I never watch 'Sopranos' reruns back home. As far as I am concerned, the nuclear family is still sitting around the luncheonette in New Jersey, munching and chatting, safe and together, and that's how it ended for me.
I never worried about getting stale because the news and the people induce freshness every working hour.
When Casey Stengel was putting his mark on all four New York baseball teams, he came off as many things. I have to admit I never thought of him as anybody's uncle.
Why is the N.F.L. so popular? The N.F.L. grew in the comfort zone after World War II. People had money and time. A popular American sport got bigger.
In North America, many fans know Cristiano Ronaldo's smirk and can recognize Didier Drogba in a commercial. Maybe they know too much for the good of M.L.S.
Baseball's postseason shifts from game to game because of starting pitchers and the geography of the ballparks.
When Sweden's Jan-Ove Waldner travels to China to play table tennis, he is mobbed when he leaves his hotel as if he were a rock star walking around Manhattan or a soccer star walking around Europe.
Sometimes, sport is just plain pleasing to the eye, like watching La Belle France flit by on television during the Tour de France. I can do that for hours.
Flo Hyman became America's best-known volleyball player with a faulty aorta, but she did not know it.
There is always a group of death in any World Cup. And it's a complement in a way to be in a group of death because it means that you're a good team also.
It is no fun lining up in your own building - as the hockey players say - and touching the hands of fellow stubbly louts who have just sent you off to the proverbial cabin on the lake.
Some religious guys in sports give the impression, 'I've got something you don't have.'
Weary soccer players just cannot run anymore and must resort to shootouts after 120 minutes when a result is mandatory, but men on skates can go indefinitely, no matter how badly it disrupts the television network's schedule.
Into La Bombonera danced the most agile, rhythmic, beautiful, sensuous people I have ever seen. And that was just the fans.
When I was a kid, my father brought home the autobiography of Sid Luckman, the great Chicago Bears quarterback - probably an extra copy from the sports department where he worked. It was the first sports biography I ever read.
I love hockey because of the respect for history and for the game itself.
I will always treasure the privilege of writing the 'Sports of The Times' column.
Some of the most inspiring moments in sports have come from players with physical defects. Tom Dempsey, born without toes on his right foot, kicked a 63-yard field goal in 1970, using a straighter, wider shoe.
It's a Stanley Cup thing. The boys mangle one another for a series, performing all kinds of nasty tricks, then they make nice, shaking soggy hands as the teams shuffle in opposite directions.
What is there about basketball that makes Larry Bird or Lenny Wilkens want to coach after their playing careers are done?
When the Mets were on their run in the 1980s, Gary Carter was often seen hugging somebody. It was easy to joke about that. The best hug of all was with Jesse Orosco at the end of the 1986 World Series.
No matter how many times it happens, the public always seems to be shocked when an athlete dies young, but the reality is, there are no promises.
Some people insist that hallowed professional teams should never change their nicknames.
I would never tell anybody to give up hockey - the great sports we have here - basketball, lacrosse - rugby coming into its own - we've got so many great team sports, and I say hold on to them.
I've seen elbows that broke eye sockets. I've seen a German goalkeeper just level a French guy. His teammates thought he was dead lying on the ground. This was in 1982 at my first World Cup. But a bite is outside any kind of contact collision: dirty foul play. A bite is a bite.
Some of us love hockey not just for its ferocity and skill but for its underlying code of civility off the ice.
In recent generations, women's sports have been a blessing. Some of us can remember the bad old days in the '50s, when we would discover in casual schoolyard play that a girl could outrun most of us or hold her own in basketball or hit a softball - but there were no teams, no coaches, for girls.
Every spring, this happens: People discover hockey when daylight lasts longer and men grow beards and tie games do not end in shootouts but rather continue until a goal is scored. The seventh game only heightens the mood for players and fans alike.
Lots of ballplayers have their own personal music blasted by the sound systems in modern ball parks.
I love Boston. I love Fenway Park. I love Red Sox history. But in no way am I a Red Sox fan.
Hockey historians say the handshake dates to English settlers in Canada, who preached an upper-class version of sportsmanship in the 19th century. Soon, tough kids in urban and prairie rinks began imitating imagined dukes and earls of the old country.
To this day, while maintaining a healthy respect for the Giants and Jets and other teams I cover, I admit to checking the results every Monday to see how the Bears did.
Three of the brightest baseball pitchers of their times staged comebacks without much success - David Cone, Jim Bouton and Jim Palmer - but there was room to admire their quixotic gesture.
Yankee caps pop up all over the world, not as a statement of loyalty to that team, but as a symbol of - what? Winning 27 so-called World Series? Much of the world doesn't even play that sport.
The Boys of Summer were heroes in Brooklyn for a full postwar decade partly because the players could not entertain higher offers.
For years, I have been harboring memories of my first major league game at a place named Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.
Having been aware of the Red Sox since the 1946 World Series, having been growled at by Ted Williams as a young reporter in 1960, having been present at the horror of 1986 and the comeback of 2004, I have seen the highs and lows of some other people's favorite team.
Lance Armstrong has joined the legion of the lost, the great athletes who were barred or exiled for sins admitted or charged or suspected.
Some great players, like Ted Williams and Stan Musial, had one more great hitting season left around the age of 40.
Most descriptions make Beijing sound overbuilt: not a blade of grass left.
Tom Seaver was let loose twice by the Mets and pitched a no-hitter for the Reds and won his 300th game for the White Sox, but he wears a Mets cap in the Hall of Fame as homage to the 1969 championship.
We all understand the economics of the Super Bowl - 10 or 12 minutes of the ball in motion will be stretched into three and a half hours or more of money-making commercials.
In New York, Kid Carter was pure vanilla for a city with stronger tastes.
Athletes are used to battling. The public would never learn their names if professional athletes had not shown courage at an early age. They learn they can overcome, but sometimes this becomes a false sense of security that leads them to the edge.
For years, I advised George Steinbrenner to get out of town because he dishonored my hometown with his bullying and bombast.
Under a pulsating full moon, the gussied-up Billie Jean King National Tennis Center seems much softer and prettier at night, with the fountains bubbling and fans without tickets to the big stadium sitting in the plaza and watching a big screen.
Pennant races drain the energy from the best of them. Old-fashioned baseball races are to me the most grueling daily test in any sport. Gotta keep coming out, every day, in the face of looming disaster.
All our lives are enriched by the leadership and excellence and confidence of female athletes, whether the Mia Hamms and Maya Moores we know or the field hockey, lacrosse and track and field athletes we do not necessarily know.
I've seen fire, and I've seen rain. I've also had to scramble over tundra to get to the Super Bowl and seen baseball turf fields that could fry a fielder's soles.