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April 11, 2012

World Wide Wednesday

Do YOU have interesting links? Do YOU have delicious-looking food porn? Send them along and please share the column via email/Facebook/Twitter if you enjoy it! Much love…

Deep Routes

- The unbelievable storyteller Wright Thompson rides around Augusta, GA with James Brown’s daughter and gives poignant anecdotes about Brown’s career, death, former bandmates, and complicated estate lawsuits. In it, he also links to Sean Flynn’s 2009 LONG GQ profile on Brown which provides impressively intricate details of the estate lawsuits.

- In response to last week’s horrifying Rolling Stone profile of fraternity hazing and overall boorish behavior (a tradition unlike any other!), Dartmouth alumnus Ravital Segal details the hazing she suffered through as a student, coming literally within a sip of alcohol of dying during her pledgeship of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. (Via Jezebel)

- Greg A. Bedard’s weekly NFL notes column in the Boston Globe is absolute must-read for football fans. This week, he exposed the NFLPA for agreeing to sort of a crappy deal in the CBA (which, honestly, who really cares because we didn’t have to miss any football!) and broke the story that Warren Sapp has essentially been fired by NFL Network after Sapp reported that Jeremy Shockey was the snitch in Bountygate. I miss the good ‘ol days when Bedard was covering the Packers.

Continue reading World Wide Wednesday

April 6, 2012

Quick Diary: Cubs Opening Day at Wrigley Field

Sparing you the nauseating symbolism of the magic of baseball and the metaphorical sign that after a harsh shockingly mild winter, Summer is indeed finally near, my girlfriend and I headed out to Wrigley Field for Opening Day. As a self-proclaimed radio nerd, it’s been a tradition of hers to do a bar crawl on Opening Day to see the live broadcasts and I was more than happy to go along for the ride. A couple highlights:

Continue reading Quick Diary: Cubs Opening Day at…

April 4, 2012

MLB Preview: Awards and Contenders


The 2012 Major League Regular Season begins tomorrow at 1:00 pm EST when the Red Sox face the Tigers. Alright, so it really began last Wednesday, but who here actually paid attention to the As and Mariners in Japan? Didn’t think so. Anyways, with the season all set to kick off, let’s hand out some awards and make some predictions, all of which will undoubtedly be wrong.

1. AL MVP: Evan Longoria, 3B, TAM (ZiPS projection (AVG/OBP/OPS) .274/.367/.881, 31 HRS)

I’ve said before that I believe that Tampa Bay is the best team in baseball and Longoria is the Rays’ best player. He’s had four good to great seasons in the league already, establishing himself as one of the two best third basemen in the game along with Adrian Beltre. Now it’s time to take the next step and collect some hardware for it. I think Longoria’s OPS will be above .900 with 35+ homers to go with his customary stellar defense.

2. NL MVP: Justin Upton RF, AZ ( ZiPS (AVG/OBP/OPS) .283/.366/.871, 28 HR, 22 SB)

There are safer picks, like Matt Kemp and Joey Votto, but Upton is already so good at 24 years of age that it’s impossible to ignore. I could see the stolen bases dropping a little while the power jumps. Whatever the case, Upton has been historically good at a very young age and players who play as well as he has this early almost always improve as they age.

Continue reading MLB Preview: Awards and Contenders

World Wide Wednesday

Do YOU have interesting links? Are YOU an amateur food pornographer? Please submit anything of interest and share if you like!

Deep Routes

- Rolling Stone’s Janet Reitman tells the broader story of institutionalized boorish behavior at prestigious Dartmouth fraternities through the prism of controversial whistleblower Andrew Lohse. This abusive behavior was going to have to go pretty far to shock and disgust me and it went well beyond that line (think forcing pledges to throw up on each other/bathe in vomit and urine). One unsaid but sort of implied aspect of this story: Timothy Geithner, Hank Paulson, Stephen Mandel, and Jeffery Immelt, who were named in the article among the nation’s elite to have moved through Dartmouth’s fraternity system, probably engaged in similar ritualistic hazing. (Via Teller)

- As ESPN finally starts to face some cable sports network competition from CBS and NBC, Clay Travis conducts a fascinating sports media mock draft. I think that he overrates Jon Gruden and Colin Cowherd and underrates Bill Simmons and Michael Wilbon but overall it’s a really interesting read. PS – Clay Travis may well find himself on this list in a few years – his writing and podcast/radio work are excellent–the rare combination of thoughtful and funny–and he makes his debut as a panelest on Jim Rome’s new CBS show in a couple weeks.

- On Gawker, Hamilton Nolan spends a weekend in Arkansas with the KKK, who are more pathetic than scary at this point. Caity Weaver points us to a study that shows that we are actually more productive working from home (a FIRM belief of mine) and weighs the pros and cons.

Continue reading World Wide Wednesday

April 2, 2012

Wrestlemania 28 Recap/Diary

If this introduction bores you, please skip ahead to the running diary, which I promise is universally funny and insightful.

Like many (if not closet-ly most) twenty-something boys, I’ve had an odd, long and winding relationship with professional wrestling. I got into it just before Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall formed the NWO in 1996 and faded out around 2000ish when Stone Cold Steve Austin, Degeneration X, and The Rock started to peter out. Even as I was well aware that ultimate outcomes were scripted, the storylines were fluid and shocking. The unpredictability made it compelling.

In the ensuing decade, I faded in and out of wrestling to varying degrees ranging–I could go six months to a year without ever flipping to it or I could watch it two-three times in a month’s span–but my days of reading about it three hours a day on news/rumor web sites and message boards were over.

For reasons The Masked Man has written about on Grantland far more knowledgeably and eloquently than I can explain, CM Punk’s microphone appearances and matches were singularly captivating enough to bring Raw to Tivo status for the last nine months. While I don’t watch every week and I’m certainly not back to the status of reading about it on news sites and message boards (yes, I spent A LOT of time doing that when I was 10-12), I sort of have a handle on what’s going on–who’s a good guy, who’s a bad guy, who’s interesting, who automatically gets fast forwarded through.

While it was refreshing that CM Punk seemed to embody different story archetypes than the ones that made pro wrestling grow stale in the early 00′s, a lot of the theatrics in the WWE remain unchanged. I’ll describe these specifically in my recap but they’re SO blatant and predictable that they are endearing. These consistencies–some of which date back decades while others were developed when I was watching religiously–make the WWE the gold standard of the the unintentional comedy scale, sharing that status only with the Fast and the Furious series.

 A few Sundays ago, I grabbed dinner at Rocks, a great neighborhood bar in Lincoln Park, and it was randomly showing the WWE pay-per-view as, I found out, it always does. As these things actually cost an unconscionable $65 ($55 base and if you’ve already relinquished your dignity to spend that much on a wrestling PPV, what’s another $10 for the HD feed?), this was quite a valuable discovery considering that their food is good enough that I’d eat there anyways.

Last night, I got to Rocks at 5:40–about 20 minutes before Wrestlemania started–and grabbed three of the last five seats in the bar. The other two were swapped up immediately. The crowd would gradually increase to the extent that it was difficult to navigate your way from your seat to the bathroom, creating an absolutely surreal environment. People were into it. Retro diary after the jump.

Continue reading Wrestlemania 28 Recap/Diary

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