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SportsThink Weekly Review #2
June 19, 2020
Happy Friday everyone, and a happy early father’s day to the dads out there.
Inside The Lines: The Best Writing On Sports I Read This Week
Maya Moore Gave Up More To Fight For Social Justice Than Almost Any Athlete by Chris Herring and Neil Payne, via 538. WNBA superstar Maya Moore’s career sabbatical has gotten some press, but I really liked this take for the statistical context it offers on just how good of a basketball player she is and how steadfast she must be in her principles to press pause on her career at this moment. My one gripe: where’s the Pat Tillman comparison ?
The Remarkable Life (and near death) of Boxer Christy Martin by Allison Glock, via ESPN. 2 warnings: this one starts with some very graphic descriptions of violence and is very long. But totally worth it. A fascinating story, heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time.
Innovative Partnership Helps Jefferson High School Soccer Team Combat Cycle of Poverty by Brad Wolverton, via USA Today. We often talk about the power of sports to do great things for young people off the field; this is a great case study in exactly that. This tweet thread is a nice companion piece. (Warning: the USA Today website is an awful reading experience. If you use an app like Pocket or Instapaper, definitely go that route. But still, the article is worth the hassle!)
Fertitta Family History by Henry Abbott, via his TrueHoop newsletter. A mafia meets sports story…what’s not to love?
Roger Federer As Religious Experience by the late, great David Foster Wallace, via the New York Times Magazine. This is a throwback to 2006. I’ve been updating some class syllabi and revisiting some favorites; this might be in my top 5 favorite pieces of sports writing of ALL TIME (and I can’t think of the other 4 right now.) It’s just one quotable/thought provoking line after another, e.g.: Beauty is not the goal of competitive sports, but high-level sports are a prime venue for the expression of human beauty. The relation is roughly that of courage to war.
The Week on SportsThink
…Was rather light! I’ve had dad in town for a weeklong visit and we’ve been having some great multi-generational adventures with young Gus. I collected some links on current goings on, in case you get through the reading list above. Back to regular publishing next week, including a look at the intersection of sport and geopolitics via the UFC’s upcoming ‘Fight Island’ partnership with Abu Dhabi.
As always, thanks for reading!