Browsing All Posts filed under »moral luck«

“Great Team Chemistry No Match For Great Team Biology”

March 7, 2012

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That was a recent headline from The Onion, and as usual, the short article that followed it pretty much wrote itself.  “I’ve never seen a team work in sync with itself as well as A&M did tonight, but unfortunately, they were up against players who have bodies far better adapted for playing basketball,” ESPN’s Jay Bilas […]

This bullfighter needs a left tackle…

March 7, 2012

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…though he is clearly not lacking in cojones. This post may interrupt the flow of posts on the NFL’s “bountygate” (last seen here) but the surreal juxtaposition probably isn’t out of place. Is a bullfighter an athlete? an artist? a butcher? sad clown? all of the above? Well, if Juan José Padilla were an NFL player, […]

Luck don’t come easy

October 31, 2011

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This blog has been dormant so long it missed an entire baseball season. There are no doubt plenty of thorough accounts of that season; but a very short post-World Series blog post in the New Yorker by Roger Angell captures a lot of what’s great and weird about every baseball season. Thrilling but, in a […]

Sport and religion: Does Jesus want you to pray for His help?

January 21, 2011

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Did Jesus make me (able to) do it? He certainly gets a lot of credit. Not as many shout-outs as He gets at the Grammies. But he still seems to get credit for His fair share of home runs, touchdown catches, and buzzer-beaters. During my unintended blogging hiatus in the autumn I failed to pass […]

Great athletes are not born, they’re made… then sold to the highest bidder

September 23, 2010

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It has been a big week for philosophizing about sports at Duke University, where I teach. Perhaps this helps us take our minds off a crushing loss to Alabama, the NCAA football national champions, who played here last weekend. First it was Justice Samuel A. Alito reflecting on how cheering for the Phillies made him, […]

More on Blown Calls: which sport is worse?

August 17, 2010

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Here are a couple of quick addenda to the last post on the different types of challenges that officials face in different sports, and how this should affect decisions about introducing technology (or expanding its use) to overcome the “human error factor” in officiating. First, I want to point to the articles that prompted me, even […]

The players like it imperfect

June 15, 2010

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Here’s a quick follow-up to the Imperfect Game controversy I followed over far too many posts, starting here. ESPN The Magazine conducted a (let us say, rather unscientific) poll of 100 major-league baseball players about their views on the umpires and the use of replay. The brief survey revealed three interesting results: 1. Despite the […]