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The SportsThink Weekly Review #34
February 12, 2021
Hello and welcome to the thirty-fourth edition of the Weekly Review! The 34 jersey carries some weight: Shaq (on the Lakers), Earl Campbell, Kirby Puckett (RIP), Charles Barkley, and, the baddest of them all, Bo Jackson. Oh, also, it’s 34 degrees in Austin right now. Maybe the heat coming off these highlights will warm us up:
Keeping things a bit tight this week, it’s been busy!!
Inside the Lines: My Favorite Sports Reads of The Week
One Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty-Eight Pounds of Sons, by Chris Jones, via Esquire. I wish I had seen this last week, as pre-Super Bowl timing would have been better, but such is a life. A 2014 profile of Gordy Gronkowski (father to Rob and 4 other beasts). Entertaining for the food and household statistics alone, with plenty of great family photos. Fun read.
Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird Are Goals, by Emma Carmichael, via GQ. It’s hard to thing of a more “big time” athlete marriage in my lifetime. Maybe Stefi Graff and Andre Agassi, or Nomar Garciaparra and Mia Hamm? Stefi and Andre come close, but Rapinoe and Bird probably take it. Great profile on the couple, and more importantly, a story of social progress in sports and mainstream culture. And here’s Rapinoe setting up the greatest moment in US soccer history (sorry, Landon):
Two on wrestlers from the past. We read and discussed an article by the late Terry “Doc” Todd in one of my classes this week and I took a few minutes to share some personal memories, in part because we wouldn’t even have classes like mine if it weren’t for trailblazers like Doc. (I’ve written about him previously in the newsletter.) Doc loved many things, including wrestling. If you’ve seen the Andre the Giant documentary on HBO, it’s Doc who kills the opening scene with his voiceover. I miss my conversations with him and would have loved to discuss two great profiles of of somewhat forgotten wrestlers, whom I’m sure he knew a ton about. Here’s Dan McQuade, via Defector, on George Ringo, “The Wrestling Beatle” and another great edition of Sports Stories, by Eric Nusbaum and Adam Villacin, on the wonderfully named—and quite righteous—Sputnik Monroe.
How Gonzaga Zagged, by Greg Bishop, via SI. Growing up, Gonzaga was just the trivia answer to “where did John Stockton play in college?" These days, they’re a powerhouse. On the journey from occasional Cinderella to title favorite, nicely done by Bishop.
The Week on SportsThink
Keeping Up With The Sports Page
Meanwhile, in Georgia: legislation to authorize genital checks to confirm gender identity in athletes. This practice was abandoned for its fundamental inhumanity by international sports federations decades ago.
Tweet of the Week
This is fantastic.
A Non-Sports Read
Ben Marks via Collector’s Weekly on a man who collects cast iron doorstops. Pretty fun and makes me feel better about my own collections.
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,