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April 30, 2012

BasketBlog 4/30

By Ryan Glasspiegel

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From now until the end of the NBA Playoffs, I am going to throw in my two cents on the previous night’s games, do a little bit of forecasting, and provide curated aggregation from national columnists and local beat writers.

My Two Cents

There has been universal criticism of Shaq’s presence on Inside the NBA all season and now that the spotlight is on it is going to become deafening. He is TERRIBLE. Like, Skip Bayless bad. He’s a pure demagogue. He waits for Barkley’s opinion, then combatively and wrongly disagrees with it. Charles will fight back once and maybe twice but Shaq will take the last word and give off a smug vibe as if Barkley’s refusal to continue to engage him means that he won.

Last night, when Inside the NBA was opening, Ernie Johnson was introducing the agenda when Shaq said, “Ernie let me interrupt you for a second.” Ernie sighed: “OK, go ahead…”

“David Levy, CEO of Time Warner: your stock is at $38.07 and it BETTER be there this time tomorrow,” Shaq said as Ernie, Charles, and Kenny looked at him in silent disbelief. “You wouldn’t know nothing about stocks Charles.”

Barkley made a quick comment about how they tried to put stock options in his contract but he refused, Ernie changed the subject back to basketball, and the three made a concerted effort to prevent Shaq from speaking again for the rest of the segment. There will be an unquantifiable amount of Shaq backlash in the next six weeks.

Continue reading BasketBlog 4/30

April 25, 2012

World Wide Wednesday

by Ryan Glasspiegel

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Deep Routes

- SI’s Lee Jenkins’ brilliant cover profile on LeBron James. This is about as much as we’ve ever seen LeBron open up.

- In The Atlantic, David Samuels profiles Kanye West. While a lot of this piece doesn’t necessarily contain new information, there are also some very interesting insights into Kanye’s inner psyche. It’s a good piece to keep open in a tab for a day or two, reading bits and pieces of in between work and other diversions.

- My friend Brad passed along this great TorrentFreak long read on the history of file-sharing.

Quick Reads

- Clay Travis recommends Houston and Nashville as permanent neutral grounds for BCS semi-finals if College Football ever adopts a 4-team playoff. Travis’ Nashville bias notwithstanding, he makes a pretty good case for both.

- On, Andy Staples breaks down how the 32 players in Peter King’s mock first round were ranked as recruits coming out of high school: “Fifteen of the 32 players in King’s Mock rated three stars or fewer out of high school, meaning evaluators felt they would, at best, be solid contributors at the FBS level.”

- Continuing on the mock draft front, Yahoo’s Michael Silver draws up his annual NFL mock draft, where he evaluates who would go 1-32 if NFL teams had the opportunity to draft anybody in the league or eligible for this year’s draft. Spoiler alert: A-Rodg goes #1.

- Former Packers salary cap guru Andrew Brandt writes about the Packers’ draft war room.

- NYT bestselling author Justin Halpern writes a satirical guest post for KSK: If Mel Kiper Jr. Broke Down Women at a Bar. Hilarity ensues. (Via Asif)

- Dealbook: Facebook’s First quarter profit falls 12% ahead of expected offering.

90′s clip of the week

This segment has sort of been neglected for the last month or so, but I remembered this awesome song and think that we all need to band together to bring it back! Seriously, you guys.

Food Porn

My friend Adam started a new blog, I Eat Detroit. It’s what it sounds like. Here is a picture of some exquisite-looking rib tips that he ate from Bert’s BBQ, Pizza, and Soul Food:


Cheese Curds at Old Town Pour House, a new upscale bar in Chicago that has the best TV set-up I have ever seen in a bar–two 108-inch screens (TVs, not projectors), each surrounded by four ~60-inch screens. I’m pretty sure its construction is a solid indicator that our nation’s economic hardships have come to an end–bars like this don’t get funded and built during recessions.

