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The SportsThink Weekly Review #33
February 5, 2021: Klete Keller, Sportscenter, Super Bowl ads, and more
Hello and welcome to the thirty-third edition of the Weekly Review! If #32 evoked Magic Johnson, then of course #33 is Larry Bird (sorry, Alonzo Mourning). While I’m supposed to be anti-Bird (as any good Laker fun should be), here’s a nice collection of Larry Legend’s best trash-talk, including the too-perfect: “who’s coming in second?” before winning the 3 point contest. Hard not to love that. And here’s that performance:
Inside the Lines: My Favorite Sports Reads of The Week
How Did Klete Keller Veer From His Lane? by Pat Forde, via SI. If you’d forgotten about Keller, the Olympic swimmer, you probably did hear about Keller, the stormer of the capitol. Forde is thorough and incisive as usual, chronicling how a past can shape the present. Heavy but good.
The Big Show Never Ends: How Dan and Keith’s ‘SportsCenter’ Changed TV Forever by Bryan Curtis, via The Ringer. We were discussing the historical impact of ESPN in one of my classes, so it was a good time revisit this piece on a show we have all seen too many times. If you had come into my apartment in college, you could be forgiven for thinking the TV had broken down on ESPN and we had no choice but to watch SC 12 times a day. Long and good piece of history on the game-changing show. From 2019.
On our growing understanding of head trauma in football: this piece on the risks of practice vs. games by Alan Blinder in the NYT got a lot of attention this week, but this twitter thread is a good reminder that the nuance of scientific studies doesn’t always translate perfectly into journalism. As for what do about all this, Jon Solomon’s look at one high school football program challenges the assumptions about what exactly a football practice should look like.
San Francisco Giants Outfielder Drew Robinson’s Remarkable Second Act, by Jeff Passan, via ESPN. On baseball and life after a suicide attempt. Great piece from Passan, but leave this one alone if you’re having a rough day.
According To Super Bowl Ads, Americans Love America, Animals And Sex, by Ryan Best, via 538. Something to cleanse the palate after the heaviness above! Nice analytics on ads for the big game and what they might say about us.
Keeping Up With The Sports Page: Super Bowl Edition
The Week on SportsThink
The blog is back back back back back! And sorry for this video, but it had to be shared.
Three posts this week:
Sports Are Weird: A Mental Model For Success in the Sports Industry. This one was a decade in the making. Maybe you can share it with any young people you know who want a career in sports?
Tweet of the Week
Not so much this tweet, but the thread that follows below when you click through. The former NFL tight end gets real and offers a frank reflection on the nature of the beast. Worth a read, but might sour your Super Bowl party a bit.
Postures of Transport: Sex, God, and Rocking Chairs, by Hunter Dukes, via the Public Domain Review. Do you NEED 5,000+ words on the history of armchairs? Not sure, but this is pretty great. Fantastic title, obviously.
The Shocking Meltdown of Ample Hills—Brooklyn’s Hottest Ice Cream Company, by Courtney Rubin, via Marker on Medium. I don’t totally love celebrating failed businesses (ok, sometimes I do), but this is a well written and cautionary tale of how quickly a star can fade. Reminds of my dad frequently pointing out business that “grow broke.”
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,