I know, I know. You wait all week for our weekly links section on Friday. And now you’re reading this but it’s Thursday, right? Yes. So how can we buck tradition like this? How do we throw our entire production schedule into turmoil? How do we get the interns to work a different day? Well, tonight’s Game 7 of the NBA Finals and we’ll be doing a podcast at the end of it and that will go up Friday so you’re getting links a day early. What a treat.

* Obviously shocking news with the death of James Gandolfini. Here’s Matt Zoller Seitz in New York Magazine with a great tribute to Gandolfini the man. Alan Sepinwall on The Sopranos. Melinda Newman on meeting her hero. And some links from the past. Here’s Part 1 of Gandolfini on Inside the Actor’s Studio, with other parts on YouTube. Vanity Fair’s oral history of The Sopranos. Also in New York Magazine, it’s Gandolini, in his own words. GQ reran it’s great 2004 piece by Chris Heath on Gandolfini.

* My first boss, Doug Wolter, who returned to his old position as sports editor of the Daily Globe in Worthington, writes about the end of his fastpitch career and how tough it is letting go.

* CBSsports.com’s Gregg Doyel says it’s all the Spurs’ fault for the Game 6 debacle.

* A recap of those Miami fans who left early. Just remember these people when LeBron’s yelling into the mic tonight after winning the title that the Heat have the best fans in the world. They’ll probably be gone by then anyway.

* Tommy Craggs writes about Howie Schwab — you know him from being stumped — who was let go by ESPN in a cost-cutting move.

* Sad tale. Writer Michael Hastings — whose Rolling Stone story ended the career of General Stanley McChrystal — was killed in a car accident in California.

*  Another sad story. Best-selling author Vince Flynn died. Flynn, a St. Thomas grad, had been battling prostate cancer.

* Charlie Pierce on Tiger Woods.

* Full trailer for the Anchorman sequel. 

* The New Yorker’s Sasha Frer-Jones on Kanye West’s new album.

* Bad news for Terry. How caffeine can cramp creativity. Wait, that’s bad news for me too.

* Experts figure out how much destruction was done to Metropolis in the new Man of Steel. 

* Speaking of the man in the cape, here’s a look at some of the actors who were nearly cast as Superman. Dustin Hoffman?

* Dave Chappelle may be prepping for a return to comedy. If so … Game, Blouses.

* In other Heat-fans-are-lame news, the good people at Jimmy Kimmel Live pulled a gag on some of them by pretending the team had a player named Mu Shu Pork. Awesome.

* Shameless self-promotion alert: San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis was in Sioux Falls this week. He was more engaging than the average athlete endorser. TV displayed considerably less charisma in an outtakes bit for a local sports talk show.

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