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The SportsThink Weekly Read #9
January 14, 2022
The SportsThink Weekly Read highlights my favorite sport-related article of the week. On the last Friday of each month, I send out the Monthly Review, a longer digest of readings and other content of interest. Most articles are recently published, but some are not; the only rule is that I’ve read them within the past week (or the past month, in the case of the Monthly Review). Some are relevant to my day job as a professor teaching courses on the business, history, and philosophy of sports. Others are just plain interesting, relevant to my life-long obsession with the games we play. The newsletter is free, but comes with two requests. 1. I’m always open to suggestions, so send me the good stuff that you read! 2. If you enjoy the newsletter, please share it with other folks who might enjoy it as well. Finally, I try to focus on non-paywalled writing, but if you find yourself unable to access anything, just hit reply to the email and I’ll do my best to get you a copy. Thanks for reading!
The Weekly Read(s)
Breaking my own rules to share two this week…the first one is a bit out of left field, but definitely qualifies as the “best sports thing I read this week.” The second one is great too.
L.W. Wright: NARSCAR’s Mystery Driver, by “LinkDude80,” via Reddit’s Unresolved Mysteries. Ok, so this is a first: not an article, but a posting and related thread on Reddit. Having grown up obsessively watching Unsolved Mysteries (I can still hear Robert Stack’s “serious voice”), I’ve long been a fan of Reddit’s Unresolved Mysteries subreddit (for those of you with a life: a subreddit is a just a forum/community). While I enjoy reading about the murder mysteries and the disappearances, they are of course sad and troubling. I prefer the oddball tales and the con-men, which is where we can file this one. A story that’s apparently gotten some traction over the years, but was new to me. Bizarre and fascinating. Here’s the full title of the post, which is a nice summary: In 1982 a man claiming to be a professional race car driver talked his way into NASCAR’s Winston 500 and then disappeared, leaving a trail of bounced checks and confused victims in his wake. This is the story of L. W. Wright: NASCAR’s Mystery Driver. Really good write-up by this internet stranger, with lots of links at the bottom if you get hooked.
No Exception for “Princess of China”: China’s Silencing of Peng Shuai, by Anonymous, via SportsThink. I published this on the blog earlier today and think it’s really one worth reading. While the author wishes to remain anonymous, I’ll simply say that they are an expert on matters of tennis, China, and international sporting organizations and governance. You may have seen this in the headlines at the end of last year: a tennis star accuses a high ranking official of sexual abuse, is promptly censored and disappears from public view. There are eventually some seemingly scripted appearances by the star. Amid a global outcry, the WTA suspends tournaments in China and Hong Kong. The IOC cues up their favorite song, “It Ain’t Me Babe,” and gets back to promoting the Beijing games. Love this piece for the context it provides as well as the analysis of the sport governance implications going forward. Good read.
As always, thanks for reading.
See you next week,