Feb 28, 2011: The False Economy of Speed


Story orignially appeared Feb. 28, 2011 in the Toronto Star MORGAN CAMPBELL SPORTS REPORTER The 40-yard dash is the main event of the NFL Draft Combine, and the one test than can make or break the pre-draft process for receivers, cornerbacks and running backs. A fast time can make an unknown player draftable, while a slow … Continue reading

ABDB Ep. 6: Tribalism, Twitter and the new sports journalism


We return to the Penthouse for the most provocative episode yet. While Osama bin Laden’s death reveals that tribalism survives and thrives in North America, it also spawns some really shoddy sports journalism. Yours truly examines the three pillars on which good stories stand — Facts, Acts and Quotes — while the crew takes a … Continue reading

On blindingly fast 40-yard dashes


Told you guys I was back to doing the kind of work that made me (almost) famous in the first place. If you didn’t catch it originally at thestar.com, or when I re-posted on Twitter, click here to read my story on the NFL Combine and the sub-season it has spawned — combine training. After … Continue reading

Dec. 29, 2009: Video Fighting Words, Episode 3


Episode three finds us in the gym with Chris Johnson, Sam Vargas and Colin Fish. Discussing Mayweather and Pacquiao.

The Fight of Their Lives, Chapter 1: Shadow Boxing


Dec. 15, 2007 In the first instalment of a six-part series boxing trainer Chris Johnson and his young proteges learn that boxing’s not just about beating the guy across the ring: It’s about conquering the opponent within. A Battle Against the Opponent Within MORGAN CAMPBELL SPORTS REPORTER Chris Johnson paces like an expectant father as 3 … Continue reading

The Fight of Their Lives, Chapter 2: Pain and Glory


While Shavar works to shed ring rust, a prodigal boxer returns to Johnson’s gym. Dec. 16, 2007 A Boxer’s Pain and Glory MORGAN CAMPBELL SPORTS REPORTER Shavar Henry’s rope is a blur as he skips, its silver handles flashing with each flourish. Then he trips. And trips again. Then his iPod falls off his waistband … Continue reading

The Fight of Their Lives, Chapter 3: The Fight and the Fright


A national team training camp gives Steve Rolls a chance to prove to coaches — and to himself — that he can go blow-for-blow with Canada’s best amateur boxers. Dec 17, 1007 MORGAN CAMPBELL SPORTS REPORTER WINDSOR – Steve Rolls spears his sparring partner with a jab, then glides away untouched. A provincial champ last … Continue reading

The Fight of Their Lives Chapter 4: The Healing Power of Boxing


Chris Johnson’s final pro fight put him into a coma but a near-fatal brain injury didn’t dull his passion for boxing. In fact, he loves the sport more than ever because it’s his therapy. Dec. 18, 2007 MORGAN CAMPBELL SPORTS REPORTER Shavar Henry makes the hand pads sing, boxing by numbers with Chris Johnson calling … Continue reading

The Fight of Their Lives, Chapter 5: A Boxer’s Split Decision


At the provincical final Shavar Henry tests the limits of his fragile hand while Steve Rolls struggles to connect with his inner champion. Part five in a series. Dec. 19, 2007 MORGAN CAMPBELL SPORTS REPORTER WINDSOR – In the Holiday Inn ballroom, Shavar Henry trots into ring with a self-assured swagger, but he’s a bit … Continue reading

The Fight of Their Lives, Chapter 6: End of the Road?


In the series finale a newly confident Steve Rolls confronts tough opponents and even tougher questions about his future in the sport. MORGAN CAMPBELL SPORTS REPORTER RICHMOND, B.C. – Francy Ntetu marches forward, convinced he’ll crush the smaller man with his heavy hands. “Allez, Francy!” shouts a spectator in the sparse crowd at the River … Continue reading

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