Time for our weekly check on the wild and the wacky, the sublime and the heartbreaking. In other words, time for some links.

* Renowned author Richard Ben Cramer died this week at the age of 62. Cramer is best known for the political book What It Takes, but he also famously wrote about Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and the Middle East. Many of his colleagues and friends wrote about their memories. Here’s Esquire’s Tom Junod on “What Do you think of Richard Ben Cramer Now?” Here’s Mike Sager, also in Esquire. On Bronx Banter, Alex Belth relates David Hirshey’s classic story of how Cramer managed to go around the editors to get his famous Williams piece published just the way he wanted. And finally, here is the original Williams story: What Do You Think of Ted Williams Now?

* Fascinating story in New York Magazine about how Tide — regular old Tide detergent, not the one run by Nick Saban — has become a currency for people buying drugs. It’s a crazy story that focuses on the power of the Tide brand and also its new role in the drug trade (note: people don’t use Tide to make drugs; they use it like money).

* Dan Wetzel on the Mike Shanahan-Robert Griffin III situation.

* Jeff Pearlman interviews his former Sports Illustrated colleague Tom Verducci.

* In Grantland, Andy Greenwald writes about the return of the controversial Girls.

* You guys saw this crazy dunk out of Fresno State, right. Right?!

* The podcast of the week is a repeat winner: The BS Report. Why? Because host Bill Simmons had the nerve to touch on the alleged specifics of the Kevin Garnett-Carmelo Anthony scuffle. Even if they’re not true, they’re wildly entertaining.


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