Archive for August, 2012

Welcome to this week’s links.

* Joe Posnanski’s biography of Joe Paterno comes out next week and it’s certainly one of the more anticipated books of the year, although for reasons far beyond anything Posnanski could have imagined. His original book about the beloved coach became impossible after the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Many people wonder how critical he will be about Paterno. In USA Today, Posnanski wrote about the challenge he faced.

* Crazy story about United “losing” a 10-year-old girl who flew to camp. Kinda makes you feel bad about complaining over lost luggage.

* Patrick Reusse wrote about the three Minnesota Lynx players who returned from the Olympics and are now prepared to chase a second straight title.

* Writers for The Simpsons picked their 10 favorite obscure characters on the classic show, and New York Magazine presents it in slide show fashion.

* What was TV reading this week? Hospital pamphlets. Over the course of three days, he suffered a weird allergic reaction, a skin infection on his face and lost consciousness at a football practice. Really. And now … he has to run a 5K in the mud in order to chronicle the experience for the Argus Leader. Here’s a background piece on the growing trend. This is shaping up to be plenty regrettable.


Tuesday I took in a movie doubleheader. The Bourne Legacy and The Dark Knight Rises.

With a rare day off during the week I traveled south on the subway from northern Manhattan and enjoyed two blockbusters. I bought the overpriced bag of Skittles and chicken strips that were called tenders, even though that wasn’t quite the correct description. I bought one of the organ-crushing giant sodas that will soon be outlawed when Mayor Bloomberg and his henchmen get their way, and later in the day I went back for a refill, which ended with the concession worker putting too much Coke in the cup, making it impossible to walk to the theater without the sticky soda cascading onto my hand and feet, almost as if I was being punished for my gluttony.


Somewhere along the line, the idea that it takes 21 days to form a habit became accepted as conventional wisdom. Frankly, I think that’s a bunch of hooey, rubbish, malarkey and many other phrases from the 1940s. Because the Olympics lasted only 17 days, and their end has me twitching, vomiting and considering checking into a methadone clinic.

OK, so maybe it’s not that bad. But I really did have a moment of, “What the heck am I going to watch tonight” on Monday and Tuesday. In case you were wondering, I settled on High School Musical – Parts I and II. It’s astounding and sad how many of the lyrics are committed to memory. Also, I’ll argue that Zac Efron, whether on a golf course or an empty high school, rivals Kevin Bacon in terms of angry dance aptitude. (Respect.)

I wish I had been keeping track of how many hours I dedicated to the Games, whether watching, reading or discussing. Had to be 5-8 hours a day. Easy. Despite the whole tape-delay controversy. And I can’t think of a single occasion where I felt cheated, the way you might after the inevitable lame episode of your favorite scripted show. (Related note: I’m allowed to enjoy the late-night work of Mary Carillo, right? Right!?) (more…)

Guesties: Mars

Posted: August 14, 2012 by terryvandrovec in Guesties
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

By Rich Jensen
Guest blogger

Curiosity is certainly an apt name for the recently landed Mars explorer.

Every creature not entirely governed by instinct possesses a measure of curiosity. Surviving in an environment means learning about and understanding that environment, at whatever level of understanding a particular animal is capable of.

We, having mastered the basics of survival (at least in most places, most of the time), are still curious. Curious about all sorts of things. In fact, science is nothing more than curiosity in its Sunday clothes. (more…)

So once again the Lakers land a dominant center. There was Mikan in Minneapolis and then Wilt in LA. Kareem came in a trade, Shaq signed as a free agent. Benoit Benjamin wandered in during an open house, probably while wearing two right shoes.

Now Dwight Howard, whose trade-me, trade-me-not odyssey the past year turned countless fans and NBA people against him, although it must not have hurt his feelings too much, since all indications point to Howard becoming a free agent after his season in purple and gold. Give him credit for apparently being immune to public opinion. Imagine LeBron going through with The Decision two straight summers.


