The Corner

Sports

Runs, Roses, and Thorns

The 2019 Kentucky Derby (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Here is a sportscast for you, but it begins with Game of Thrones. How can it not, in a way? My gurus, plus our producer, were talking about it off air. All of America is talking about it. I have never seen an episode, but hope to sit down with the whole show one day.

Anyway, it was great to hear the gurus talk GoT. (Later, they would talk GOAT, i.e., LeBron James.) It was like listening to a foreign language that you can discern bits and pieces in.

The gurus in question are two regulars — David French and Vivek Dave — and one irregular, a ringer, a special guest star: Sally Jenkins, the columnist for the Washington Post. She wrote a rip-roaring, thoroughly Jenkinsesque column about the Kentucky Derby. So we discuss that — both Saturday’s race and horse racing in general. Sally and others cry foul.

Then we get into college basketball, and this year’s March Madness, which was really good — especially mad. Does a tournament like this help the medicine of college-hoops corruption go down? (Yes.)

This very day, Tiger Woods will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House. Too soon? Should it have waited until he was an elder statesman, as Arnie and Jack were when they received the medal? Also, should athletes get this medal at all? (David, in particular, raises this point.)

Speaking of White House visits: Alex Cora, the manager of the Boston Red Sox, has declined to go. Is that kosher? In 1993, some Ryder Cuppers balked at going to the White House, unenthusiastic about shaking President Clinton’s hand. I thought that was kind of cool. Was I wrong to think that? Was I, in fact, uncool?

In due course, we talk Major League Baseball. What if you, like me, are unhappy with your team? (For reasons unrelated to wins and losses.) Do you just work through it? Adopt another team? The panel gets into the tricky psychology of fandom.

Then we get into the NBA: its playoffs, its personalities, and so on.

At the end of the podcast, I ask our gurus a question: Who is a player, of any sport, who is not an All-Star, not a big deal, but one you especially admire regardless?

I got a kick out of listening to Sally, Vivek, and David, and I bet you will too. Again, here.

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