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The SportsThink Weekly Review #37
March 5, 2021
Hello and welcome to the thirty-seventh edition of the Weekly Review! I drew a total blank on athletes who wore #37, but google tells me Doak Walker did. If you know the name, it’s likely because of his eponymous award, which goes to the best running back in college football each year. Send me a note with your favorite #37, if there is one!
On to the content.
Inside the Lines: My Favorite Sports Reads of The Week
The Greatest High School Football League of All Time was All-Black, by RJ Young, via Fox Sports. Published at the tale end of Black History Month, a nice piece of history. And if you want to challenge the claim made in the title, this bit is pretty convincing: From 1920 to 1970, the squads in Texas’ all-Black Prairie View Interscholastic League were made to play on Thursday — and sometimes Tuesday or Wednesday — to make way for the segregated all-white teams who played on Friday. But if you waited until Friday night, you missed some of the best high school football teams and players in history. Players such as Dick "Night Train" Lane, Gene Upshaw, Bubba Smith and "Mean" Joe Greene. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
World Cup’s Duration, International Draw Make Event Economically Worthwhile for Host Cities, by John Wallstreet, via Sportico. This is not that fun of a read, but a worthwhile analysis, especially of interest to sport business and academic folks and students. While the true value of hosting mega-events has greatly been questioned in recent years, there are some unique forces making World Cup hosting pretty lucrative.
This is How a Federal Name, Image, and Likeness Bill Should Look, by Darren Heitner, via Above the Law. Another really good analytical piece. Heitner is prolific in the sports law space and his insights are always solid. Thanks to Matt Caplan for sharing.
Inside the Dual Legacies of NFL Union Boss DeMaurice Smith, by Don Van Natta, Jr. and Seth Wickersham, via ESPN. Excellent profile of Smith, essential read for NFL fans and for more generally understanding the current American sportscape. Thanks to Ryan Murtha for sharing.
The Dark Legacy Of The CIA’s Bungled Plot To Have Famous Climbers Plant Nuclear-Powered Sensors In The Himalayas, by Patrick Redford, via Defector. How can I say anything that adds to that title? Read this, it’s great.
Want to Sanitize a Baseball Stadium? Send in the Drones, by James Wagner, via the NYT. On an ingenious idea from Don Wakamatsu, bench coach for the Rangers. Relevant to our weird moment in sports, but a cool story of how diverse experiences breed creativity.
Tweet of the Week
Some context here: we were talking youth sports in one of my classes this week and I had students write their best/worst sports experiences growing up. Reading the bad ones took it’s toll on me, so I vented a bit. Chris (whom I don’t know) took my question and threw it out to his followers. The responses range from charming to maddening, a decent thread to browse.
And here’s my original, which spurred some good conversation of its own and I eventually came back to to unpack things a bit.
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,