Posts Tagged ‘Wright Thompson’


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.


Welcome to this week’s links.

* Description will be weak on this one so please click on it to see the pictures. A former NASA guy created images that show what planets would look like from Earth if they were the same distance away as the moon. Again, description doesn’t do it justice. Just look at Jupiter and Saturn.

* Interesting story from Yahoo’s Kevin Iole about the Iron Sheik. You know him from hating America during wrestling events in the 1980s. The Sheik’s had a tough life.

* Brian Phillips with a fascinating piece about the surfaces on tennis courts and why those surfaces are the reason for the golden age of men’s tennis. But, he wonders, why doesn’t anyone mention this?

* Charlie Pierce on Aaron Hernandez. 

* Adrian Peterson says a Detroit player asked him what he was juicing with during his amazing 2012 season.

* The New York Times writes about the decline and fall of the English major.

* Interesting interview with Padraig Harrington, who talks Rory, Tiger and his own struggles.

* The 24 best sketches from Mr. Show.

* Wright Thompson writes about the 1972 terrorist attacks at the Olympics and the memories that still linger. 

* Kevin Van Valkenburg on 15-year-old Dylan Moses, a football phenom and sought-after recruit. 

* Nineteen years ago Thursday this was the cover of Sports Illustrated.

* This is weirdly awesome: A site that will give you coffee-shop sounds.

* Mad Men is done for the season. Here’s what creator Matt Weiner had to say about the finale.


Welcome to this week’s links.

* Minneapolis is better than New York. When it comes to parks, according to one study, which states that Minneapolis has the best parks in the entire country. Thousands of New Yorkers just threw their food wrappers down in disgust in Central Park.

* The New York Times revisited a crazy story from several decades ago, when a guy landed a plane on the streets of upper Manhattan — twice. The second time he did it was because some dude in a bar didn’t believe he’d done it the first time. That’s much cooler than some drunk in the bar lying about having played minor league baseball and then tearing his rotator cuff when he tries to prove it by firing a beer glass through a window.

* Fun story with sideline reporters about what it’s like interviewing Gregg Popovich between quarters.

* Fourteen percent more men cook today than in 1965. I’m holding down the fort for those who still don’t.

* A public service story: When someone’s drowning, it doesn’t look like drowning. Especially if it’s a kid.

* Headlines you don’t want to see: Nuke Missile Crews Cite Morale-Sapping Pressures. 

* ESPN.com’s Wright Thompson had a long but amazing piece on racism in Italian soccer.

* Grantland looks at surprise TV and movie deaths in its YouTube Hall of Fame clips.

* Vanity Fair’s Mark Bowden investigates which Navy SEAL is telling the truth when it comes to the question of who shot Osama bin Laden. 

* Five rules of Kickstarter etiquette fund-raising filmmakers need to learn.

* For charity, Samuel L. Jackson performs a monologue from Breaking Bad. Jackson’s also a great follow on Twitter during the NBA playoffs as he often rants about his dislike of the Heat. 

* Hey young journos: Do you still dream of working for ESPN after reading this salacious account from Deadspin?

* Season 2 of the Jerry Seinfeld vehicle Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is coming soon. Here’s a preview.

* The podcast of the week comes to us from the odd/admirable folks at Vice. Basically, one of their reporters has a semi-contentious discuss with the founder of American Apparel about the way clothing factories are run across the world. It’s interesting, but not relaxing.


It got relatively cold and windy in Dakota Territory in the last 48 hours – some miserable souls even got snow. That’s so wrong on so many levels. Still, I tried to find some positives in the changing of the season. The task took almost 12 hours, but I came up with two: It’s kind of nice to wear long sleeves to the gym once in a while (and, yes, I spent far too much time considering gym attire) and the steam room and/or sauna feels better when the weather is cold.

That should keep me going for about two days. And, now, The Tapes:

* Wright Thompson is part of the growing list of sports writers that I’ve become more familiar with via Twitter. His 140-character comments can be confusing, somewhere between obscure and deep, but in a way that creates an allure. In my opinion, the ability to attack Twitter with a unique rhythm is one indication of talent. (I’m talking to you, Bruce Arthur, Chris Jones, etc.) Turns out Thompson can write in longer form, too, like this piece on the weird relationship between soccer star Lionel Messi and his hometown.
Also, the layout is really cool and continues an attempt by ESPN to integrate the best elements of Web presentation (multimedia) with a traditional print feel.

* The latest podcast of the week comes to us from longtime sports writer and provocateur Jason Whitlock. The guy just might have found his calling in this format. That is, on paper, he can be over the top or totally off base – he can be dead on, too, of course – and there’s no one there to challenge him. But in the podcast, he’s sort of forced to A) interact and B) be polite. This week, for example, Whitlock welcomes guest Jim Gray, another semi-controversial sports media member. There are awkward moments because neither of them are known to shy away from the tough question yet they treat each other with respect, and Whitlock leaves room for Gray to show a sort of introspective side that we rarely see.
Plus, the podcast has its own theme song: A rap piece written specifically for Whitlock by a Kansas City artist. Color me jealous.

* ESPN’s Seth Wickerham wrote a cool story about Redskins owner Dan Snyder and Washington, D.C. writer Dave McKenna, who wrote a humorous, but scathing piece on Snyder a few years ago that was followed by a lawsuit.

* Gawker published a letter from a future bride to her bridesmaids. She comes off as possibly the worst bride in the history of weddings, with ridiculous demands and outright threats. But an entertaining letter.

* New York Magazine puts together infographics explaining 10 classic 30 Rock jokes. Don’t worry, there’s also video of them at the bottom.


Looks like the Lakers have a new center. We’ll have to see how this plays out – both in the coming days and season – but the most amusing thing to me when a deal like this happens is the reaction of Celtics fans, who seethe about the unfairness of the NBA and how they’re giving up on the league because the Lakers are the favored sons. Celtics fans complain about this. Celtics fans. Because the NBA was so fair in the 1960s – and if you don’t think Celtics fans still brag about those years, you’ve never been around a Celtics fans for more than 76 seconds – and the NBA had such diverse champions in the 1980s. And in 2008, that wasn’t the Celtics bringing together three Hall of Famers. No, that was Celtic Pride. That was grit and smarts.

On to the links:

* ESPN Magazine’s college football preview is out and there are some outstanding pieces in it. One of them is Wright Thompson on Urban Meyer. The other is former Fury Files guest Kevin Van Valkenburg on Honey Badger.

* Interesting story on a Reds PR person who had a bit of a meltdown on Twitter.

* Story for triathletes – or aspiring ones like Terry. The NYC one could be in jeopardy because of some, well, sewage in the Hudson.

* Yahoo!’s Dan Wetzel on the Irish boxer who won gold.

* Fury and I need to stop reading the same stuff. It makes this segment harder (and weaker) than it’s supposed to be. Sigh.
How about this one? The New York Times reports it’s conceivable that all human life originated from Mars. It’s complicated and sciency, but worth the read. (Disclaimer: TVFury is not responsible for reader behavior, including, but not limited to, making and wearing aluminum-foil helmets.)

* And, finally, because it’s been at least a month since I trumpeted the virtues of living in the Dakotas … North Dakota and South Dakota are ranked among the top-10 places to live in 2032 by, well, some guy using certain criteria. Just move here, already. Or don’t. I’m not sure where I stand on that yet. Maybe we could start an application process.