The Clarion, Vol. 81, Issue #7 - Sept. 30, 2015 - Brevard College

Sep 30, 2015 - began installing a new BroadSoft phone system to BC on ... “This phone system has been ... NOC hosted live music, events and competitions.
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September 23, 2015



| The Clarion

Volume 81, Issue 7 Web Edition


Turn to page 4 for Plan Your Future Day information! September 30, 2015

Sports: A human condition By Jordan Laws

Staff Writer News flash: men like sports even more than sex—especially golfers, who, if given a choice between spending the night with the most beautiful woman in the world or shooting below par, would choose the latter. That revelation, true of 81 percent of golfers responding to a “very expensive and very serious survey” conducted by bestselling author and sports commentator Frank Deford, was one of many such tidbits Deford revealed Thursday night as part of his lecture titled “Sports: The Hype and the Hypocrisy.” He spoke at the Porter Center for the 2015 J.R. McDowell Speaker Series sponsored by the Transylvania County Library Foundation and BC. The auditorium was filled with community members, a few BC students and even a few high school students. Throughout the evening, Deford told joke after joke, anecdote after anecdote. He focused more on hype than hypocrisy, but even that was only briefly discussed. Sports is definitely a staple in the American diet, but Deford said it’s not specific to any country—it is, he said, “a human condition” that runs deep into the fibers of our being. “For all its abuses and excesses,” Deford said, “sports is truly a unifying element—it brings people together. It is the lingua franca of the whole world.” Around the world, cultures are imbued with a love of sports and some countries see it as a chance to prove their worth. Deford told a story about when he was in Cameroon covering the 1990 World Cup from the point of view of spectators. When the impoverished African nation scored the first goal against England, Deford said, a fat lady standing in the street nearby began dancing with him. The jubilation was short-lived. England won the game and despair could be felt all around Cameroon, Deford said. “Sports could never matter as much to us as it did to those poor people on that day,” he said. “I never really understood the power of sport until that day.” Even now, a photograph of that woman dancing with him in Cameroon that day is the only

Photo by James Whaley

Sports commentator Frank Deford sits during an extended Q&A in the Porter Center after his presentation, answering questions ranging from “Is marching band a sport?” to “ Are you more proud of the accomplishment of bringing cystic fibrosis to the forefront of American media or commentating for decades?”

sports photograph Deford keeps in his office, he said. That’s the epitome of sports hype: when a country that has nothing can be equal with a country that has everything, just for a night. If sports can make two economically contrasting countries equal then it can make men and women equal also, and Deford recanted a conversation he had with tennis player Billie Jean King that addresses this point. “King was reminiscing about winning Wimbledon for the first time, and she said Frank you just can’t imagine it,” Deford said. But he said that he could imagine it and King looked at him like he was insane. “Anyone who’s played team games knows what that’s like,” Deford said. “Playing those games in front of my friends, my family and my girlfriend, that was the whole world to me like the whole real world was to you at Wimbledon.” King just shook her head. “No, you really struck a raw nerve with me Frank. The one regret that I have is that I could never even play on a team growing up because they didn’t let girls have teams at school then,” King said. She went on to say, “It doesn’t matter how famous I am, until the women's sports had a popular team game that we can never begin to approach athletic equity with men.” Deford also talked about hypocrisy, mainly in regard to college sports, the NCAA, and the

attempts to enforce “amate