Sunday, December 16, 2012

Other People's Writing

For balance, I should probably also write a "worst Grantland articles" post someday.  It might just be the basketball play breakdowns (too wonky for me), that weird running diary about Paris St. Germain's season (like, who cares?) and Brian Phillips' interminable tennis columns, but even still, into every website a little rain must fall.  Until that day comes, though, I'll just stick to the good stuff.

* Steve Marsh looks at Adrian Peterson's incredible comeback season.  I won't lie, my favourite part was how Marsh spends half the column talking about how awesome it is to visit Lambeau Field and be a Packers fan.  #BucketList

* Michael Weinreb's looks at Joe Dudek, a Division III football star and Sports Illustrated's semi-protest vote pick as the Heisman Trophy winner in 1985.  Dudek didn't win the Heisman, as Bo Jackson was the 100 percent obvious choice for the award.  I get what SI was trying to do in promoting Dudek, but let's be real, it was 1980's Bo Jackson.  He should've won every award, including somehow a Selke Trophy.

* Robert Mays attends a live reading of the Ghostbusters script, performed by the likes of Seth Rogen, Kristen Bell and Rainn Wilson.  I WANT TO GO TO THERE

* Rembert Browne has 17 outstanding reasons why the New Orleans Hornets are making a great move by changing their nickname to 'the Pelicans.'  I'm totally on board with this idea since I'm 100 percent in favour of teams having location-specific zany nicknames.  To wit, my proposal to have the Wild renamed the Minnesota Mighty Ducks.  If Minnesota did that and kept those cool jerseys, I'd switch teams in a heartbeat.

* More from Browne, as he both rhapsodizes about the NFL RedZone channel and then visits the RedZone studios to see the process in action.  I've got to be honest, I've surfed over to RedZone a few times and it's just a bit overwhelming.  It's too much action at once.  My tiny brain can't yet comprehend what I'm seeing; I'm like Dave Bowman at the end of 2001.

* Oral history time!  Jonathan Abrams has the story of the 1980's Houston Rockets, who were apparently a lot closer to being a dynasty than their one NBA Finals appearance would suggest.  If I ever buy a Raptors jersey, it will be a Hakeem Olajuwon throwback.  I forget who made this observation (Bill Simmons?) but Houston took Olajuwon with the first pick in the 1984 draft, and the Dream went on to become one of the 10-15 best players ever and led the Rockets to two championships….and yet it's a testament to Michael Jordan's greatness that you can strongly argue that the Rockets made a bad choice in picking Olajuwon ahead of Jordan in that draft.  That said, I don't think the Rockets have quite as many regrets about that draft as much as, say, the Trail Blazers.  Sam Bowie.  Wow.

* Also from Abrams, a week with the Memphis Grizzlies and coach Lionel Hollins.  Remember when the Grizzlies played in Vancouver?  That seems like a million years ago.

* Caleb Hannan covers how school bands are adjusting to quicker offenses in American college football.  This is a classic example of a story idea that is outside-the-box and yet makes total, "oh yeah, I guess that would be an obvious problem for those bands" as soon as you hear it.  I wish this store had been twice as long.

* Vijith Assar ranks the James Bond movie theme songs.  Can't say I agree with his list ('Nobody Does It Better' seems like the clear #1 to me, 'Another Way To Die' isn't nearly as bad as Assar thinks, and Chris Cornell at #3?  WTF?) but if nothing else, it's great to have all the Bond songs linked on one page.  Even when you look at this list and see the wide variance of artists who've done Bond themes, Garbage still stands out as an odd choice, if an inspired one.

* Ben Austen's history of the Buffalo Bills, their fans and the relationship between the two.  If you're a Bills fan, you will be crying by the end of the piece, for a number of different reasons.  Honestly, just keep this team in Buffalo --- it would be the final insult to move this team to couldn't-care-less Toronto and away from the upstate NY fans who live and die with their lousy Bills.

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