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The SportsThink Weekly Review #25
Happy Thanksgiving Edition!
Hello and welcome to the twenty-fifth edition of the Weekly Review! An early post for the Thanksgiving Holiday, which I sincerely hope you are enjoying. On to the content!
Inside the Lines: The Best Writing on Sports I Read This Week
A Short History of Thanksgiving Day Football, by me. Ok, maybe not one of the best things I read, but relevant! I originally published this piece for Stratfor.com in 2017, but they have gotten pretty stingy with their paywall, so I put in on the ST blog. Given Stratfor’s focus on policy and politics, this isn’t the most fun version of this story, which I hope to revisit in some future year for a more thorough and irreverent take.
NBA Players Meet with Pope Francis on Social Justice Efforts, by Jonathan Abrams, via the NYT. Unexpected, but hey, 2020. I mean: ‘Tolliver described Pope Francis as “super chill.”’
Diego Maradona was a Timeless Icon, by Grant Wahl, via SI. We lost an absolute legend on Wednesday. Maradona was the embodiment of troubled genius, a man whose flaws were as public as his brilliance. I know he’d had a rough go in recent years, so while 60 is far too young to die, I hope there’s some peace for him in the great beyond. Nice obituary from Wahl, who remains the best American soccer writer. I’m sure we’ll see more more nice pieces in the coming week. And here’s just a taste of what “El Pibe De Oro” could do when he felt like it…
Counterhistories of the Sport Stadium, by Frank Andre Guridy, via Public Books. The stadium as a site of contested social power. Strong piece of criticism from Guridy. Thanks to Al Brown for sharing.
Why Marijuana is Winning the Sports Drug War, by Patrick Hruby via his Hreal Sports newsletter. Another great piece from Hruby, one of my favorite current voices in sports journalism and a regular feature in this newsletter.
Tweet of the Week
In the words of the cinematic classic, Airheads, “trick question, Lemmy IS God.”
The Story of This Drug Rehab-Turned-Violent Cult Is Wild, Wild Country-Caliber Bizarre, by Hillel Aron, via the LA Times. From 2018. Crazy story. Thanks to Matt Caplan for sending this along.
Franksgiving, via Wikipedia. On the brief period in American history when Thanksgiving was moved up on the calendar. Ok, it’s a bit weird to share a wikipedia page, but I first learned about this when researching the Thanksgiving football piece above and it remains my favorite bit of trivia for this holiday. Also of note is Alf Landon’s criticism of FDR, which may be the birth of the “literally Hitler” meme. The ex-governor of Kansas blasted the president in 1939: “. . . Another illustration of the confusion which his impulsiveness has caused so frequently during his administration. If the change has any merit at all, more time should have been taken in working it out . . . instead of springing it upon an unprepared country with the omnipotence of a Hitler."
Utah’s Economic Exceptionalism, by Natalie Gouchnor, via American Affairs. Utah, the butt of so many jokes, is actually quite good at doing all of things a state is supposed to do. Fascinating analysis, if not a bit long.
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,