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The NFL’s continuing female trouble

Well, just when you think gender news couldn’t be any more depressing in this “election cycle” – “Is that what we’re calling it?” one wag asked me – comes word that New York Giants kicker Josh Brown was released from the team Tuesday after new information surfaced that he had assaulted his then-wife, Molly, two dozen times, including at least once when she was pregnant. After a botched initial NFL investigation that in effect blamed Molly Brown for not cooperating – yes, always good to blame the victim – Josh Brown was suspended for a big one game.

“He’s admitted to us that he’s abused his wife in the past,” the Giants co-owner John K. Mara said Thursday (Oct. 20) on WFAN in New York. 

“And I think that’s what’s a little unclear, is the extent of that.”

Translation: It was OK for the Giants to resign Brown, because he may have knocked around the missus only a bit some time ago. ...

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My big fat Greek odyssey, Part III: Drama in Pella

As fabulous as the Times Journeys’ “The Legacy of Alexander the Great” was thus far, I still wasn’t feeling Alexander. Athens had never been a home to him, even after he  sent the city 300 Persian shields – a brutal souvenir of the victorious opening gambit in his quest to conquer the Persian Empire, the Battle of the Granicus. Plutarch – and tour leader David Ratzan – tell us that Alexander signed the tribute “Alexander, son of Philip and all the Greeks except the Spartans,” the Spartans rarely taking part in anything the other city-states, especially archrival Athens, did.

You get the sense that perhaps Alexander was doing a bit of kissing up to the Athenians, who saw him, Philip and the rest of the Macedonians as rough-hewn arrivistes. (It’s the reason that Oliver Stone cleverly had the Greeks speak with British accents in his movie “Alexander” and the Macedonians speak with Irish ones, the idea being that the Greeks looked down at the Macedonians just as the British have looked down on the Irish.) ...

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Trump: Making America (Alexander the) Great again?

Some years ago when I was senior cultural writer for Gannett Inc., I interviewed Donald Trump via email for a story on – wait for it – leadership. Among the questions I asked was why he named the most expensive suite in the Trump Taj Mahal Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. after Alexander the Great – a passion and study of mine since childhood. His answer was typically Trumpian: “Because he’s the best, and it’s the best.”

I thought of that as I read Richard Conniff’s piece, “Donald Trump and Other Animals,” in the Week in Review section of the Sunday New York Times. In it, Conniff quotes a passage from his “The Natural History of the Rich: A Field Guide” that Trump used in the introduction to his book “Trump: Think Like A Billionaire" ...

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