The SportsThink Weekly Review #58

September 10, 2021

Hello and welcome to the fifty-eighth edition of the Weekly Review! Let’s get right to the reading…

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Inside the Lines: My Favorite Sports Reads of The Week

  1. Why India Lets Kashmiri Cricket Whither, by Colin Daileda, via Defector. Excellent journalism; if you only read one of my suggestions this week, this should be the one. A great blend of history, sport, geopolitics, and domestic politics. Well worth your time, even if you can’t make heads or tails of cricket. And happy first birthday to Defector, the site founded by ex-Deadspin staffers. Consistently good stuff and an admirable, writer-centered business model.

  2. The NFL’s Empathy Gap, by Nora Princiotti, via the Ringer. Timely at the start of the new football season: “A lack of basic communication skills is causing the smartest NFL teams to make the simplest, most avoidable mistakes.” Yeah, she’s probably talking about your team. Solidly argued.

  3. Kenny Mayne’s Second Act, by John Gonzalez, via the Ringer. Nice profile/interview of the longtime ESPN stalwart, who kept his charm long after the network became somewhat (very?) exhausting.

  4. How Netflix Made Americans Care About the Most European of Sports, by Amanda Mull, via the Atlantic. Netflix’s Drive to Survive might be the best sports reality show ever made. As Mull’s title suggests, it has certainly been effective at converting Americans into Formula 1 fans (my household included). The show is a reminder that our interest in sports is as much about narrative as it is about action and is well worth a watch. A good read, whether or not you’ve seen the show. And if you can’t get enough, Felix Kent has another good piece on the show and the sport, via Defector.

  5. The NFL Has Made Some Changes Since The Last Time You Watched, by Mike Tanier, via the NYT. A useful primer for the new season, which finds the league introducing weird jersey numbers, unfortunately conservative taunting rules, and an embrace of gambling that’s surprised even those of us who knew it was inevitable. GO RAIDERS.

Tweet of the Week

I’m on record for my vehement opposition to motorized skateboards, but this picture is too damn cool. Alter, who passed away in 2014, was a surf industry pioneer, whose boards were in part responsible for the great post-WWII surfing boom.

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See you next week,

Tolga