How I saw the internet this past week…
- Steve Hehn writes about the biggest risks of Facebook’s impending IPO for NPR. What happens to the company’s culture when Facebook’s most talented employees–many of whom are in their 20s–are set for life? If I were in their position, I’d probably bounce.
- Grantland unearths David Remnick’s classic New Yorker piece on Michael Jordan’s first basketball comeback. Note to self: learn how to write this beautifully.
- Poor Jim Yardley probably spent weeks researching and crafting this NYTimes piece on the declining popularity of the NBA in China only to see Jeremy Lin emerge from out of nowhere. There has been some debate as to whether the Chinese will embrace Lin, who is of Taiwanese descent, and from having been there I am almost certain that they will. You would not believe how many basketball courts there are in China–even in rural areas–or the extent to which the Chinese people wear NBA jerseys. Still an interesting read, though.
- Clare O’Connor profiles 5-Hour Energy founder Manoj Bhargava for Forbes. Two quick points. 1) He looks absolutely terrifying in his portrait picture. 2) I will be shocked if we DON’T find out later that 5HE and other energy drinks cause about 15 types of cancer. There’s just no way these things are good for our bodies in the long run.
- John Cook writes a fascinating profile of The Montauk Grifter Dan Kaufman for Gawker. I always read these stories and my initial impression is to laugh at people who were dumb enough to be conned. But, then again, how am I so sure that I would never fall prey?
- Andy Moore profiles Duke alumnus and Season on the Brink author John Feinstein for The Chronicle. The coolest part? Feinstein’s receiving advice from fellow Dukie Bob Woodward and COMPLETELY disregarding it:
Now, this young reporter, John Feinstein, wanted to become a full-time sports writer. The celebrated journalist, Bob Woodward, was stunned. Woodward actively encouraged Feinstein to not go into such a silly thing as sports journalism.
“You have a chance to do something in this business,” Woodward warned. “You’ll never be heard from again.”
“And he said, ‘Fuck you. This is what I want to do, this is what I am,’” recounts Woodward, laughing.
- Tyler Dunne compares 2011 Aaron Rodgers vs 1996 Brett Favre. I’d take Rodgers’ season by a hair but when it’s all laid out it’s a much closer argument than many would realize.
- This is a little bit dated at this point but Drew Magary’s fictional KSK character, Tommy from Quinzee, is always hilarious. Tommy is a caricature of the typical Boston sports fan, probably about 30% based on Bill Simmons and 70% on unsavory Massholes. Here’s Tommy griping that the Patriots ahhhhhhhhh hawnted.
- Derek Thompson captures the dynamics of Adulthood, Delayed for The Atlantic. Obviously, this piece hits close to home. What it fails to mention, though, is that many of my Generation Y counterparts who do have “adult” jobs feel like a dog in its cage when they are trapped in cubicles. I would be shocked if people still travel to work in offices in 20 years as the derivatives of GMail, GChat, Facetime, GoToMeeting, etc. increasingly marginalize the efficiency of paying for office space and spending time in commutes.
- Is it bad that my first reaction upon reading this story where a guy had a heart attack while eating the Triple Bypass Burger at Heart Attack Grill was, “Man, I could really go for that burger!”? OK, of course it’s bad. But, how bad?
The Best Jeremy Lin Stories
- SB Nation’s Andrew Sharp with an outstanding column entitled “Jeremy Lin And The Genius Of Right Now.” How do we explain this to people who are just not quite so obsessive about sports and are trying to catch up on the story? It’s better than fiction, Sharp writes:
People try to explain it by saying, “It’s like a movie in real life.” But even that doesn’t work. If Hollywood ever turned this into a movie, it’d be terrible. Producers wouldn’t be able to resist painting Jeremy Lin as the orphan the NBA forgot, who got by on sheer courage, and taught the whole world that you can do whatever you want if you put your mind to it.
- Bruce Arthur with a great metaphor for Jeremy Lin in the National Post following last night’s buzzer beater:
Somewhere in the vast and sudden storm that has gathered around Jeremy Lin — an electrical hurricane that whipped out of a clear blue sky, so powerful that at this point nearly everybody has heard about the incredible weather out East — there is a human story, a story about luck, a story about faith, and above all, basketball. Used to be, Jeremy Lin was a footnote to just about everybody. Now, he contains multitudes.
- Grantland’s Jay Caspian Kang with a great piece on the broader implications on the Lin story. The best part is buried as Kang writes a retro diary of his and fellow Grantland staffer Rembert Browne’s experience at MSG when Lin dropped 38 on Kobe and the Lakers.
- Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky goes OFF on MSG and Time Warner for their role in withholding Linsanity from NYC customers:
Maybe the dickwaving contest between MSG and Time Warner Cable seems merely theoretical to you: something that’s only happening in a far-off land. Nope. Shit is real. Mine is one of more than a million households where the MSG Network, home to the Knicks, Rangers, Devils, and Sabres, is completely and totally blacked out. Unless a game is on national TV, the only way to see this Jeremy Lin kid I hear everyone talking about is to find a shitty illegal stream online, or go a bar and pray that bar doesn’t also have Time Warner.
Stuff I wrote for other places this week
- Piece for The Awl on the expected return of a $2 lottery ticket. Spoiler alert: It’s not good.
- Chicagoist column on why the Bulls’ biggest goal should be to get into the playoffs healthy. Includes response to asinine Sam Smith assertion that Derrick Rose should be playing lots of minutes because he owes it to the paying fans of other teams.
- Daily Meal slideshow on vehicles that have been re-modeled to look like food.
Chipwich at DMK Burger Bar:
2X4 Burger + curly fries at Rocks Lincoln Park: Two 4oz burger patties stuffed with pepperjack cheese and bacon, topped with jalapeno mayo and bacon bits. I enjoyed this.
Words of wisdom from the great philosopher Karl Welzein
On pulling power moves on his wife Ann’s divorce lawyer:
Dadboner: If you want a babe to crave you carnally, you gotta shut down whoever she has in her hero position. Shows you’re the dominant predator.
90′s Clip of the Week
This isn’t technically from the 90′s but during that decade I spent more time than I care to admit listening to Mike and the Mad Dog. They’re as responsible as anyone for how I think about sports. Because I’ve been lucky enough never to have to experience a divorce in the family, their break-up after 20 years together on WFAN has been the hardest in my life to take. Mad Dog stepped in for a 15-minute cameo during Super Bowl week and their chemistry was as if Dog never left. Here’s their reunion:
The Wire clip of the week
The introduction to the series sets the tone. This is America.