Mark Starr

Stories by Mark Starr

  • Why Curt Schilling Could Win Teddy's Seat

    There were a lot of smirks adorning the faces of Bostonians yesterday morning, presumably a collective judgment on the revelation that retired Red Sox pitching ace Curt Schilling is contemplating a run for the late Teddy Kennedy’s Senate seat. Of course, those are probably many of the same folks who gave up the ghost back in 2004 when Schilling, bleeding team colors from an ankle tendon that had been stitched up in Rube Goldberg fashion, limped out to the mound against the New York Yankees in a desperate moment on Boston’s path to its first championship in 86 years. So could Schilling’s path to Washington and Congress be any more improbable than that?...
  • Starr: Bonds, Steroids and Guilt

    Barry Bonds's perjury trial starts Monday. I don't know what the verdict will be, but I do know what the truth is. So do you.
  • Starr: Watching Phelps Win His 8 Olympic Golds

    My favorite venue at the Summer Olympics in Beijing was the Water Cube, especially at night, when its lights bathed the pathways in soft but colorful purple hues. But stuck inside for nine days, with hundreds of reporters crammed in the bowels of the building, it lost all charm. That was the prospect we all faced if Michael Phelps succeeded in his audacious chase of a record eight Olympic gold medals. Frankly, swimming has never been the sexiest of sports—and even less so now, with the athletes encased in those full-body Speedos. While Phelps may have been the greatest swimming machine in history, he remained a bland, though courteous, young man whose interview range didn't extend much beyond his eating and sleeping habits or, if he stretched, videogames.So, to be honest, many of us on press row were hoping for an early loss to put an end to the Phelps Watch and spring us from the pool. There were other, more intriguing athletes beckoning—Kobe & Co. on the basketball court,...
  • The Biggest Sports Stories Of 2008

    Here's a little fodder for your holiday gatherings: Might not this have been the greatest year in sports history?
  • Starr: Are the Patriots Done?

    In which I reveal my deepest, darkest fear: what if the Super Bowl loss was, in fact, the beginning of the end?
  • Fast Chat With NY Giants Coach Tom Coughlin

    He was a dead man walking, soon to be fired. Instead, New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin led his team to a stunning Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots, a story he recounts in his new book, "A Team to Believe In." Ever a good sport, NEWSWEEK's Mark Starr, a lifelong Pats fan, spoke with Coughlin as the new NFL season kicks off this week. ...
  • Starr: Manny Ramirez and the Hall of Fame

    I confess I have, at times, been quite amused by the former Red Sox outfielder's antics. But ultimately we are talking about a character flaw that should weigh on any assessment of Ramirez's career.
  • Olympic Preview: Doping and Marion Jones

    The games are still more than a week away and would-be Olympians—from the United States to Bulgaria to China—have already tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. And no doubt more Olympic athletes will flunk drug tests in Beijing. Doping has been part of the Olympics for almost a half century now, and nobody believes Beijing will be an exception. That said, athletes there will be subjected to more tests than ever before—an "anywhere, any time" standard is now in force. Testing methods have also been improved, though only the scientists know exactly how much, as anti-doping forces have been deliberately vague about their capabilities. They have revealed, though, that for the first time they'll be conducting blood tests looking for human growth hormone.At the least, uncertainty could serve as a deterrent. So, too, might the dramatic fall from grace of former Olympic queen Marion Jones, whose role in the BALCO scandal turned her into a felon. She has been stripped of all five...
  • Hot Rivalry: The U.S.-China Gold-Medal Rush

    From its inception, Beijing 2008 was ballyhooed as a nation's coming-out party, one that would presage the Chinese Century. But you don't get your very own century without first establishing supremacy in international sports. Four years ago in Athens, China finished a surprising second in Olympic gold medals, ahead of Russia and just four behind the United States. If subsequent world titles are any indication, we might look back on Beijing 2008 as the moment when China surged past the United States in the gold-medal count for the first time—and never looked back.Ever since these Games were awarded to Beijing back in 2001, China has invested billions in sports development. The centerpiece has been an effort called Project 119, which targeted multiple-medal sports—swimming, track and field, rowing and canoeing—in which China has traditionally lagged. (The number 119 represented the total gold medals initially up for grabs in the targeted sports; in Beijing, those sports will actually...
  • Olympic Preview: Track and Field

    There are only two things in Beijing bigger than 7-foot-6 hoops star Yao Ming: the Great Wall—and hurdler Liu Xiang. Liu's victory in the 110-meter hurdles in Athens was arguably the most surprising of China's 32 gold medals there, and unquestionably the most celebrated back home. No Chinese man had ever before won Olympic gold in track and field, and his triumph turned him into a folk hero, not to mention a pop icon. Liu's face is splashed across billboards and milk cartons, turning him into a one-man metaphor for China's emerging athletic and economic supremacy. The nation is poised for a coronation—make that a deification—on Aug. 21 if Liu can repeat his triumph. But there are some unexpected hurdles in his path. For one, Liu has to prove he's recovered from a hamstring injury that forced him out of a race in June. The bigger worry is Dayron Robles, a 21-year-old Cuban who has blossomed this year and broke Liu's world record. Now a nation frets that Aug. 21 could instead be a day...
  • Summer Olympics Preview: Dara Torres

    The Summer of 1984, Los Angeles: A year before Michael Phelps was even born, hometown girl Dara Torres, just 17, won an Olympic gold medal in the 4x100 meter freestyle relay. Three golds, one silver and four bronzes later, Torres, now 41, will become the first U.S. swimmer to compete in five Olympics. Consider: the last time she reached the Games—Sydney in 2000—she was already the team's oldest swimmer. In Beijing, where Torres will race the 50-meter freestyle and two relays, the second oldest swimmer on the team will be 26-year-old Amanda Beard. The saga of Torres, our ageless wonder, has become a fan favorite.But while everyone is impressed, not everyone is convinced. Some journalists have wondered aloud if this fairy tale is exactly that. They can't comprehend how Torres could swim the fastest 100 meters of her life—at her advanced age, after a lengthy retirement, and just two years after giving birth—without doping. Torres says she is clean, noting that she has volunteered for a...