Sports fans didn't want to miss Skeptics on February 11, when award-winning sportswriter Mike Vaccaro joined the Blair community in the Chiang-Elghanayan Center for Innovation and Collaboration. The lead sports columnist for The New York Post since 2002, Mr. Vaccaro discussed “Recent Issues in Sports,” beginning at 7 p.m.
Mr. Vaccaro, a journalism graduate of St. Bonaventure University, began his sports writing career in 1989 at the Olean Times Herald, where his primary beat was St. Bonaventure University basketball. Hired at the Northwest Arkansas Times two years later, he was, at the time, the youngest sports editor of a daily newspaper in the U.S. Mr. Vaccaro’s career continued at the Middletown Times Herald-Record, Kansas City Star and The Star-Ledger before he landed his current role at The New York Post.
Winner of more than 50 major journalism awards, Mr. Vaccaro has been cited for distinguished writing by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He is the author of two books, Emperors and Idiots: The Hundred Year Rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox, from the Very Beginning to the End of the Curse and 1941—The Greatest Year in Sports: Two Baseball Legends, Two Boxing Champs, and the Unstoppable Thoroughbred Who Made History in the Shadow of War.
Mr. Vaccaro touched on a range of issues at Skeptics, including the fact that sports—once considered a diversion—are now permanently ingrained in society’s fabric. “The sports department used to be called the ‘toy department’ of a newspaper, but now sports are every bit as relevant to societal causes as anything else,” Mr. Vaccaro said. “Women’s equity, drugs, depression, money, you name it, are all part of sports today.”
The History of Skeptics
The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.
The program was an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon.’65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please click here.