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The SportsThink Weekly Review #24
November 20, 2020
Hello and welcome to the twenty-fourth edition of the Weekly Review! 24 makes me think of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, whose deaths felt like the craziest thing we’d experience this year. But of course that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m doing my final edits on a beautiful morning in far West Texas and I hope that you are well, wherever in the world you may be this weekend. On to the reads!
Inside the Lines: The Best Writing on Sports I Read This Week
The NCAA’s Proposed Name, Image, And Likeness (NIL) Legislation Fails College Athletes, by Darren Heitner, via Above the Law. A short, but insightful critique from Heitner, a specialist in sports law. I fear that NIL is going to end up being yet another hamstrung concession from the NCAA and its member institutions, one that feels major, but does little to bring some equity to athletic labor. But I’d love to be wrong.
LaMelo Ball Is Already a Celebrity. He Might Be a Basketball Star, Too. by Sopan Deb, via the NYT. Ball was picked third overall by the Charlotte Hornets this week; expectations are high and haters are plenty. I remain somewhat charmed by the Ball family and wish the young man success.
The Bizarre Case of Braden Holtby Being Stuck at the Border Because of His Pet Turtles, by Hemal Jevari, via USA Today. I think they are actually tortoises, but there’s not much I can add to this beautiful headline. Short and sweet.
How Women Play Tackle Football in a Country That Would Prefer They Didn’t, by Natalie Weiner, via Fanbyte. On the continued fight for recognition for women on the gridiron. Another short but good one.
There’s Never Been a Better Time to Go Undrafted, by Zach Kram, via the Ringer. Great NBA analysis by Kram, but I feel there are implications here for how we think about talent identification and hiring stretch both across and beyond the sports world.
Kim Ng Has Been Ready For Years, by Tyler Kepner and James Wagner, via the NYT. A great profile on the historic MLB hire.
Tweets of the Week
So it turns out Dolly Parton helped fund the Moderna vaccine. And a friendly reminder that she has donated over 130 million books to children over the past 25 years. Dolly was a national treasure decades ago; at this point, I’m lobbying for a spot on Mt. Rushmore.
Complacency and American Girl Dolls, by Joy Buchanan, via Economist Writing Every Day. What can the iconic toys tell us about stagnation and our collective outlook?
The Secret of Unicorn Tapestries, by Danielle Oteri, via the Paris Review. Never heard of this before, but it’s fascinating stuff. The first line sets it up well: Nobody knows who made the Unicorn Tapestries, a set of seven weavings that depict a unicorn hunt that has been described as “the greatest inheritance of the Middle Ages.”
What’s Wrong With The Media, by Matthew Yglesias, via his newsletter. I know that Yglesias annoys a lot of folks, but this a pretty decent take. A bit meandering at times, but timely and insightful.
As always, thank you for reading. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re having trouble accessing any articles, happy to send them directly your way. And, if you’re enjoying the newsletter, please consider sharing it with someone else who might like it.
See you next week,