One of the greatest football teams ever didn't compete in a bowl game. Their story and long awaited reconition is here.

The team was the school's best ever, but it never went to a bowl game, because the only bowl games that wanted the Dons were in the Deep South. It was an era of segregation, and the promoters let it be known they would invite USF only if the Dons left their two black players behind.

The team refused. "We said, 'Bull -- . If they don't go, we don't go,' " backup quarterback Bill Henneberry remembered. "There was never any question."
A truck driver blows a 7.27 blood alcohol level. That's just brutal.


Man may penetrate the outer reaches of the universe, he may solve the very secret of eternity itself but for me, the ultimate human experience is to witness the flawless execution of the hit-and-run.-Branch Rickey

Noam Chomsky famously criticized sport for its ability to distract the masses and foster a culture of conformity. Couch potatoes are routinely chastised for allowing a sports-fueled creeping inertia swallow their aspirations in a lazy frenzy of voyeurism and provincialism. Occasionally defenders will make allusions to the grander design of sport, but it's largely been considered a "lower" form of entertainment.

Now, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht has written a lively and thoughtful treatise on sport that argues it is few things if not beautiful. Largely a reaction to the fact that "most contemporary academic analyses of ''sport" as a cultural phenomenon tend to be socially patronizing, dismissive of sports fans as having fallen for a modern-day version of the old bread and circus treatment. Such thinkers, he argues, ''find it difficult to admit that the fascination with sports can have respectable roots in the realm of aesthetic appeal."

Throughout ''In Praise of Athletic Beauty" Gumbrecht anchors his position in Immanuel Kant's "Critique of Judgment" arguing that sport has "beauty" grounded in "purposiveness" and "subjective universality".

He also makes a novel defense of the banality of athletes as they struggle to convey the beuaty that is sport; they see the game they play in simple terms which allows them to understand it in fundamental ways. If a battery saw pitching with the complexity of, say, George Will, they'd create doubt and nuance, the enemy of effective action. But luckily we are not constrained, share with me the most beautiful acts of sport you have ever witnessed.