Keith Strudler

Keith Strudler: Another Biting Commentary

Jun 25, 2014

Having my youngest of two boys three years into daycare and headed to pre-K, I’m well familiar with the kinds of behaviors that earn you a note sent home to parents. Hitting’s one. Certain adult language is another. But the gold standard of all pink slips is, of course, biting. Bite another kid, and your parents get something approaching a police report, and the other parents get a note branding you a common criminal. Hitting and name calling are bad, but biting is flat out felonious.

Keith Strudler: U.S. Gets A Win At World Cup

Jun 18, 2014

Take that, Ghana. After ending the run for the US men’s soccer team in the last two World Cups, we’ve finally struck back, defeating the Black Stars in our opening match of this event – and yes, national soccer teams do in fact have official names. That precious victory puts them in reasonable standing to survive their competitive preliminary group, known as the group of death, and advance to the round of 16. They’ll be up against Germany and Portugal, both of whom are more highly regarded than the Yanks. Regardless, the US took a critical first step in beating both the competition and their demons, reminding the soccer world that the last remaining superpower could in fact defeat a team from the world’s 85th largest economy.

Keith Strudler: Help Wanted - No Experience Required

Jun 11, 2014

For everyone who sits at home at watches, let’s say the Knicks, and thinks they could do a better job coaching the team than whatever clown they’ve got, here’s the good news. You may someday have a chance. Because it seems one of the historic barriers to getting the job, years of coaching experience, is no longer important. In fact, you don’t need to have coached a single basketball game in your life. Just ask Derek Fisher, the newly crowned coach of the Knicks. He’s never coached before, and now he’s got perhaps the biggest job in the sport. Same goes for Steve Kerr, who left the broadcast booth for his first coaching gig, head coach of the Golden State Warriors. Gone are the padded resumes and decades of apprenticeships. Gone are the so-called recycled candidates, coaches who’ve already led two or three other NBA teams. Here are the days of new faces and out-of-the-box thinking, which is one of the world’s most ambiguous catch phrases.

Keith Strudler: The NBA Finals

Jun 4, 2014

It’s cliché to say something is more than just a game. Or in this case, more than just a series. But for the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals, it is truly more than simply the sum of its parts.

Keith Strudler: A Buyer's Market For Olympics

May 28, 2014

Consider this the Olympic winter clearance sale. For the time being, the International Olympic Committee will be seriously slashing the entry fee to have your very own nation host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Historically, the price tag to buy one of these luxury items has been uniquely high. In fact, Russia just spent some $51 billion hosting the winter games in Sochi. And for that price, they got a whole bunch of unfinished buildings, a massive dog round up, and a whole lot of negative press. Given that, there seems to be a remarkable drought in potential buyers of Sochi’s legacy. While the 2018 Winter Games were long ago awarded to South Korea, the bidding for the 2022 event is ongoing as we speak. And it seems, unlike recent history, it’s a buyer’s market.

Keith Strudler: Lucy Li

May 21, 2014

You have a bar mitzvah at 13. A quinceanara at 15. A debutante ball at 16. All of these are formal proclamations of adulthood that come before the American legal tender of 18, which of course is before the drinking age of 21 and being able to rent a car at 25. But all of these feel senior compared to the new standard age of adulthood for women’s golf. And that age is 11, which is the age of Lucy Li of Redwood Shores, California. Li last week qualified for the US Women’s Open Championships, one of the sport’s major tournaments. She’ll technically compete as an amateur, but she’ll face pro golfers far older and more seasoned.  She’s the youngest to ever qualify for the Open, taking that title from Lexi Thompson, who did so at age 12 in 2007.

Keith Strudler: Michael Sam And The NFL Draft

May 14, 2014

Last week we released a Marist Poll that looked at the NFL draft. In particular, we looked at what football fans thought would happen to Michael Sam, whether the fact that he came out would affect where a team might select him. Overwhelmingly, 65% of football fans thought his sexual orientation would have no impact on where the defensive lineman from Missouri would be selected. Only 25% though it would make teams less likely to pick him.

Keith Strudler: NFL Draft Probability

May 7, 2014

The NFL draft isn’t just an exercise in bizarre hiring practices. And it’s not simply the world’s most public meat market, although that is what it seems, with all the measuring and prodding and touching the merchandise of typically scantily clad men. Perhaps that makes it society’s answer to the swimsuit calendar, where the male physique is as quantified and deconstructed as the female form, even for entirely different purposes.

Keith Strudler: NBA Bans Clippers Owner

Apr 30, 2014

Adam Silver looked about as comfortable as a kid during his Bar Mitzvah. But for Silver, there would be no party at the end or a stack of checks to build his college fund. Just a room full of questions from hungry journalists, any of whom could ask the question that submarined Silver’s legacy before he’s even bought his own office furniture. The stakes were as high as they could be for a league that thrives on dramatic finishes. And Silver was all alone with the ball in his hands.

