Archive for January, 2013

Podcast: The Superest Bowl

Posted: January 31, 2013 by terryvandrovec in Podcasts
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Word on the street is that the Super Bowl will be played this week in the Big Easy.

TV and Fury break it down for you this week on the podcast. Actually, they don’t – neither of them can figure out which team will win. Instead, they bat around stupid stuff like prop bets, Super Bowl homeboys and magic deer potion. It’s … weird.

Here’s the link.

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Tiger Woods won his 75th PGA tourney this week and depending on where you fall on the Tiger Spectrum, it meant he’s back and will win two majors this year and break Jack Nicklaus’ record or that he’s never going to win a major again because look at the way he stumbled over the final nine holes. Lots of demons, explain the naysayers.

Who knows if it means anything about Woods’s chances of winning a major this year or five more over the next 10 years. At worst he’s the second-best player of all-time and the second-best player in the world today. He’s not what he was in 2000, but in 2001 he was no longer the player he was in 2000. Each time he tees it up, I hope he wins and I hope he passes the Bear and not just because I’d have to pay off some bets if he never gets to 19. I like watching greatness, even when it comes with all types of complications.

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Three years ago I didn’t know who won on Super Bowl Sunday until Monday. We embarked on the day-long trip back from Cape Town at 8 p.m. South Africa time and we were in the air as the Colts and Saints kicked off. As the Colts were coughing up a lead, a fellow passenger was vomiting up his liquor right next to us. I saw the final score as we stood in line trying to re-enter the country. I was pulling more for the Colts, although didn’t have any real rooting interest. At JFK I watched on CNN — or Headline News or CNN Airport or some other news-related station that replays the same story over and over — as fans in New Orleans celebrated the victory.

This year I’ll be back in front of my TV, along with millions of others, or are TV executives now using billions in their made-up attendance figures for the Super Bowl? Some Super Bowl thoughts:

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Unless you’re a night owl/vampire/parent of a newborn or one of the 127 diehard tennis fans left in America, you probably missed all or most of the Australian Open, which concluded its two-week run Sunday morning.

So let me get you caught up:

* The women’s draw was moving along excellently with just the right amount of chalk and upsets plus compelling pairings (like Venus Williams vs. Maria Sharapova in Round 3). But, man, things unraveled quickly when Serena Williams and Sharapova went down in the quarterfinals. Prior to that they had been hammering people. Hammering. And it was glorious, two known, accomplished giants moving on what seemed to be a collision course. (more…)


This edition of our links of the weeks comes to you exclusively from the Midwest as Fury is visiting his folks in ‘Sota. Feels good, too:

* You know how Ray Lewis is prepping to play in a second Super Bowl and has become a leader of men? Well, a couple dudes are still dead stemming from an incident that he was involved with 13 years ago. Here’s a story about the families of the victims.

* News of a pretty significant medical breakthrough came out this week from UCLA. Turns out living ex-NFL players are showing signs of proteins related to brain damage. While this isn’t shocking, it’s another step toward, if not the end of football, then some sort of fairly radical overhaul.

* The podcast of the week is back with one that I’ll likely never try again despite enjoying the first episode. Jeff Garlin of Curb Your Enthusiasm fame has started a new pod called “By the Way.” His first guest: Larry David. Yes, good ol’ L.D. Basically, the two prove over 90 minutes that most of what they discuss off stage is a lot like what they play out on stage. And that’s why I enjoyed it.

* Tiger Woods changes his golf swing about every five years and it always confuses people. Here’s a nice ESPN.com story by Scott Eden that digs into the “madness” that leads someone with a perfect swing to decide it’s not so perfect and needs to change.

* A dude was hassled on a flight because he was wearing a shirt bearing Inigo Montoya’s famous saying. You know Inigo. Princess Bride. You killed my father. Prepare to die. Fellow passengers found it inconceivable that he would wear such a shirt.

* J.J. Abrams will reportedly direct the next Star Wars movie.

The futility of running

Posted: January 24, 2013 by shawnfury in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

You know those little kids who can just run around all day and you marvel at their endurance and they never stop even though there’s no real purpose to what they’re doing and they seemingly have enough energy to run a marathon a day?