Looks like the Lakers have a new center. We’ll have to see how this plays out – both in the coming days and season – but the most amusing thing to me when a deal like this happens is the reaction of Celtics fans, who seethe about the unfairness of the NBA and how they’re giving up on the league because the Lakers are the favored sons. Celtics fans complain about this. Celtics fans. Because the NBA was so fair in the 1960s – and if you don’t think Celtics fans still brag about those years, you’ve never been around a Celtics fans for more than 76 seconds – and the NBA had such diverse champions in the 1980s. And in 2008, that wasn’t the Celtics bringing together three Hall of Famers. No, that was Celtic Pride. That was grit and smarts.

On to the links:

* ESPN Magazine’s college football preview is out and there are some outstanding pieces in it. One of them is Wright Thompson on Urban Meyer. The other is former Fury Files guest Kevin Van Valkenburg on Honey Badger.

* Interesting story on a Reds PR person who had a bit of a meltdown on Twitter.

* Story for triathletes – or aspiring ones like Terry. The NYC one could be in jeopardy because of some, well, sewage in the Hudson.

* Yahoo!’s Dan Wetzel on the Irish boxer who won gold.

* Fury and I need to stop reading the same stuff. It makes this segment harder (and weaker) than it’s supposed to be. Sigh.
How about this one? The New York Times reports it’s conceivable that all human life originated from Mars. It’s complicated and sciency, but worth the read. (Disclaimer: TVFury is not responsible for reader behavior, including, but not limited to, making and wearing aluminum-foil helmets.)

* And, finally, because it’s been at least a month since I trumpeted the virtues of living in the Dakotas … North Dakota and South Dakota are ranked among the top-10 places to live in 2032 by, well, some guy using certain criteria. Just move here, already. Or don’t. I’m not sure where I stand on that yet. Maybe we could start an application process.

It’s August in New York — and, I suppose, everywhere else in the world. It’s humid. I’m helping my wife pack for a trip to New Orleans. It’s 1:30 a.m., a car is picking her up at 4 a.m. I’m still exhausted from a Sunday morning basketball game at a local playground. There’s a phrase that describes these August days, something involving a canine.

All of this adds up to one thing: Instead of offering deep commentary and 1,500 words about Kobe Bryant’s jump shot or the 1982 Lakers or Law & Order or life in Inwood, we’re diving into YouTube and offering up a bunch of clips in an attempt to save some brainpower for when I’ll really need it.

So here now a collection of hopefully entertaining, occasionally bizarre, usually amusing videos of everything from orangutans on Little House on the Prairie to girls basketball in 1983.


By Mark Harming
Guest blogger

I don’t do stuff like this. While I’m (fairly) healthy and in pretty good shape, I never really considered myself a “fitness guy.” For most of my adult life, I’ve been a runner. I was (and still am) proud of being a runner. I liked going outside and pounding the pavement.  Doing a home-fitness program like Insanity wasn’t a bad thing, but it wasn’t for me; it was for other people.

Then, the injury occurred. After reading the phenomenal book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall, I decided that barefoot, natural running is the way to go. Hey, it works for the Tarahumara, it will work for me right?

I made the classic mistake of too much too soon and ended up with tendonitis on the top of my feet. At first, I tried to push through and survive with icing and stretching and anti-inflammitories. It didn’t work. So, an extremely slow half marathon this May (a personal-worst time) prompted me to do some thinking. (more…)

This week on the podcast, TV and Fury scratch their insatiable itch for the Olympics by yapping about the ongoing Games.

Topics include: the tape-delay debate, the coolest off-beat events and John McEnroe. Plus, the word “velodrome” is used.

Here’s the link.

Imagine if Rudy were not only undersized and an underdog but lacked legs. And you rooted against him.

That’s what I’m about to do. Sort of.

Technically, I wasn’t rooting against Oscar Pistorius, the South African double amputee who first qualified for the Olympics in the 400-meter dash and then made the semifinal round. Watching him excel in one of the most grueling races in the sport and on one of the biggest stages in the world was astounding – in part because of the unimaginable backstory and in part because his body cast an unfamiliar shadow on the track. The scene could have been mistaken for CGI. (more…)