Athletes are mostly boring. We wish this wasn’t true. After all, the athlete lives an exceptional life and it stands to reason that exceptional lives require exceptional people. This underlying assumption has launched a thousand profiles written by a countless number of writers, the vast majority of whom come away with notebooks filled with boilerplate about hard work, dedication, and the importance of teammates and championships. Some coherent narrative must be stitched together from the clichés, and we, as sportswriters, generally follow one of two templates.
One of the striking things about seeing these topics fill up Twitter was that, by and large, they seemed to pass each other in the night (or morning or midday, depending on your time zone). Many politicos are sports fans, and the sports world is becoming increasingly politically aware, but often the sports and hard-news spheres stay separate.
These types of intersections are rare, and can make for memorable media consumption. So as Mitt Romney takes aim at Obamacare on the campaign trail, and Anthony Davis begins house shopping in New Orleans, let's revisit a few other days when news and sports competed for the front page.
Tonight is a perfect storm of sports. There are two Game 7s in the NHL playoffs, eight NBA teams playing for better seeding on the final night of the regular season, and the NFL draft begins. Thus, there could not be a better night for Grantland Live.
Sunday was the debut of @GrantlandLive, the new Twitter feed where you'll find our live tweets for big games, important events, and uh other stuff, to be determined later. Thanks to those who followed Lakers-Celtics with us. We're looking forward to the next one!
At LAL-Celts and Rondo is wearing sunglasses in the layup line. Hmmmmmm. PS: Taking my tweets over to @grantlandlive during the game.
On July 28, Jared Bloom started the Twitter feed @fakegrantland, filled with what purported to be rejected stories from this website. We quickly realized they were better than a lot of what we were coming up with in our ideas meeting and greenlit them. (Not really.) Here are excerpts from the best of the (totally made-up) stories he came up with this month:
"Schott Caller: The 1990 Reds Playoff Run and the Birth of Midwest Hip Hop"
"... although, in fairness, his flow is only a little bit whack.
If Jose Rijo was the Reds' Nelly, then Chris Sabo was clearly its Bone Thugs. He brought harmony to a team that was delicately balancing the heavy-breathing gangsta lean of Rob Dibble with the studied stoicism of Ken Griffey, Sr. Is it any wonder, then, that 'Tha Crossroads' was released almost exactly 5 years and 7 months after Piniella and the Reds lifted the World Series trophy? ..."
Last night Kutcher sent the following tweet, which has been deleted, after learning that Paterno was out at Penn State: "How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste."
Itwasnotwell received. You'll find Kutcher's subsequent Twitter meltdown below, including some tweets that have since been wiped from his feed.
We've got a bona fide Twitter superstar on the podcast! Logan Morrison, left fielder for the Marlins and proprietor of the excellent Twitter feed @LoMoMarlins, joins the show to talk about the virtues of on-base percentage, his thoughts on clubhouse chemistry, his own rising career, what it was like to almost get traded for Ozzie Guillen, and how he plans to adjust when the Tampa Bay Rays inevitably swoop in and trade for him. He also weighs in on the World Series.
Then Jon "Boog" Sciambi, ESPN broadcaster deluxe and friend of the show checks in from St. Louis. We talk about insider vs. outsider access, gaps in human cognition, the meaning of sample sizes, and whether or not Bernie Williams was the biggest choker of all-time. (Spoiler alert: he wasn't.)
By all accounts, Arian Foster is something of a new-age goofball. His father actually named him after the Age of Aquarius, he majored in philosophy at Tennessee, he writes poetry, and he named his child Zeniah Egypt, in part because of his high regard for Discovery Channel programming. He is not the prototypical NFL mercenary, and so perhaps we should not have been surprised that Foster tweeted this spiritual observation about a hamstring injury that could keep him from playing in the Houston Texans’ season opener:
"Why does the Little League World Series stop becoming a double elimination tourney at the American and foreign champ games? Makes no sense," he tweeted.
My first reaction when I saw this tweet wasn't to wonder why Battier, a professional basketball player, cared about fair play in youth baseball. Instead, I nodded my head, and felt a tiny bit vindicated. I'd been annoyed about the same thing all day, and thank god for Twitter, because where else could I find a venue for addressing the unfairness of something so small?
In case you aren't prone to clicking through LeBron James tweets when he references lemonade stand sellers, you may have missed this picture of King James wearing a T-shirt that reads "AKRON" but is styled like the Miami Heat logo. It's unclear as to what he's trying to convey here, but my gut tells me the people of Akron won't be thrilled about this!