Archive for June, 2012


The Summer Solstice is behind us, meaning the days are already getting shorter. How depressing is that?

Let’s reflect on happier times … like earlier this week, when the future still seemed to bright:

* So some big stuff happened in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. That’s the extent of my knowledge of the situation. I’m only half kidding.
After my Twitter timeline made it apparent the Supreme Court ruling about the so-called Obamacare was a big deal, I decided to do some – some – research to find out what the fuss is about. I also asked my Facebook friends to explain it to me in simple terms. That quickly turned into a partisan squabble, and I turned out. And THAT is the primary reason I don’t follow politics. People can hardly convey basic information without getting emotional and opinionated.
I did, however, enjoy all the SCOTUS references. SCOTUS, POTUS, AGOTUS … acronyms are fun!

* The NBA Draft was held Thursday night in Newark, N.J. It was unusually light in the insanity department, but entertaining nonetheless. Lots of human-interest angles in the first round, including the story of Minneapolis native Royce White, now of the Houston Rockets. White initially committed to Minnesota, but got off track and then left the school, announcing his departure in an impressively produced YouTube video. (It has been been removed. But take my word that it was glorious.)
This week, multiple national outlets have chronicled White and his interesting mind. Here’s the Grantland version. (You know, since that site could use the extra traffic.)

* Fury here. Bowling story! Crazy bowling story, actually. I won’t spoil it all but it’s about a guy going for a 900 series in Texas. The headline is The Most Amazing Bowling Story Ever but is it really more amazing than the time a 7-year-old girl beat me in a game when I was 29?

* Sports Illustrated’s Tim Layden has a great story about the photo finish in the women’s 100-meter dash at the U.S. Olympic Trials.


The Birdcage on a hot, humid night.

Took my oldest daughter to a minor league baseball game last night. At least, I think that’s the sport they were playing – we didn’t pay much attention. That is, we stared at the field and were vaguely aware that things were happening, but it was by no means our primary concern.

No, we were more into the food and the beverages (a Summer Shandy has never tasted so good), the bouncy bird adjacent to left field (think bouncy house in the shape of a pheasant), basic conversation and  sending text messages. Frankly, we spent more time comparing sweat puddles than studying the two teams.

On a related note, the crowd was … underwhelming at best. It’s safe to assume that the heat – temps were in the upper 90s near game time – kept some fans from coming out to the park. And how weak is that? Aside from infants and the elderly, Upper Midwesterners should embrace every moment of warmth considering how many below-zero days we survive. (more…)


Talk bad about Minnesota.

Belittle Janesville.

Make jokes about Hay Daze and the Doll in the Window.

Ridicule Saint John’s football. (Actually, no, don’t do that one. I’ll weep).

I can take a lot. But warning to former NBA players, current NBA writers, old NBA broadcasters and young NBA bloggers: Do not ridicule Magic Johnson’s playing career.

To be more accurate, don’t ridicule Magic’s playing ability while completely misrepresenting reality. Don’t be Clyde Drexler.

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The Cats of Bob were full of dread in 2011-12.

The NBA Draft is slated for Thursday night and the Charlotte Bobcats do not have the first overall pick despite finishing with the worst overall winning percentage in league history (.106). That’s how bad they were – too bad to capitalize on their ineptitude.

South Dakota native Travis Kreins had a front-row seat for the infamous season, working as a public relations intern for the Bobcats. Today, he joins the TVFury podcast to talk about that strange experience.

Here’s the link.


A funny thing happened Saturday night: I turned on the TV and there wasn’t an NBA game. Does that mean the Finals are over? Fury and I couldn’t stand to watch after the Hollywood Heat took a 3-games-to-1 lead in the series.

OK, maybe we did watch. We just wish we hadn’t … or that the outcome had been different. Then again, perhaps I’m speaking out of turn. We’re about to find out as TV and Fury rehash the end of the NBA season.

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Chris Bosh. This happened.

A melancholy Black Friday to you all. Yes, we said Black Friday. Why? Because the NBA season is done. It ended Thursday night with the Heat and 27-year-old LeBron James “finally” winning a title. We were hoping for at least a couple more games, if only to delay the official start of the sports abyss. But, alas, it was not to be. For all that was made about the stars, Miami’s supporting cast distanced itself from Oklahoma City’s.

More on that next week. For now, time to watch The Tapes.

