I proposed abolishing boxing because it was bad for the brain, but boxers were generally so decent that I loved being around the gyms.
In New York, I run into Packers fans who have never lived in Wisconsin, Canadiens fans who have never lived in La Belle Province, Celtics fans who admire Russell and Bird and Pierce but have no trace of a Boston accent.
The football playoffs feature one-off affairs, without bad feelings building from weekend to weekend. In addition, football uses platoons for offense and defense and kicking, so only the interior linemen have a chance to really get up close and personal with one another.
Hockey suffers from being compared to itself in ways that other sports are not. Every four years, some of us fawn over Olympic hockey, a great event with bigger rinks, minimal goonishness and national pride in addition to the heightened skills of veritable all-star squads.
In the late '60s, Senator Charles E. Goodell, Republican of New York, spoke out against the Vietnam War, bringing on the wrath of the Nixon administration and, as it turned out, the disaffection of conservative voters.
Three of the brightest baseball pitchers of their times staged comebacks without much success - David Cone, Jim Bouton and Jim Palmer - but there was room to admire their quixotic gesture.
To this day, while maintaining a healthy respect for the Giants and Jets and other teams I cover, I admit to checking the results every Monday to see how the Bears did.
When Casey Stengel was putting his mark on all four New York baseball teams, he came off as many things. I have to admit I never thought of him as anybody's uncle.
Lance Armstrong has joined the legion of the lost, the great athletes who were barred or exiled for sins admitted or charged or suspected.
For years, I advised George Steinbrenner to get out of town because he dishonored my hometown with his bullying and bombast.
In August 1945, a former Army pilot with an artificial leg pitched five and a third innings for Washington against Boston. This would turn out to be Bert Shepard's only major league game, and it remains one of the heartwarming moments in baseball history.
Into La Bombonera danced the most agile, rhythmic, beautiful, sensuous people I have ever seen. And that was just the fans.
Every spring, this happens: People discover hockey when daylight lasts longer and men grow beards and tie games do not end in shootouts but rather continue until a goal is scored. The seventh game only heightens the mood for players and fans alike.
All our lives are enriched by the leadership and excellence and confidence of female athletes, whether the Mia Hamms and Maya Moores we know or the field hockey, lacrosse and track and field athletes we do not necessarily know.
In 1949, I saw a World War II veteran named Lou Brissie, who had nearly lost a lower leg in combat, pitch in the All-Star Game in Brooklyn.
Whether or not anybody had invented the category in his lifetime, Babe Ruth was surely the Greatest Living Yankee almost immediately upon lofting home runs at the Polo Grounds, allowing the Yankees to build their own palace across the Harlem River.
When I was working on the unauthorized biography 'Stan Musial: An American Life,' which came out in 2011, old opponents recalled how Musial knew their names after they had been in the majors only a few days.