Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Pearlman’


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.


Welcome to this week’s links. Which are even more amazing than the last time we did this.

* Dave McKenna has a piece in Grantland about a 16-year-old who was caught cheating in chess. It’s really interesting. Also brought up a good discussion on a journalism board about using the kid’s name. If he committed a crime at 16 — and wasn’t charged as an adult — his name wouldn’t be published. Now he’ll always be the guy who cheated at chess.

* Well, New York City did it. They banned giant sodas. I wrote about this a few months ago. It was approved on Thursday and will go in to effect next year. How will I survive on 16-ounce servings? How? In 2004, the late, great Christopher Hitchens wrote a piece where he flaunted many of the silly laws that exist in New York City – taking your feet off pedals, feeding pigeons. Wish Hitchens was around to write about this.

* Who doesn’t like Christopher Walken talking about Christopher Walken things in a Christopher Walken manner?

* For Titanic fans who have long thought Jack and Rose could have shared a raft — meaning Leo wouldn’t die! — James Cameron says, no. Not possible. (younger readers, please note: Titanic the movie was not a documentary).

* In a retroactive addition to The Tapes, Jeff Pearlman wrote last week about the way he was treated after writing a biography about the late Walter Payton. Hint: It wasn’t good. This is relevant now, of course, because Joe Posnanski is taking all sorts of heat for his Joe Paterno book. Both situations are reminders of how, like it or not, journalists often become linked to their subjects.

* This week’s podcast of the week is more of a one-time thing than a true series, at least as far as we can tell. Regardless, it’s good as writer/TV personality/radio man Dan LeBatard welcomes in former NBA coaches and current siblings Jeff and Stan Van Gundy to discuss sports media and the Dwight Howard fiasco that cost Stan Van his job. It’s as close to no-holds barred as two guys who hope to have NBA future can be. LeBatard facilitates nicely. Entertaining and insightful. Here’s the link.


So how about those Olympic badminton players, huh?

We’ve had Olympic fever this week at TVFury and next week we’ll have Terry reporting live from London, provided he’s able to sneak into the events without a pass or ticket. (Note: Not sure if Terry’s aware of this plan). On to the links.

* The U.S’s destruction of poor Nigeria in Olympic basketball Thursday had some people calling the Americans bullies (still waiting for someone to say the Dream Team would have won by 90). Adrian Wojnarowski has Coach K defending the team and himself.

* Here’s Dan Wetzel on that badminton scandal, which threatened to tear apart the badminton community. Somewhere, a shuttlecock weeps.

* Some jokesters hacked into the Facebook accounts of several Major League Baseball teams on Thursday night, with the inevitable dirty, occasionally funny results.

* And it’s official: Otters are an unstoppable menace in the state of Minnesota.

* Is there another Penn State-level sports scandal in the works, this time involving U.S. Swimming? That’s what one man is reporting via a web site in Baltimore. It’s an interesting piece because of the allegations and the general style of writing – there’s a sort of preachy introductory graph that you won’t find in traditional news outlets. And because it doesn’t seem to have gained much traction nationally yet. Stay tuned, I guess.

* As you may have heard, many prominent journalists keep a sort of personal blog that’s separate from their work. (Geniuses, those guys.) Jeff Pearlman is one of them, and this week he tackles the subject of young scribe disease in response to former New Yorker writer Johan Lehrer copping to making up quotes. It contains some good lessons for the kids.


Chris Bosh. This happened.

A melancholy Black Friday to you all. Yes, we said Black Friday. Why? Because the NBA season is done. It ended Thursday night with the Heat and 27-year-old LeBron James “finally” winning a title. We were hoping for at least a couple more games, if only to delay the official start of the sports abyss. But, alas, it was not to be. For all that was made about the stars, Miami’s supporting cast distanced itself from Oklahoma City’s.

More on that next week. For now, time to watch The Tapes.

* Taking the Odd Couple idea to the extreme, Jewish writer Jeff Pearlman interviews a modern American Nazi for his blog. Talk about a conflicting read. On one hand, you want to at least hear what this guy has to say yet at some point you find yourself applying the brakes, going, ‘Wait a minute, this guy is full of it.’ Whether intended or not, it shines some light on the slick salesmanship that is done by extremists.

* Meanwhile, David Simon, best known for his work on The Wire (although I also give him more credit than most for Treme), took to his blog to break some news … or at least, to air a theory. In short, he thinks that murder stats in Baltimore are inaccurate, and that is partially because the local newspapers no longer have the resources to properly cover the crime beat.
While I have no idea if the B.P.D. is doing anything untoward, the reasoning is sound and points to the vital watchdog role that newspapers can play in not just small communities, but large ones. And that is a gigantic point. Talk all you want about online and multimedia and immediacy – seeking and reporting the truth is the most important service provided by newspapers. Sadly, too many inside and outside the industry – myself included – don’t consider that often enough.

* Fury here. For those who read my golf piece earlier in the week, big news from Thursday: I beat my dad, finally, first time in a long time. Broke 50 (on nine holes, alas). And, for the first time in my life, birdied a par-5. With no mulligans or kicks out from trees. Big moment in Janesville.

* In depressing media news, Turner might be buying Bleacher Report for $200 million. Hmm. For those unfamiliar with Bleacher Report, you’re lucky souls. And if Bleacher Report is worth that, then TVFury is worth at least — at least — 2 cents.

* If you didn’t know, the Thunder’s loss can be blamed on Kobe Bryant. Yes, this is the worst article of the week. Why do I let these things annoy me? I don’t know.