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The SportsThink Weekly Review #68
September 16, 2022
Welcome new readers! The SportsThink Weekly Review highlights my favorite sport-related reading of the week. Most articles are recently published, but some are not; the only rule is that I’ve read them within the past week. Some are relevant to my day job as a professor teaching courses on the business, history, and philosophy of sports. Others are just plain interesting, relevant to my life-long obsession with the games we play. I also occasionally share articles and assorted musings on Twitter. The newsletter is free, but comes with two requests. 1. I’m always open to suggestions, so send me the good stuff that you read! 2. If you enjoy the newsletter, please share it with other folks who might enjoy it as well. Finally, I try to focus on non-paywalled writing, but if you find yourself unable to access anything, just hit reply to the email and I’ll do my best to get you a copy. Thanks for reading!
Happy Friday, you’ve made it to the end of the week! A busy week at SportsThink HQ, but I was still able to squeeze in some reading. Let’s get down to business!
In service of this small, but mighty newsletter, I save a lot of articles. I have something resembling a system, but it’s not fool-proof. I remember saving this article at some point in the past year, but I have no idea where I came across it. But I finally read it this week and it’s pretty darn good. At the time of Posnaski’s writing, Mike Powell’s long jump world record was 20 years old. It’s now aging like a fine Bordeaux, pushing 31. In the world of sports records, that’s pretty crazy. But here’s the story of Carl Lewis (yeah, that Carl Lewis) and a 30 foot jump that might have or might not have happened. Pretty cool story, even if Lewis’ legacy is a bit tarnished these days by suggestions of doping. Worth your time.
Really cool brief history of the early days of sports analytics. Hintz is a historian with the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, who does a lot cool work on sports (and beyond). Having firmly entered the Big Data Era of sports, it’s fun to look to a not-so-distant past, where arcane measures and keen insights were firmly the territory of some seriously (ok, occasionally) lovable weirdos.
Only would have been better if it was called “Sports Analytics After Moneyball.” A nice follow-up to the previous article, a look at what’s ahead on the cutting edge of baseball thinking, written by a legitimate insider. Pretty technical at parts, but fascinating. Thanks to my colleague Brian Mills for sharing.
Sports-adjacent. I shared this earlier this year, but I sadly have reason to share it again. Tjarks, a great basketball writer, passed away this week. He was 35. A beautiful piece on his cancer diagnosis; a meditation on life and fatherhood. Read this and give someone you love a good squeeze.
As always, thank you so much for reading. Please share the newsletter with others who might enjoy it.
See you next week,