Archive for August, 2013


Happy Labor Day weekend. I’ll be laboring on Monday, but what can you do against the man? On to the links.

* New York Magazine goes on the hunt for the reclusive author Thomas Pynchon.

* This shouldn’t make me chuckle as much as it does. New Yorker Cartoons with literal captions. Includes the famous pig complaining cartoon from Seinfeld.

* It was The Onion’s 25th birthday on Thursday. Here are 10 of its best headlines. 

* Evidence that Bobby Riggs might have thrown the Battle of the Sexes against Billie Jean King. 

* Andy Greenwald on the summer’s winners and losers in TV. 

* Tom Ziller on what Ricky Rubio ought to be as a player. (Hint: More like Luke Ridnour. No, not really).

* One of my favorite columnists has always been T.J. Simers at the LA Times. Simers hasn’t written since June. No one knows if he’s suspended, fired, on leave or what. Longtime colleague Mark Heisler details the situation.

* The Golf Channel wanted to know what people dreamed about on the golf course…on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech. It didn’t go over well.

* Aaron Hernandez could walk free. And here’s the big Rolling Stone feature on him.

* Some headlines just tell us where we’re at as a people in the year 2013. Like this one: Creator of the Foam Finger Deeply Upset with Miley Cyrus. 

* Anti-Friends graffiti has appeared in New York’s East Village. Poor Ross.

* Sports Illustrated’s Tim Layden profiles new Celtics coach Brad Stevens.

* Sports analytics pioneer Jeff Sagarin gave a rare interview to Sports Illustrated.

* The ESPN ombudsman weighs in on the Frontline flap.

* The Seattle Times lays out the humble beginnings of U.S. soccer star Clint Dempsey.

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ESPN doesn’t need to take programming advice from me. Even when an entire network is created to compete with the network, the ratings show that folks still tune in to what ESPN has to offer, no matter how often it  gets criticized. Variety reported that upstart Fox Sports 1 averaged 161,000 viewers in its opening week. ESPN got 2.17 million.

Still, if ESPN ever brings back the atrocity that was Dream Job, but this time offers the winner the opportunity to program the network, I have some ideas, all of them inspired by Keith Olbermann’s shocking return. If Olbermann — the napalmer of bridges — can come back and get a nice spot in Times Square every night, then why not these shows or broadcasters? Give us what we want, ESPN. Old shows and personalities for a new era. (Sorry, Australian Rules Football still doesn’t make it).

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This week on the TVFury podcast, the guys lose their way.

What was supposed to be a football preview show turns into a rambling conversation about unseasonably warm weather, the methods of funding at American universities, English soccer and Keith Olbermann.

Oy. Here’s the link, nonetheless.

A day with Tiger

Posted: August 27, 2013 by shawnfury in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

I saw the first 67 shots Tiger Woods hit in the final round of The Barclays on Sunday in Jersey City, but I only saw the end result of his 68th. When Woods struck a lengthy putt for birdie that would have put him in a playoff with Steve Williams — with Adam Scott along for the ride — I stood near the 18th green with a million or so fellow fans. I couldn’t actually see Tiger. Instead, as I stood about 25 deep, I found a small opening through various heads, shoulders and baseball caps that provided a perfect view of the cup but nothing else. On tip-toes I waited for Tiger to strike the putt, waiting for the crowd to tell me when the ball was on its way. When the roars started I jumped up and down several times because everyone in front of me did the same thing, all of us looking something like the Cameron Crazies at the start of a game against North Carolina.

It was a long putt so it took a long time for the ball to reach the cup. I saw it about two inches before it stopped about two inches from the hole. And that was the end of Tiger’s tournament. And it was the end of my first time seeing him play in person. I think I had a more enjoyable Sunday.

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Football starts this week for realzies, as the kids say, with some Thursday night college games. Who’s excited?

I, for one, am not, although it has nothing to do with the sport. It’s just that football means fall and fall means winter is coming – at least that’s the way it works in my miserable brain.

I’m dead serious: The dread of winter begins to creep in at the summer solstice. The days start getting incrementally shorter, the nights grow chilly (present week excluded). And the knowledge of what’s coming bums me out weeks to months in advance. (more…)


Do you like stories about things? Do you like links? Do you like links to stories? Here you go.

* Elmore Leonard died this week and there were a lot of great tributes. Here’s Anthony Lane in the New Yorker. Leonard was also famous for his rules on writing. And speaking of those rules, The Onion with a great obit.

* I’ve been talking with my uncle Jerry about what I’ll yell on tee shots when I go to the Barclays on Sunday, so people can know it’s me. Has to be distinctive. So I was thinking, “HAY DAZE!” (Note: I’m not going to do this). Jason Sobel actually talked to the idiots who scream things like “mashed potatoes.”

* Stereotypes of pickup basketball players. This is awesome.

* As I noted on Twitter, only seven decades after John Gagliardi figured this out, some NFL teams have learned you can actually practice in a different way.

* Jason Quick, who covered the Blazers for years, gave a fascinating interview about his time with the team.

* Wright Thompson with an outstanding story on the incomparable Dan Gable. 

* Which beer brands lead to the most emergency room visits?

* The New York Times on Lorne Michaels, the god of SNL.

* TV purchased a Chromecast in order to be able to watch the Internet on his TV. The Wall Street Journal grades that and other similar devices.

* The weirdos at Vice made a short film about some weirdos who use child poop to make wine.

* The New York Times spreads the lore of South Carolina linebacker Jadeveon Clowney.


“It means a whale’s vagina.”

My friend Jaime said that as we drove to work. It was in response — I guess — to the third member of our car pool, who had been talking about San Diego. I sat silently, wondering if Jaime was suffering some type of breakdown.

“Anchorman,” she said. “Remember?”

Oh, yeah. Anchorman.

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The TVFury podcast returns this week – and triumphantly as it has been added to the weekly lineup at the web radio station Dakota Sports FM. We assume this counts as being syndicated and that fat stacks will start showing up in our respective mailboxes.

Speaking of fat stacks, Breaking Bad is among the non-important items that the guys discuss. They also delve into the debut of Fox Sports 1 and a weak – or not? – summer for movies.

Here’s the link.


Before this goes any further I should say I remain convinced Tiger Woods will one day tie and then break Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major titles. Armchair psychologists are welcome to diagnose me based on these possible delusions, though your arguments against that belief will not sway me. How could they — as the only person still left on that bandwagon (does Tiger even think it anymore?) I’ve already heard them all. I will simply say Tiger is still on Jack’s pace. Nicklaus won his 15th at the British Open when he was 38 years old. At next year’s British Tiger will be 38. If he doesn’t win that? Then I search for more rationalizations.

Still…I can see why some might remain doubtful about Tiger’s chances. But no matter your feelings about the ultimate pursuit in his career — and no matter if you let out a cheer when he hits a great drive or applaud when he pushes a 5-foot par putt — Hank Haney’s 2012 book The Big Miss provides something for everyone.

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I’m finally Breaking Bad. It’s about time.

Actually, I watched the first couple episodes as they debuted on AMC right after Mad Men. But then due to busyness or business or babies, I fell off the wagon. And now I’m back, baby, getting all caught up on Walt White and Co., via Netflix. I am binge watching like it’s my job in order to be able to watch the final couple of episodes of the latest – and final season – as they happen.

That will not be a problem; I’ve blown through two seasons in less than a week. Because it’s that compelling – every episode seems to end in a cliff hanger. In fact, I wonder how people were able to watch one per week – they must have been preoccupied during the off days, the show scratching at the back of their head at random moments. Sounds an awful lot like how I imagine drug addiction to feel so maybe that was the point. (more…)