I was never one of those kids. Unless someone introduced a ball into the festivities I never had much interest in running around for the fun of it. Even riding my bike as a child was more about transportation convenience in little Janesville than the joy of the open road. If I was running it had to be for a purpose and from elementary school through high school I never considered the 100-meter sprint or a 1-mile run to be races that had any purpose. No, there needed to be a ball involved — a basketball, football, baseball or tennis ball. Give me something to shoot, catch, hit or serve and I’ll run after it all day. But running just for running? Running for exercise? Running to get into shape? I always ran away from that.

Things remain the same seven months after my 37th birthday.

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Serena Williams was bounced from the U.S. Open on Tuesday night, a surprising quarterfinal exit in the first Grand Slam event of the season. She was beaten by Sloane Stephens, a 19-year-old who is on the short list to be the next American star in women’s tennis.

Stephens was excellent and rightly is getting her due. But this was largely about Serena. It’s always about Serena. There has never seen anyone as athletic and powerful and ferocious as Serena; few women’s sports have. She is the female LeBron James, an impossible mix of size and strength. She is beast mode.

But even the most physically gifted are susceptible to mental malfunction.

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I have one sibling, a younger brother. Circa 1996, we were both starters on the Jamestown High School varsity tennis team. Oh, how proud our parents must of have been, to be responsible for siring 33 percent of the regulars for one of the worst high school programs in one of the worst tennis states in America.

It’s a lot like the Harbaugh family, really, the clan that produced both of the head coaches in the upcoming Super Bowl. Think about that: Two Ohio-born brothers ascending to the top of their cutthroat profession in the very same year. Unprecedented. Remarkable.

Still, I’m not sure I could play for Jim. John, yes, but not Jim. That is, of course, if I were any sort of football player and I haven’t been since the flag football days. (And some of those performances may or may not have been tainted by some questionable knotting.)

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Sunday morning I woke up in Minnesota for the first time in seven months. With my wife half a world away in 80-degree Cape Town I’m back home at my parents’ house, just in time for a week of weather that will feel 120 degrees colder. But it’s plenty warm in the old home I grew up in, though not as warm as it might be if a less-stingy man was in charge of the heat.

A lot has changed in the Fury home since the last time I was here. There’s new carpet, new paint jobs in the bathroom, living room and dining room and a new table and chairs that hosts our dinners each night. But one thing remains the same: No house in this town — in this county, state or country — is doing more to keep the newspaper business alive. And while they’re at it, they’re doing their patriotic best to prop up the book business and magazines.

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Welcome to this week’s links, which are ghost-written by our intern in Hawaii. Thanks, Laura. Love ya. Hope you’re feeling better.

* The New York Post broke the big story of the week: Subway footlongs are occasionally only 11 inches. This story doubles as being the Postiest of New York Post stories.

* Kim Kardashian showed up on Letterman the other night and Dave was, as NY Mag says, a “ballbuster.”

* The Esquire cover story by Stephen Marche about Megan Fox got a lot of attention this week, most of it negative. Celebrity profiles are always a bit bizarre and this one even more so. The Huffington Post says it “might be the most simultaneously rage-inducing and confusing piece of celebrity journalism in recent history.” Well, okay.

* Another celeb profile has gotten a lot of attention, but it’s mostly compliments. Stephen Rodrick wrote about “Here is what happens when you cast Lindsay Lohan in your movie.” It’s on the set of the movie The Canyons, with famed director Paul Schrader trying to get something, anything, out of the troubled actress. The George C. Scott part was especially amusing.

* The always-entertaining SI Photo Tumblr had a great gallery of classic Brent Musburger shots. Yes, there are such things.

* Grantland’s Brian Phillips wrote about the Top 10 Sports Apologies That Never Happened.

* Tips of the week! 13 Money Lies you should stop telling yourself by age 30. Why 13? Yahoo! help pieces always confuse me.

* Great interview from Chris Palmer with Kobe Bryant. Even those who dislike him might enjoy it. Read how he destroyed Tracy McGrady in one-on-one and much, much more.

* Damage to football players isn’t limited to concussions. Dan Le Batard tells the story of Jason Taylor and what he put himself through to stay on the field.

* Those loveable scamps at Grantland have taken their talents to the YouTubes, too, with a series of video shorts. The “House Eats” series – in which Bill Simmons chum Joe House, well, eats – is my personal favorite. Here he is crushing some Chinese food.