Keith Strudler: Of God And Football

Apr 23, 2014

Here’s the good news. If you’re Mormon, or Muslim, or Jewish, you can play football at Clemson University. In fact, you can play even if you don’t believe in God at all. That is according to Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, who said that he recruits players of all faiths, even those with no faith. Now, he’s had to clarify that because it’s recently come to light that Clemson football, while open to all comers, does have a more active calendar for those who may be Christian.

Keith Strudler: The Return Of Michael Phelps

Apr 16, 2014

Welcome back Michael Phelps. After a year or two on dry land, it seems you’ve reentered your natural habitat.

Keith Strudler: Masiello Limps Back To Manhattan

Apr 9, 2014

The last few weeks have been rocky for Steve Masiello, to say the least. It started back in early March, when the Manhattan College head men’s basketball coach led the Jaspers to a berth in the NCAA tournament, where they almost upended the highly regarded Louisville Cardinals. On the backs of that, Masiello was offered the head coaching spot at the University of South Florida, a step into the big leagues for the high rising 36-year-old.

Keith Strudler: Tiger Surgery

Apr 2, 2014

Not to complain, but I’ve got a bad back right now. It’s nothing terrible, but just another reminder that I’m not 25 anymore. And that I shouldn’t carry either televisions nor four year old boys several city blocks.

Darron Cummings / AP

We’re fresh off opening day for Major League Baseball, smack in the middle of a bracket-busting NCAA tourney and we may have witnessed history with a decision to allow college football players to unionize. Here with us to talk it through is our very own sports commentator and Marist College Center for Sports Communication Director Keith Strudler.

Keith Strudler: UAlbany At "The Big Dance"

Mar 19, 2014

For all those in the Albany area that consider themselves fans of the U Albany Great Danes men’s basketball team, today is your day. Today is the day after your school’s first ever NCAA tournament victory, albeit one that came in the second-tier first round, or play-in game as it’s more commonly known, where the worst teams in the tournament play for the right to join the square field of 64. They handled Mount St. Mary’s last night, and early this morning landed in Orlando where tomorrow they’ll take on the #1 ranked Florida Gators, a team that’s won 26 straight and the SEC regular and tournament championships. For the sake of comparison, Albany did not win a single game against a team from a so-called “power conference,” even using the term loosely.

Keith Strudler: Phil Jackson In NYC

Mar 12, 2014

I don’t know if you can home again. But you can go back. At least that’s my take on Phil Jackson, since New York can’t truly be his only home, even with the considerable career he enjoyed as a player with the New York Knicks. But for someone who’s fairly synonymous with Chicago and the Bulls, and someone who won a fist full of titles coaching the Los Angeles Lakers, it’s hard to consider New York his only base. As someone recently told me when I asked where Pele the soccer player lives, Phil Jackson lives everywhere.

Keith Strudler: Politics And The Paralympics

Mar 5, 2014

If you’re an American winter Olympian, you should be happy about one thing – that Russia waited until after the Sochi Olympic Games to roll troops into the Ukraine. So technically, Russia didn’t break the nearly irrelevant Olympic truce that harkens the ethos of the ancient games, where at least for two weeks or so, countries withhold from attacking other countries. Now that the final medal has been awarded, all bets are off on that front, not that Russia hasn’t violated that pact before, as recent as the 2008 Summer Games when Vladimir Putin led an invasion of Georgia the eve of the opening ceremonies.

Keith Strudler: Language, Culture And The NFL

Feb 26, 2014

WAMC sports commentator Keith Strudler discusses the National Football League's newest penalty. 

Keith Strudler: Sports Mount Rushmore

Feb 19, 2014

So for the record, there are no actual Mount Rushmores for sports. There’s no baseball Rushmore, with Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron chiseled into some rock ledge. And there’s no mountain with Johnny Unitas next to Jim Brown. So any discussion of the Mount Rushmore of any sport is purely hypothetical, as are many sports debates.

Keith Strudler: Michael Sam

Feb 12, 2014

 It’s easy to root for Michael Sam. The Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year came from beginnings beyond humble, with most his siblings are either dead or in jail. His parents split, and he ended up the first in his family to even consider college, much less make it there on a football scholarship to Missouri. He came to campus as an average talent, undersized and anonymous. And after years of work, he led the SEC in sacks and tackles for a loss and now stands on the precipice of making an NFL roster as a star defensive end. He avoided the pitfalls that could have stopped him at any point, from childhood to emergent star on campus, to win the American lottery of sorts, to avoid the plague of poverty that sticks like a contagion in too many disadvantaged families. That, in itself, makes Michael Sam the kind of guy you’d like to cheer for.

