one where Georgia State coach Ron Hunter having already torn his Achilles tendon celebrating his team’s entry into the 68-team field the previous Sunday, fell off the office chair rigged for him to roam the sidelines.

Caroline Terp via flickr

The new thinking around College Park is that moving the Terps out of the Atlantic Coast Conference after 62 years as a founding member is turning out to be a nice thing. The football team went 7-5 in the regular season, finishing third in their division, while beating longtime nemesis Penn State and gridiron giant Michigan. The women’s basketball team, fresh off a Final Four visit last year, is on a serious roll.

Keith Allison via flickr

Spring can be cruel to football fans, as the NFL's draconian salary cap occasionally forces them to prematurely say goodbye to players they've come to know and love. 

Keith Allison via flickr

LeBron James proclaimed he was stunned that his 10-year-old son was already the subject of recruitment by college basketball coaches. James has to be acting if he wants to convince anyone that he’s not aware that recruiting of kids is going on. How could he not? The practice of attempting to attract youthful talent into the pipeline of sports has gone on for well over a century, back to the dawn of intercollegiate athletics.

David Schott via flickr

Sad to say, a group of kids who desperately needed encouragement and positive reinforcement got the worst lesson of all last week: that the adults they thought they could trust to give them a moment of joy had instead exploited them.

totomaru via flickr

The reason for sports rivalries are often as varied as the rivalries themselves, but for University of Maryland fans, there was little reason to dislike North Carolina men’s basketball coach Dean Smith save for the best one: He always won. During the 36 years he was in charge in Chapel Hill, Smith’s Tar Heels were the Road Runner to Maryland’s Wile E. Coyote.

autowitch via flickr

It doesn’t matter whether you watched the Super Bowl or not, if you live in one of the more than 100 million households in this country that have either cable or pay television, you’ve been paying for the Super Bowl and a whole lot more.

TheBrit_2 via flickr

  It’s hard to imagine New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady leading the team’s Bible study, if, in fact, such a thing exists. But, after the last week, it might not be a bad idea for Brady to get himself immersed in the Good Book, or at least with the seventh verse of the sixth chapter of Galatians.