April 24, 2012

Finding Hope in Another Abysmal Red Sox April


Oh, for it to be March again, back when there was unlimited potential for the baseball season. Instead it’s late April, and, for the third straight year, the Boston Red Sox are off to a horrendous start. In case you’re looking for a silver lining, there hasn’t appeared to be one. After the last two poor Aprils the Red Sox missed the playoffs. Still, simply noting that bad Aprils lead to missed playoffs is probably too simplistic a reading of the 2012 Red Sox. After all, the 2011 version of the Red Sox would have made the playoffs easily if not for a historically awful September. In fact, while there are plenty of reasons to be discouraged about this year’s team, there’s also plenty of reasons to see potential improvement.

Continue reading Finding Hope in Another Abysmal Red…

April 23, 2012

Finding Pappy Van Winkle

By Ryan Glasspiegel – Follow SportsRapport on Twitter

As any bourbon or rye enthusiast who has spent a day calling every liquor store in their city only to be laughed at and told in an exasperated tone of voice, “No, we get that once or twice a year and it gets snatched up within a couple days.” can attest, Pappy Van Winkle is IMPOSSIBLE to find. It only happens when you’re not looking for it.

Wright Thompson, Grantland’s whiskey and grease correspondent, writes:

When Pappyphiles find a bar that serves it, we make a mental note. There’s a Thai restaurant in Columbia, Mo., that sells it, for some reason. In Vegas, there’s a bar in the basement of the Venetian. I know a hotel in Lyon, France, and where to go in Birmingham or Atlanta, and just a few days ago in Chicago, I knocked back four of ‘em at a restaurant. There are others. You’ll have to find your own damn Pappy. It’s there, on the shelf of a bar or liquor store, waiting for a lush like you.

There is, to the best of my knowledge, only one airport bar in America that serves Pappy. Not long ago, I missed a connection and, despite it being the middle of the day,. I walked in with a computer bag and a roller-board suitcase, looking like any other road warrior. Then I ordered. The waiter’s demeanor visibly changed.

I’ve been lucky enough to find it twice and it really isn’t an exaggeration to say that it’s life-altering. It goes down smoother than a light beer but packs a punch strong enough that a glass of it neat (and one would NEVER contaminate such an exquisite bourbon with a mixer–ice is honestly a stretch) can easily last 45 minutes and leave you with the pleasant buzz of a luxurious meal.

To the dismay of many and delight of others, this space will chronicle restaurants and–although probably much less often–liquor stores that have the Kayser Soze of whiskeys in stock.

The first submission comes from reader Matt, who found 13-year old Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye at Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina in Las Vegas for $17 for a glass.

Have you found the Pappy? Where? Drop me a line at email hidden; JavaScript is required

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April 20, 2012

10 Edible Medical Marijuana Products

By Ryan Glasspiegel - Follow me on Twitter

During the first half of March, I spent two weeks in Denver researching its medical marijuana industry and policy for a long-form piece that I’m still putting the final touches on and trying to find a home for.

In the course of those two weeks, my conversations with various people connected in all aspects of the industry–patients, doctors, advocacy lawyers, and medical marijuana center (MMC) operators–were immensely eye-opening. While I had gone out there under the assumption that medical marijuana legalization was kind-of-sort-of a loophole for outright legalization–and to a very small portion of Colorado’s population, this has certainly been a by-product–marijuana does in fact have several legitimate medical purposes, both during the day and at night. Among the many symptoms it helps ease are:

  • Severe pain
  • Nausea
  • Sleeplessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle strain
  • Lack of energy

I spent two days with Denver Relief, one of many MMCs in Colorado that is operated lawfully, ethically, and compassionately. During the day I observed its patient center, I watched as “budtenders” Ean Seeb and Michael Chacon understood patients’ afflictions and made confident recommendations for medicine that would help alleviate their symptoms.

