Is pain a means to grace? To clarity? Is it an "instrument for perfecting" ourselves? Where's the line between the instructive and the destructive? What are sports meant to teach?
Why do we insistently mythologize bad leadership and poor decision-making? Why do we treat all coaches with the same mystical regard we treat the best coaches?
The week in review from death to life, from loss to win, from political metaphors to sports clichés.
From the Australian Open to Patrick Witt, Phil Knight, All-Star Sunday, Sidney Crosby and Tim Thomas: legend-making and revisionism, back-pedaling and product placement and plausible deniability.
The NFL intake mechanism for its raw materials, the draft, requires very young men to make what seem like very important decisions. Its feeder league, big college football, suffers or benefits accordingly.
Sooner or later, everything in sports -- all the madness and passion and struggle and money -- boils down to "Us" against "Them." And too soon that illogic spills over into real life.
The big lie of big football is that it builds character. Truth is, the coaches make the decisions (i.e., "kick away from Devin Hester") while the players merely act upon them (i.e., "oops").
Leaving football school to take a job in football, as Cam Newton and other early entries are doing, makes perfect American sense.
Centenarian L. Hopwood Poteat, who has witnessed and participated in more sporting events than all the ancient Greeks combined, weighs in basketball's rules, tripping, Cam Newton, weak roofs and more.
The old definition: "One who trains athletes or athletic teams." But that might not be how Erik Spoelstra defines his job right now. A "coach" these days just ain't what he used to be.
Jeff MacGregor asked sports fans what they believe. This week, some of their answers. All of which, in their hundreds, were terrific.
Sports debates about Ines Sainz's attire, Urban Meyer's team and Floyd Mayweather's behavior are teaching moments for serious issues.
If you're standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, these days ... well, maybe it's best to keep your head down and stay put. Here's one writer's modest proposal about the new immigration law.
We're fat with sports right now: baseball, pro hoops, NHL playoffs, golf, the NFL draft next week. But are we happy? Can we really appreciate a season if it never ends?