Archive for December, 2013

The best of TVFury in 2013

Posted: December 31, 2013 by shawnfury in Uncategorized
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Everyone else does it, so why not us? It’s an editorial mantra that always proves successful. So following the trend, today we’re presenting some of our favorite pieces that ran on TVFury in 2013. Our interns put in a lot of hours tracking this stuff down, digging through the archives, debating — sometimes with raised voices and blunt weapons — their choices. As a reward, they get New Year’s Eve off, once they’re done with some minor housekeeping around 11:30 p.m.

So as the year ends, let’s take a look back at some old favorites. Read them again or read them for the first time. There will be a quiz. As always, thanks for reading us at all. We appreciate it.


Metrodome memories

Posted: December 30, 2013 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized

On Sunday, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis hosted its last public sporting event – a Lions at Vikings game – before being dismantled and demolished. Eventually, it’ll be replaced by a sort of modern football-only model.

While hardly the nicest, the biggest or the most hallowed venue in the country, it’s been the big-time sports stadium in the region for my entire lifetime. Summer vacations and birthday parties and boys weekends – it was a destination for all of those things and more for people in Minnesota and the Dakotas. Maybe Iowa, too.

I can barely remember the names of my (many) children; Fury is Mr. Memory around here. Yet I’m able off the top of my head to think of at least a half dozen memorable experiences in the Dome – and I’ve never lived less than 200 miles from the place. (more…)

A few links for life after Christmas.

* The New York Times with its year in pictures.

* How would the media have covered Jesus’s birth?

* The best crime-writing of the year.

* Three friends get three DUIs on the same night.

* Former Fury Files guest Peter Richmond has a new book out on Phil Jackson. Here’s a fun interview Richmond did with Alex Belth.

* The NBA might eliminate the lottery in favor of a wheel of death type system, the same thing you saw in Thunderdome.

* In Italy, Brad Pitt’s face was the main feature for the posters for 12 Years a Slave.

* The AP’s Jon Krawczynski on the coaching path of Portland’s Terry Stotts.

With the NBA’s Christmas Day games proving disastrous, at least those involving New York, many people focused on what the players wore instead of what they did in them. The league squeezed the players into new sleeved uniforms, debuting them on the NBA’s marquee day.

Seemingly no one liked them, and they didn’t make any sense, from a design or functional perspective. Before the game, LeBron James mentioned that some of his teammates were concerned that the sleeves would hurt their shooting, a legitimate fear as anyone who’s worn a T-shirt during a pickup game can testify. Extra clothing can restrict the shoulders or even implant something mentally that influences a shot. Not that it ended up bothering Ray Allen, who would shoot 50 percent from the 3-point line in the nude or in gear worn by hikers going up Mount Everest.


Life among the Laker fanatics

Posted: December 24, 2013 by shawnfury in Uncategorized
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At one point last week I spent about 30 minutes arguing with strangers about the effect of Kobe Bryant’s absence from the Lakers. Some thought LA was actually better without him, some wanted him never to return. I pointed out the general ridiculousness of this sentiment — the team was 10-9 before Kobe returned, nice with the talent available and totally average, a pace that, if it continued, would represent one of the worst records in team history. This didn’t happen with a fellow subway rider or with someone holding a sandwich board in Times Square. All of this took place in the comfort of my apartment, as I sat on my couch with my computer on my lap. It was another night spent on, one of the main messageboards for Lakers fans, and a spot I frequent with alarming regularity.


It’s the last links before Christmas. Exciting.

* Patrick Reusse with another of his classic pieces on a Minnesota legend, this time Chisholm’s Bob McDonald.

* SI’s Lee Jenkins with a great story about the final 29 seconds of regulation in Game 6 of the NBA Finals and how Ray Allen pulled off his game-tying shot. 

* The Huffington Post talks to the music supervisor on American Hustle, which is a great movie with an incredible sound track.

* Hank Stuever on Saturday Night Live.

* It’s a 2013 version of Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire.

* Shia LaBeouf as a serial plagiarist continues to be a bizarre tale.

* Michael Lewis gets $8,000 for a 1,200-word column in Bloomberg View. 

* The hackers who hit Target and stole credit card info were really smart. That makes it better.

* R. Kelly has some issues and at least one journalist thinks the public should know that.

* Could I interest you in this pair of self-healing shoes?

* Long form is not necessarily the best way to go when it comes to blogging. (Whew.)

Podcast: Lottery talk

Posted: December 19, 2013 by terryvandrovec in Podcasts
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Neither TV nor Fury won the big ole Powerball this week. But they both have opinions on the matter – whether or not buying tickets and daydreaming about winning is a prudent way to spend money and time.

Here’s the link. Enjoy. (But not too much; TV increasingly is becoming anti-fun, as you can tell from the podcast.)



It’s impossible for me to count how many hours I spent at the Janesville city park as a kid. Two hours playing a pickup baseball game. Three hours playing football. Four hours playing two-on-two basketball. Five hours alone in the summer shooting baskets. An hour alone in the winter shooting baskets. Day after day, night after night.

And all that time I probably took two trips to the park’s bathrooms. Maybe three. Part of it had to do with geography — we lived a block away from the park so why not just go home when needed? But sometimes — in the middle of one of those marathon baseball, football or basketball battles — I wouldn’t want to run home and run back. Still, I avoided them. You might dare a friend to go in them but never chance it yourself. The restrooms terrified me — if monsters, human or otherwise, didn’t lurk there, then organ-killing germs and filth did. The tiny facilities, situated just off the area used to play baseball, looked like a structure that shows up on a news report accompanied by the words, “Police say the bodies were found inside…”


Date night

Posted: December 17, 2013 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized
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I wore ripped jeans, a hooded sweatshirt and old tennis shoes.

We ran errands, more specifically hit the pharmacy for prescription refills, picked up medical supplies for our 3-year-old daughter, dropped off paperwork at my office and went shopping for a gift for some friends that recently had a baby.

We went to Five Guys. She ordered the little cheeseburger; I the full sized. We shared fries and a handful of peanuts. I told a rich and compelling story about Mexican Coca Cola. (more…)

Someday someone will remake The Godfather and then that will sort of end everything. A public that could forgive remakes of Footloose, Planet of the Apes, The Pink Panther and so many more will riot when word leaks about a modern retelling of the Corleone family. “In part 2,” says a studio insider — and yes, The Godfather Part II will also get remade — “Michael, instead of relocating the family to Nevada, will take the Corleones out of New York and to Silicon Valley. There are a lot of exciting possibilities.” Congress may step in.

Until then we’ll get more and more remakes, everyone looking to the past in an unknown present. The latest one that makes people nervous? The Naked Gun is getting a reboot.