Denver Relief sells over a dozen strains that can be smoked or vaporized, all of which have distinct medical functions–they’re beautiful and you should look if you’re into that sort of thing. They also carry a wide variety of edibles, ranging from Buddha Brownies to Cannapunch. Some–such as tinctures–kick in immediately, while others do not take effect for several hours. In honor of 4/20, below are 10 of these edible products:

Continue reading 10 Edible Medical Marijuana Products

Pahokee, FL Football and its Mentors


Pahokee, FL., is a dot at the southeast shore of Lake Okeechobe situated in the scrub lands of south Florida. It is home to mostly African Americans.

The Community is a Mecca of elite high school football players. The football team routinely sends its players to the country’s top college football programs. While this rural village is unknown to Florida’s teeming tourists, it is as known to college football coaches as Hollywood is to movie industry executives; there are years when all the senior starting players are offered football scholarships to colleges across America.

Continue reading Pahokee, FL Football and its Mentors

10 Athletes I’d Pay $100,000 to Spend a Day With…

This past weekend, an apparently wealthy couple in Florida bid $100,000 to spend a day with Tim Tebow and plans to share the access with disadvantaged children:

Erik Dellenback, the executive director of the Tim Tebow Foundation, said there was some initial disbelief when the bid was made, then suspicion — until he found out who had made the bid. Even though it’s a couple that has donated to the Foundation before, Dellenback was still a little confused until they told he and Tebow of their plans.

“They live in a part of town that has a lot of people in need and a lot of people with a lot of wealth, and she felt like bringing Timmy to her town down there would maybe change the town,” Dellenback said. “It sounds like she’s going to have a little event where she brings over some of the kids who are in need and some of the kids who are pretty deserving.

It’s a very generous gesture on the part of the couple but it got me thinking: if I had the disposable income to drop 100 G’s on a day with a current or former athlete, who would make the cut? (When I originally thought about making this list, almost all of the people I would bid on were writers who would command at most 10% the price for their time.)

Certainly not Tebow. While I root for Tebow for the same reason I root for LeBron–I like seeing people, even and perhaps especially if they aren’t true underdogs, prove the haters wrong–a day with Tebow wouldn’t be particularly fun or enlightening. He seems like a pretty nice guy but he’s also certain that, if I continue on my current life path (sort of Jewish, mostly a-religious), I’m going to hell. Pitchforks, unbearable heat–the works. The best case scenario is that he’d spend the whole day wanting to tell me to change my ways before it’s too late and openly struggle to hold back. And what would we do? Get ice cream? He probably wouldn’t want to drink, gamble, or grill excessive amounts of red meat and I have no burning desire to circumcise babies in the Philippines. So a day with Tebow would be sort of a non-starter.

Continue reading 10 Athletes I’d Pay $100,000 to…

April 18, 2012

World Wide Wednesday

By Ryan Glasspiegel – Follow SportsRapport on Twitter!

Do YOU have interesting reads? Did YOU eat delicious food and decide to take a picture of it? SEND it along!!

Here’s how I saw the Internet last week:

Deep Routes

- The normally coarse Drew Magary REALLY shows his depth and introspection in this Deadspin piece that details the saga of his 3rd child’s being born seven weeks pre-mature. If you click one thing this week, this should be it.

- Continuing the hazing discussion from the last two weeks, Michael Winerip pens a long NYTimes piece on hazing at Cornell (and in general), where a sophomore in SAE died in a 2011 incident.

- On Prospect, Gabriel Arana writes extensively about his “ex-gay” therapy that his mother sent him to. (Via Longreads)

Continue reading World Wide Wednesday

April 17, 2012

Weekend Diary: St. Louis

I headed out to St. Louis this weekend for a charity event that my friend Andy and I organized to benefit Camperships for Nebagamon and the Camp Nebagamon Scholarship Fund. Both of these charities support the ability for children to have tremendous summer camp experiences that they would otherwise be unable to afford. To read more about the respective charities, click here. If you would like to donate, click here. Donations are tax deductible and every little bit counts!!

A review of my food, friends, family, and sports-filled weekend after the jump…

Continue reading Weekend Diary: St. Louis

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