What Ireland’s Abortion Referendum is Really About

This year Ireland will hold a referendum on the issue of abortion. The date has not yet been set but the vote will probably take place in May. Since 1983, enshrined in Article 8 of the Irish Constitution, there has been a constitutional ban on abortions taking place in the Irish Republic. This prohibition was [...]

Football: More Than Just a Game

Football is a deeply offensive sport. It is violent and triumphalist, and teaches young children that however nicely they play the game, winning still matters. More terrible still, a football team is a roiling cauldron of unvarnished masculinity. Hardly anyone even pretends to want women on the field. Football is an affront to everything progressives [...]

Football and Money

  In the great scheme of things — greater things than worldlings imagine on a trip to the mall — it doesn't matter a bit that Texas A & M and the University of Texas are winding up their celebrated Thanksgiving Day, football rivalry. What matters — maybe more than a little bit — is [...]

Recovering a Catholic Subculture

On the eve of the last Super Bowl, two men were discussing the great American ritual of watching football on television. The older man admitted that he just didn't do that anymore. In times past, he said, he'd seen his share of TV football, but twelve or fifteen years earlier he'd become aware that his [...]

A Front Yard Field of Dreams

I watched Chippy run down the lawn, across the neighbor's drive, and around the wall separating the drive from the yard.  As the small football was thrown in the air, I hoped it would come down to him with the point up, making it easier to catch. Years ago, I could make a ball do [...]

Truth, Lies, and Filmmaking

During all the soccer mania last week, I thought it would be a good time to watch The Damned United, the (very loose) story of the rise of Brian Clough, one of England's most successful (and colorful) football managers in the 1970s. It was a fun, lighthearted movie: Michael Sheen is fast becoming one of [...]

Remembering Johnny Unitas

Many years ago, I visited the Carmelite Monastery in the hard coal region of Pennsylvania as the nuns were preparing for their annual novena honoring their foundress, St. Theresa of Avila. They told me of various intentions they had received for the novena, especially one that puzzled them: "Please pray for the knees of Johnny [...]

What’s in a Name?

Michigan is nicknamed "The Wolverine State", so it came as a bit of a shock to me to hear today that our only known wolverine has been found dead. Wait a second.  Did that say, "Michigan's only known wolverine"?  We only had one?  Why on earth did we get that nickname then? Well, one story [...]


I don't mind football, as long as it's other mothers' sons who are crashing their bodies around the field. When it comes to my own sons' participation, however, I prefer gentler sports. Like chess. Thankfully, my oldest boys have thus far seemed content to play little league baseball, basketball, and various forms of amateur, no-holds-barred [...]

M. Night Shymalan’s Unbreakable Success

[Warning: This review contains spoilers] Shymalan's 1999 blockbuster, The Sixth Sense, took the movie going public by surprise. His previous film, the bril­liant but underappreciated Wide Awake (1998), had gone straight from lacklus­ter reviews to video-store oblivion, so Shymalan well-deserved the success and acclaim The Sixth Sense suddenly brought him. It made more than $250 [...]