Milton Kent | WYPR

Milton Kent

Milton Kent hosted the weekly commentary Sports at Large from its creation in 2002 to its finale in July 2013. He has written about sports locally and nationally since 1988, covering the Baltimore Orioles, University of Maryland men's basketball, women's basketball and football, the Washington Wizards, the NBA, men's and women's college basketball and sports media for the Baltimore Sun and AOL Fanhouse.  He has covered the World Series, the American and National League Championship Series, the NFL playoffs, the NBA Finals and 17 NCAA men's and women's Final Fours. He currently teaches journalism at Morgan State University.

Email Milton

LeBron James proclaimed he was stunned that his 10-year-old son was already the subject of recruitment by college basketball coaches. James has to be acting if he wants to convince anyone that he’s not aware that recruiting of kids is going on. How could he not? The practice of attempting to attract youthful talent into the pipeline of sports has gone on for well over a century, back to the dawn of intercollegiate athletics.

Sad to say, a group of kids who desperately needed encouragement and positive reinforcement got the worst lesson of all last week: that the adults they thought they could trust to give them a moment of joy had instead exploited them.

In those first minutes and hours after the Ravens’ 35-31 loss to New England Saturday, there was a palpable sense of sorrow around town. And it was understandable. For three hours, fans had been taken on the proverbial roller coaster ride.

Let’s start 2015 with a little hypothetical: Let’s imagine that you’ve been driving a clunker for years and you finally have the opportunity to upgrade. But, instead of the sports car you’ve always wanted, you get a minivan.

Remember a few weeks ago, just after the Orioles lost to the Kansas City Royals in the American League Championship Series, when we wondered if the season the Birds had would be enough to forget the sting of coming up short in the quest for a World Series title?

    

Former Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush returned to the Detroit Lions lineup Sunday after an extended injury, but his biggest contribution came before the game.

Ray Rice's indefinite suspension from the NFL in September seemed at the time to be the last word on the subject. But a ruling last Friday from a retired federal judge sitting as an arbitrator overturning the suspension raises many more questions than it answered.


Signs of intelligent life are starting to emerge from College Park. First, there was the August announcement that the school would guarantee scholarships to student-athletes until graduation, regardless of how they perform on the playing field. Then, there was the decision of the Board of Regents of the University System that coaches’ bonuses would be tied to the academic performances of their teams. Now comes word that one of the great and historic buildings in all of college athletics may get a second life.

Perhaps you’ve seen the public service announcement where, Alex, a basketball player, realizes that he was the last to touch the ball before it went out of bounds in a critical late-game situation.

It Could Happen...

Sep 30, 2014

When the Orioles broke through into the American League playoffs two years ago for the first time in nearly a generation, the feeling around town was like parents watching their child perform in their first musical recital.

You’re just so darned happy that your kid is holding a violin that anything that comes out of it, even if it’s the wrong note, is OK.

It’s two years later and even if the Orioles weren’t expected to win the American League East when the 2014 campaign began, expectations have now been raised.

Last month, in a Baltimore hotel, Rob Manfred became baseball commissioner-elect.

Even if Marie Antoinette never actually said “Let them eat cake," the attitude of obliviousness towards the needs of the less fortunate certainly exists.

Sometimes, the measure of a good team lies not in what it does, but what it doesn’t do under pressure.

It isn’t often that you see a public figure, much less the commissioner of the National Football League, shrink before your very eyes.

Does a single bad act obliterate the good that a person has done over a period of time?

When baseball officials were looking for someone to take part in this year’s Home Run Derby portion of the All-Star Game celebration, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones wasted no time volunteering.

It’s always helpful to seek out other people’s thinking on big issues.

So, have you caught the fever yet?

I believe Daniel Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, when he says that he will never change the name of the team.

Every so often, we who regularly spend time with young people, whether it’s in a classroom setting or around the dinner table, would be wise to remember that they are young, capable of brilliant conduct in one moment and astoundingly silly behavior in the next.

Do college athletic departments need to share a piece of the pie? 

Last Tuesday’s game between Connecticut and Notre Dame for women’s college basketball’s national championship wasn’t much of an athletic contest.

Sometimes, I wonder if either I’ve lost my mind or if the world around me, or, at least that part of it that is attached to sports, isn’t going bat-guano crazy.

I’ve thought that my perception of things was reasonably sound, and based in some kind of reality. But maybe I’m wrong.

Perhaps, I’ve become the old man in slippers yelling for all the kids to get off my lawn, and the world has just moved to a more highly advanced place and left me behind.

Here are three names that should have dominated the sports headlines last week: Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas.  They are the names of the three players who were elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame for induction this summer.

Instead, the names that ruled were those of Dan LeBetard and Deadspin, and the fact that those names overshadowed those of Thomas, Maddux and Glavine says a lot about the state of journalism in general and sports journalism in particular in 2014.

Under normal circumstances, sports fans and teams from Baltimore don’t have to take a back seat to anyone around the country, least of all Bostonians. And we surely don’t need their advice.  But a column in a Boston newspaper last week offered counsel to the Orioles and their fans that made perfect sense.

Technically, the big gift giving day is Wednesday, but if you’re one of the thousands of college football players who will be playing in a bowl game, you’ll be receiving gifts well into the New Year.

  The city of Baltimore figures to wake up Tuesday morning in either a happy frame of mind or in the lousiest of moods, depending on the outcome of the Ravens game with Detroit Monday night.  But whether the Ravens’ playoff hopes are in critical condition or strengthened Tuesday, gridiron postseason fever around town will still be healthy.

Pages