Sunday, May 19, 2013

Other People's Writing

Lots of good stuff this month, mostly from Grantland and partly from someone on my very blogroll…

* Hey, remember the 1980's?  It was a long-ago, magical time when Michael Jordan faced Martin and Charlie Sheen in a televised game of one-on-two.  Grantland's Rembert Browne goes over the details of this nonsense.  I think the new goal of my sportswriting career is to eventually rise to the level of "expert handicapper" Stan Hochman and weigh in on made-for-TV athletic contests.  If this same contest happened today, I can guarantee two things.  One, Charlie and MJ would hop in a car afterwards, drive off to Vegas together and not be seen for four days.  Two, Martin would narrow his eyes and say, "You know, for future reference, the 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats season was when I decided to whip your ass."

* James Hughes, son of John Hughes, writes for Grantland about his family's love of hockey, specifically the duality between the Blackhawks and the Red Wings, and how this love echoed throughout his dad's movies.  I've said it before and I'll say it again --- Alan Ruck should've been nominated for an Oscar for Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  Between Ruck's jersey and being 'Woodrow' on the Simpsons, Gordie Howe made quite the impact on American pop culture.

* Hey, someone I actually know! (And who doesn't write for Grantland!  My old university friend Sarah Nicole Prickett wrote a piece about Mary MacLane's memoirs, and, by extension, about the coexistence of the artistic mind and (perhaps alleged) mental disorders.  If you, like me, had never heard of Mary MacLane before, you'll still be in awe of anyone badass enough to make "I Await The Devil's Coming" the title of their MEMOIRS. 

* Do you like old people?  Sure!  Do you like old people telling stories, as long as said old people aren't Grandpa Simpson?  Sure!  Do you like old basketball players?  Sure!  Do you like old basketball players telling hilarious stories about their crazy travels on the road?  Since everything has been so positive thus far, I can only presume you'll say 'sure!' to Grantland's Jonathan Abrams' oral history of what it was like for NBA stars to get from city to city in the 1950's, 60's and 70's.  Not to spoil things, but perhaps the funniest joke of the bunch is Dolph Schayes' story about the Connie Hawkins/Johnny Kerr exchange.  If Kerr actually set this up as well as he did in the story, Kerr is a genius of comic timing.

* Royal Shrovetide Football, as chronicled by Grantland's Graham Parker, is an annual soccer game in Ashbourne, England that takes two days to play, 3000 players to field the teams and uses the entire town as the field.  It is astonishing to me that no Canadian city has tried this for a hockey weekend yet.

* Luke Donald may not have a major, but he has a cow!  Grantland's Shane Ryan explains.  In many ways, this is more impressive than a major championship.  Donald should take note of this.

Jim Nantz: Luke, another top-five finish here at Augusta but no victory.  Is it frustrating at this point, not having a major title?

Donald: Nope.

Nantz: Well, that's a good attitude to…

Donald: I won a cow.

Nantz: …uh, okay…

Donald: Put it this way Jim.  If I won the Masters, I couldn't EAT the green jacket, now could I?

Nantz: I suppose not.

Donald: Well, ok, technically I guess I could if I deep-fried and whatnot, but the point is, it would taste AWFUL.  And there's a chance I could be poisoned or choke on a button.  But not a cow, baby.  Pure.  Beef.

Nantz:  How did I get roped into conducting this interview?

Donald: Roped like a steer, Jim?

Nantz: I hate you.


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