Keith Strudler: Olympic Games Are Not Quite Ready

Feb 5, 2014

So what if you threw a party, and no one came? Ask Vladimir Putin about that. He’s got a big old party going on right now in Sochi, a term that now invokes sentiment far beyond its Olympic ideal. In now a matter of hours, Sochi will begin its two weeks hosting the Winter Olympic Games, an event that’s been so long in the making it feels like it should already be over.

Keith Strudler: Union For College Athletes?

Jan 29, 2014

It is Super Bowl Week, only four days before an excuse to eat nachos with four kinds of cheese and sandwiches on colored bread. Super Bowl week is like a giant vacuum. It pretty much sucks up all the attention for the greater part of everyone’s waking hours. If it doesn’t have Super Bowl tie, it’s not likely to get much press this week.

Keith Strudler: Being Richard Sherman

Jan 22, 2014

Know this. Professional sports and bravado are related constructs, if not synonyms. There’s a whole lot of reasons for that, starting with the fact that it takes a whole lot of ego to honestly believe you’re the best in the world at anything, much less something that typically involves direct physical conflict. For example, it’s probably tough to be the world’s leading Proust scholar, to steal from Little Miss Sunshine.  And not a whole lot of people know Proust. Imagine believing you can run down the street faster than anyone else. That’s a whole lot of self-confidence behind that blazing speed, which is why watching the promenade towards the starting blocks of the Olympic 100 meter final is like watching peacocks show their feathers. At some point, you better believe it if it’s going to be true.

Keith Strudler: Alex Rodriguez

Jan 15, 2014

In life, it’s often advantageous to be selfish. It’s a sad truism of personal advancement. Think about the guy in the office that only pads his own resume, at the expense of helping the team. He’s the one with multiple job offers and an executive salary, while the rest of the team keeps the place running. It’s unfortunate, but too often true.

Keith Strudler: Charlie Strong

Jan 8, 2014

Charlie Strong may have had the shortest honeymoon in the history of modern relationships. On Monday, Strong was announced as the new head football coach at the University of Texas, a job that’s been portrayed as ever so slightly more important and prestigious than that of the Pope. By all accounts, it is the premier college football coaching post in the country, although several top candidates from other schools, including Alabama’s Nick Saban and Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher, politely declined an interview. But Strong, straight off a successful run at the helm at Louisville, took the job and its $5 million annual salary. With that, he also gets the potential headache of managing the university’s own sports network and an alumni base as rich as it is powerful. It’s by no means a cakewalk, which is why, as they say, he’ll get paid the big bucks.

Keith Strudler: Terror And The Olympics

Jan 3, 2014

In a New Year’s announcement, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach declared that “terrorism must never triumph” and that Russia would host a “safe and secure” Winter Olympic Games next month. Like most New Year’s resolutions, we can only hope this rings true. For the current time, it seems a lofty goal. Just Monday, the Russian city of Volgograd suffered its second suicide bombing in 24 hours, this one on a passenger bus killing at least 16 people. The previous day’s attack killed at least 18 at a rail station. Both appear linked to Chechen rebels and a movement to attack civilians in route to disrupting next month’s Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. While these attacks happened hundreds of miles away from the Olympic site, if the radical rhetoric is to be believed, these are just part of a larger process of eventually infiltrating the Olympic sites and venues themselves, something that hasn’t happened in any wide scale in the history of the Modern Olympic Games.

U.S. Department of Defense / Glenn Fawcett

The New Year—in addition to a monster snow storm—is bringing with it some exciting sports news. Notably, the BCS championship between Auburn and Florida State kicking off Monday night, and the rapid approach of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. We’re talking sports today with our WAMC Sports Commentator Keith Strudler.  

Keith Strudler: Kobe Like Mike In All The Wrong Ways

Dec 25, 2013

Over the years, we’ve heard a fair amount of comparisons between Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Who’s the greatest ever, how do Kobe’s titles hold up to MJ’s, who’s more historic. That aside, here’s one striking similarity between the pair of two-guards. At this particular time, neither of them are playing NBA basketball.

Keith Strudler: Football Hero/Football Zero

Dec 18, 2013

It you watched the closing moments of last week’s football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers, you may have felt like you had seen it before, like it was a scene out of Groundhog Day. For those who missed it, the plotline went something like this. Dallas quarterback Tony Romo led his team to the brink of victory, only to gamble it away with a series of ill-conceived, unnecessarily risky passes that resulted in game altering interceptions. Specifically here, all Dallas really had to do in the closing minutes of the game was simply run the ball and run the clock. But Romo, forever the gunslinger, threw wildly into defensive traffic. Green Bay picked it off, scored the go-ahead touchdown, and revived a narrative that’s older than the Cowboys’ stadium itself.


Today sports commentator Keith Strudler discusses problems fans might face heading to this year’s Super Bowl in New Jersey.