It’s so hot, I don’t want our Midwestern readers to have to read a big intro. So this week’s links:
* Former Fury Files guest Kevin Van Valkenburg wrote a superb piece for ESPN about a semipro player in Indiana who was killed during a game in May. It’s not a “football is bad and must be banned” piece. Van Valkenburg played football at the University of Montana. He still loves the game. It’s well-written but also superbly reported with great analysis and insight, into everything from football to life.
* Another fun slideshow from New York Magazine’s Vulture blog. This one is a series of YouTube videos — “The 10 Most Jaw-Dropping Celebrity Workout Videos.” I know, sounds like a Bleacher Report story but this one’s fun. Angela Lansbury? Yes. Milton Berle? Yes. Much more? Yes.
* The Jeffrey MacDonald case haunted me for a brief time when I was a kid. He was the military man convicted in the horrific killings of his wife and children. He blamed it on hippies — this was post-Manson. Joe McGinnis wrote a famous book called Fatal Vision, which became a famous TV miniseries with Gary Cole as MacDonald. I watched it as a kid — was probably 10 — and I kept waiting for hippies to break in to our place and kill me. To make myself feel better, I thought of the Lakers. Anyway, famed filmmaker Errol Morris has a new book coming out about the case and he believes MacDonald is innocent. Here’s David Carr’s New York Times story on Morris and here’s an excerpt from the book.
* Michael Chabon is one of my writing idols and he has a new novel coming out called Telegraph Avenue, his first in five years. I’ll be buying it on its release day. Here’s a lengthy interview with Chabon in Mother Jones. And here’s an excerpt. Now, a word on this excerpt. Two years ago I saw Chabon read at The New Yorker Festival. This is the part he read. It’s extremely graphic and extremely well-written. It’s the graphic part that got to some folks. I wrote about the experience back then and you can read about that evening. I had a coughing fit that nearly ruined the show, and then I saw a man being hauled out after he fainted from hearing Chabon’s words. That’s some powerful writing.
* We all know that exercise is supposed to be good for us, but the Buffer blog (new to me, too) delves into exactly why. Really interesting stuff for workout junkies and couch potatoes, alike. Among the most surprising: The first 20 minutes of exercise are the most beneficial, and the endorphins released during exercise can be as addicting as illicit drugs.
* The latest TVFury podcast of the week: The Jalen Rose Show. (And, no, the podcast of the week won’t always be from the Grantland Network – we’re just starting there.)
Full disclosure: I was a huge fan of Michigan’s Fab Five as a kid. Even saw them play in person during their first NCAA championship appearance in Minneapolis. So I’ve long enjoyed Rose as a player and then as a TV analyst for ESPN. The podcast format allows him to use both of those talents – he can be brash and insightful without having to worry about offending, say, old people. Because old people are not downloading the Jalen Rose podcast. (Unless they are. In that case, my apologies.)
He approaches topics from an ex-jock perspective without needing to be PC – he fully admits that most players “champagne and campaign” during their off time just as he did. The honesty is refreshing. Plus, he’s funny in a Chris Tucker kind of way and co-host David Jacoby is enjoyable as the straightman/enabler. (That old combo.)