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By Katie Halper-Bogusky Someone hands you flowers as you step up to the top tier of a three-tiered Olympic rostrum. You can hardly hear your country’s national anthem over the deafening cheers from the crowd. You wave to thousands of people in the arena and millions around the globe as your country’s flag is raised behind you. You’ve been here before. In fact, you’ve already done this 27 times. You are the most decorated Olympian in history....

Tom Brady, who is implicated in an NFL investigation into whether his team intentionally deflated footballs used in the AFC Championship Game in January. Photo by Keith Allison. Used under Creative Commons license. By Mike Kuczkowski In Week 7 of what was a tough 2014 NFL season, Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady was ticked off. It was halftime, October 16. Patriots v. Jets. At home. New England was up 17-12, in a surprisingly feisty matchup. At the time, the Patriots...

By Mike Kuczkowski He’s baaaack! Bill Simmons, the bad boy of podcasting, has returned to the studio and is churning out his commentary on Vegas’ National Football League lines again, along with podcasts on basketball and various other pop culture topics. I feel like Don Imus has returned to WFAN after racist comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team, or Billy Martin is back in the Yankee dugout. Actually, I don't feel that way at all. Simmons is nothing like...

By Mike Kuczkowski That ESPN and the NFL each face criticism for their handling of employee discipline underscores the unpredictable nature of the modern crisis, and how important performance in the face of unexpected events has become the measure of crisis response. The league has botched a series of incidents of domestic violence and child abuse involving its players. Most notably, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had to backpedal aggressively in the wake of criticism of his suspension of...

By Mike Kuczkowski Derek Jeter has done a lot of amazing things on a baseball diamond. He’s amassed more than 3,450 hits, the sixth most of all time. He’s played more games and has more hits at shortstop than anyone, ever. And, he has won five World Series rings, most among active players. With Jeter, though, it’s not so much about what he’s accomplished, but about how he’s accomplished it. Diving into the stands face first at full...

Photo credit: Keith Allison, via Creative CommonsBy Mike Kuczkowski Since entering the NBA 11 years ago, LeBron James has been described as the heir to Michael Jordan – big shoes to fill, given that Jordan is widely recognized as the greatest player of all time. And James has fulfilled much of the promise. Like Jordan, James possesses tremendous physical gifts, is incredibly competitive and has dominated his era. Each has been described as a basketball genius. When it comes...