Maria Sharapova bidding to control the narrative at a March 7 news conference in LA, announcing her positive test for meldonium // photo Getty Images

Maria Sharapova bidding to control the narrative at a March 7 news conference in LA, announcing her positive test for meldonium // photo Getty Images

Olympics

Thoughts at tax time of $26 million budgets

The mind wanders as our friends at the U.S. tax agency, the Internal Revenue Service, prepare to say thanks ever so much for the notion of taxes being the mark of civilization, or something. In that spirit, here are 10 things to think about:

1. You want to get serious, really serious, in the anti-doping campaign? Let’s see governments step up their financial support of the World Anti-Doping Agency. WADA’s annual budget is roughly $26 million. For comparison, that’s annual revenue of the sort the university athletic departments at Texas-San Antonio or New Hampshire work with, according to a USA Today survey. Let’s see what might happen were WADA to run with money along the lines of annual athletic department revenues at Oregon ($196 million), Texas ($161 million) or Michigan ($157 million), the top three in that survey. And here’s a telling stat: Ohio State’s athletic department received more in donations than WADA’s entire budget — $28.2 million of its $145.2 million annual revenue.

Tiger Woods in the ski mask, all incognito-like in a skeleton-patterned ski mask, in the finish area at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy // photo Getty Images

Tiger Woods in the ski mask, all incognito-like in a skeleton-patterned ski mask, in the finish area at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy // photo Getty Images

Olympics

Kobe, Tiger, Lindsey, Rita, First Amendment and more

A quick quiz. How are Kobe Bryant and I alike? For starters, let’s count the ways in which we’re not: he makes $25 million a year, has a cool nickname — Black Mamba — along with a way better jump shot and can dunk. The world has to be different for people who can dunk. I wouldn’t know.

That two-handed dunk Wednesday night, in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss (another loss) to the New Orleans Pelicans, apparently proved too much. Like me — aha! — he has a bad right shoulder. Him: torn rotator cuff. Me: torn labrum. Me: surgery last Thursday (thank you, Dr. Keith Feder). Kobe: got examined Friday, and now will be examined again Monday, probably out for the season if he, too, needs surgery.

Uncategorized

Maggie Steffens: time to shine

Under the lights last week in Irvine, Calif., in the second period of a FINA World League Prelims game against Canada, the score tied at 3, the Americans on offense, Team USA attacker Maggie Steffens was lurking about seven meters from the goal. In basketball terms, she was on the left side, at the top of the key. The ball swung her way.

Again, think basketball. When Kobe Bryant gets the ball like that, what happens? It’s catch-and-shoot.

Uncategorized

Track and field — going nowhere fast in the United States

A friend and I were sitting outside at a great little restaurant in Eugene, Oregon, on Friday when some dude with his shirt off, two feathers pasted to the back of his head, went riding by on a bicycle, smoke billowing around him. The feathers were black and red. Each was at least two feet long.

Not sure what kind of smoke it was but many fine people in Eugene are often, you know, mellow.