Surely, "hustle" is the single most beloved word associated with sport. As color is to rainbows, as chocolate to the palate, as sweet nothings to love, hustle is to sport.
Hear it now:
Hustle down the line!
Show us more hustle!
And oh, my, how often are you gonna hear this in the weeks ahead during March Madness: They gotta hustle back on defense. That, apparently, is the only way human beings can properly get back on defense.
You can never hustle too much — except perhaps for Pete Rose, who hustled with such ostentation in his salad days that he was derisively tagged "Charlie Hustle." But that soon became a badge of honor.
Just don't mess with hustle. Recently, Alabama coach Nick Saban, who has a very disciplined bunch of fat Southern boys who often win national titles, playing deliberately, tried to get a rule into college football that teams on offense shouldn't be allowed to hustle up the next play in less than 10 seconds. But the NCAA wouldn't even consider it. You can bet a chastened Nick Saban won't ever again be anti-hustle.
Click on the audio link above to hear more of Deford's take on the hustle.
With mild weather ahead, southern Europe is once again bracing for new boatloads of would-be migrants and asylum seekers from North Africa.
Italy has borne the brunt of this migrant flow for two decades and it has responded with one of Europe's most repressive laws on illegal immigration.
But now the Italian parliament is trying to scrap a law that has made migrants vulnerable to exploitation and human rights abuses. The existing law has also produced detention camps where undocumented migrants are held in harsh conditions.
One example is the Ponte Galeria camp, which is near Rome's international airport, surrounded by open fields. But inside it's grim and gray.
Detainees are locked behind bars in what look like cages. At the sight of visitors they shout their various laments.
The camp has been in the media spotlight since late January when more than a dozen Moroccan migrants staged a demonstration.
The men had been working in Libya. When they asked to be paid, they say their employer forced them onto a rickety vessel headed for Italy where they landed in October.
Three months later, detainee Hicham Marrach said, they resorted to a desperate form of protest: with fishing wire and sewing needles they kept their lips stitched together for a week.
"We ended up in a place where we don't speak the language. We have no idea what will happen to us. We committed no crime and yet we end up in jail," he said. "Sewing our mouths shut was the only way to make ourselves heard."
Evans Omeo and his wife fled inter-religious conflict in their native Nigeria. They were brought to Ponte Galeria after landing in Sicily in December, and placed in segregated male-female sections of the camp.
If they are sent back home, he fears his father-in-law will kill them because they are of different religions.
"I asked for asylum," he said, adding that he is Catholic while his wife is a Muslim.
In a nearby caged area, 10 men live in a barracks-like room, including Bafouday Ceesay, 29, who's from Gambia and has lived in Italy for 7 years. But when he lost his job, he also lost his permit to stay.
"Conditions here are very, very bad," he said. "Sometimes you don't get hot water, the heater it doesn't go on sometimes. So it is cold. There's no nothing here. You don't go to school, you don't get work. You just sleep, eat."
Undocumented immigrants who end up in detention can by law be held for up to 18 months before being expelled. Those who say they are fleeing persecution complain that they're offered little or no assistance in navigating Italy's complex asylum legislation.
Doctors for Human Rights has visited all of Italy's 13 detention camps and issued a scathing report.
"These centers are places generating violence," said Alberto Barbieri, who headed the group's task force. "These centers are useless places of human suffering."
Barbieri said there were an estimated 340,000 undocumented immigrants in Italy in 2012. Of those, some 80,000 were detained, but only 4,000 were actually deported.
"Only one percent is actually expelled every year of total migrants, undocumented migrants, so what is the utility. It is like emptying the sea with a spoon," he said.
Khalid Chaouki is Italian-born of Moroccan parents, and a lawmaker of the governing Democratic Party.
"We are trying reduce the detention period from 18 to two months and radically change management of the centers by establishing specific guidelines," he said.
But Chaouki says steps like demoting illegal immigration from a crime to an administrative violation is only a partial solution.
The real challenge, he said, is to legally recognize the many immigrants who work in agriculture, in factories and as caregivers. Many have formed families, put down roots and contribute to Italian society, he added.
As for the continuing wave of migrants, there are hundreds of thousands of people in Syria and sub-Saharan Africa still trying to escape conflict.
When Italy takes over the EU's rotating chairmanship in June, Chaouki said, it will propose a European Union-wide agreement granting temporary humanitarian visas so that each member state can take in its share of asylum seekers.