Friday, September 20, 2013

Other People's Writing

Been a while since I've unleashed an OP'sW on the world, so we have seven delightful items this month....

* Sportsnet Magazine's Naoko Asano and (my old student newspaper buddy!) Shannon Proudfoot have an oral history of how "Rudy" was made.  I remember watching this with my parents and brother when I was a kid and all four of us were just bawling during the climactic scene.  One of just three movies to ever make me cry --- the others were "Up" (the opening 15 minutes, good lord) and "E.T." when it appeared as if E.T. was dead.  Oh, uh, spoiler alert in case you haven't seen E.T. yet, but c'mon, the movie is 31 years old, people. 

* Another entertainment-related oral history, this one from Stephen Bowie of the Classic TV History blog about the legendary Thanksgiving episode of "WKRP In Cincinnati."  I feel like there is enough "WKRP was underrated" sentiment that the show has actually become properly rated over time.  Also, I'm apparently an idiot since I only just realized that the 'WKRP' call letters were an in-joke meant to represent the word "crap."  WKUD, don't touch that dial, you've got KUD on it! 

* Joe Posnanski looks back at a forgotten bit of NFL TV history, the Alcoa "fantastic finishes" segments.  Probably the best integrated product placement since Bryan Cranston had a Pepsi logo tattooed across his face for the final episode of Breaking Bad.  Oh, oops, spoiler alert.

* From Grantland, Bill Simmons inexplicably devotes one of his most extensive non-sports columns in years to a random documentary about The Eagles and makes it sound like a masterpiece of unintentional comedy.  My girlfriend is a big Don Henley fan (?) so maybe I should sit down and watch this with her, and then spend the rest of the evening apologizing for laughing throughout.

* Grantland's Robert Mays attends last week's 49ers/Seahawks game in Seattle and writes about how the S'hawks have quietly become "the coolest team in the NFL."  Well, maybe not "quietly."  After visiting Seattle last month and thoroughly falling in love with the city, all I can say is good for the Seahawks.  I can't even bring myself to hate them despite how much my Packers got screwed in that infamous Fail Mary game last season.  I hope the Seahawks make it all the way to the NFC championship game and give the Packers a good scrap before eventually losing by sixty points.

* David Block, historian of baseball's ancient past and subject of this profile by Grantland's Bryan Curtis, might be my new hero.  I knew about the Jane Austen/baseball link before, thanks to this epic Stephen Colbert routine.

* Finally, Grantland's Brian Phillips looks back at one of the funniest photo shoots of all time.  The U.S. men's soccer team did some posing for the New York Times Magazine back in 2002 and…well, this image gives you an idea.  Landon Donovan could score a hat trick in the World Cup final and still never live this picture down.

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