* Taking the Odd Couple idea to the extreme, Jewish writer Jeff Pearlman interviews a modern American Nazi for his blog. Talk about a conflicting read. On one hand, you want to at least hear what this guy has to say yet at some point you find yourself applying the brakes, going, ‘Wait a minute, this guy is full of it.’ Whether intended or not, it shines some light on the slick salesmanship that is done by extremists.

* Meanwhile, David Simon, best known for his work on The Wire (although I also give him more credit than most for Treme), took to his blog to break some news … or at least, to air a theory. In short, he thinks that murder stats in Baltimore are inaccurate, and that is partially because the local newspapers no longer have the resources to properly cover the crime beat.
While I have no idea if the B.P.D. is doing anything untoward, the reasoning is sound and points to the vital watchdog role that newspapers can play in not just small communities, but large ones. And that is a gigantic point. Talk all you want about online and multimedia and immediacy – seeking and reporting the truth is the most important service provided by newspapers. Sadly, too many inside and outside the industry – myself included – don’t consider that often enough.

* Fury here. For those who read my golf piece earlier in the week, big news from Thursday: I beat my dad, finally, first time in a long time. Broke 50 (on nine holes, alas). And, for the first time in my life, birdied a par-5. With no mulligans or kicks out from trees. Big moment in Janesville.

* In depressing media news, Turner might be buying Bleacher Report for $200 million. Hmm. For those unfamiliar with Bleacher Report, you’re lucky souls. And if Bleacher Report is worth that, then TVFury is worth at least — at least — 2 cents.

* If you didn’t know, the Thunder’s loss can be blamed on Kobe Bryant. Yes, this is the worst article of the week. Why do I let these things annoy me? I don’t know.


You can never see everything in the Smithsonian on one visit to Washington D.C. Or on two. There’s just too much. Too many exhibits, too much history. You pick and choose.

Same thing applies to my parents’ basement.

On each trip back to Minnesota, I head down to the basement and to the side room that’s called — depending on the speaker — either the junk room or the treasure room. It holds old golf clubs, older love letters, magazines, books, report cards, bills, boxes and items that could just be called “miscellaneous.” I’ll dig around for a bit and find something I want to take back to NYC. Other times I just explore for the fun of it.

This time I found a stack of old sports books, which must have been collected by my dad and his brothers and now live in Janesville, MN, waiting for the day when they’re sold, given away, burned or crumble into nothing.

Let’s take a look.

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In my unending attempt to act like a real adult, whatever that means in the Self-Entitled Era, I’ve taken up drinking coffee. Sometimes. Sort of.

See, I’m hopelessly addicted to caffeine, and not for reasons related to taste or fun. Rather, I’m a slave to the 24-hour news cycle, a father of roughly 3-5 kids and a narcoleptic. Without caffeine, I’d be a zombie, except without the strength to eat faces. (more…)

Fore!

Posted: June 19, 2012 by shawnfury in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

I’m a bad golfer. Pretty sure that’s the correct description. If I par a hole it feels like a birdie. I’d take a bogey on every hole. When I struggle on a hole a great debate ensues about whether the worst shot on it was the drive, the approach, the chip or the putt. I only play on trips back home to Janesville or during the every-two-year-trek to Cape Town and I’ve found that schedule is not the best way to find consistency in your game. My swing is all right, it seems fairly fluid, and I don’t embarrass myself on the course but I don’t exactly distinguish myself either.

That same old story played out Monday afternoon in Janesville, at Prairie Ridge Golf Course. So why do I always enjoy myself?

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“How many kids do you have?”

I’m still not sure how to answer this. Without question, I have three – all sweet girls. It’s just that the middle one, Breley, died at two days old due to complications from extreme prematurity. Almost two years later, I still relish the opportunity to tell her story, how she took the brunt of an in utero infection and likely saved her fraternal twin. It’s just that, well, death has a way of bumming people out, especially when it pertains to babies. Sometimes, I spare them the details. Sometimes, I don’t have the strength to retell it.

And now we’re facing – with a tip of the cap to Yogi Berra – deja vu all over again. My wife is 10 weeks pregnant with another set of twins, conceived – like the previous tandem – through IVF. (Remember when people used to call them “test-tube babies?” Awkward. They should call them miracle babies because the technology is mind blowing or credit-card babies because that’s what most folks with fertility issues use to acquire them. Same goes for adoption.) (more…)