Day: December 4, 2015

⦿ Friday Links

(Standard disclaimer that I’m terribly behind in sharing links, I’ll do better starting next week, yada yada yada…)

Let’s kick things off with a couple baseball links that are left over from October.

First, a rather fine oral history of the 1985 World Series. Which, you may recall, was the last time the Kansas City Royals won the title before this season. I had never heard the story about how George Brett and Whitey Herzog spent the afternoon of game seven before.


This is hitting ground some other fans of baseball history may have covered before. But it’s a cool look back at the many waves that game six of the 1975 World Series sent out that changed the game and how it was covered.

Game Changer: How Carlton Fisk’s home run altered baseball and TV

Obviously, I’m biased. But I rather enjoyed how The New York Times’ Joe Nocera eviscerated the NCAA for their treatment of Cheick Diallo.

N.C.A.A. Clears Players, Then Absolves Itself

In a similar vein, here is the story of Braeden Anderson, who was supposed to begin his career at KU in 2011 with Ben McLemore, Jamari Traylor, and Naadir Tharpe among others. Despite scoring 1450 on his SATs, he was declared academically ineligible. Then the Big 12 said he couldn’t redshirt and keep his scholarship, as McLemore and Traylor were both allowed to do when their high school academics were deemed insufficient. Things have turned out ok for Anderson, and his story has to be very popular down at the NCAA.

Braeden Anderson’s journey from academic ineligibility to law school

The Paris terrorists attacks were frightening, terrible, and tragic. And they’ve become a tool for many to put their heads in the sand and not only deny logic and fact, but go to the old well of immigrant-bashing.

Here are two pieces on that topic. You may disagree, but I enjoyed them both.

First, Eireann Dolan, girlfriend of Oakland Athletics pitcher Sean Doolittle, did something rather wonderful for Syrian refugees over the holiday. This was posted before Thanksgiving, thus the perspective difference.

Here’s a Better Idea

Then, novelist John Scalzi wrote about the reaction of many Americans far better than I could.

Frightened, Ignorant and Cowardly is No Way to Go Through Life, Son

And another entry for the We Live In A Fucked Up World file.

My white neighbor thought I was breaking into my own apartment. Nineteen cops showed up.

Next, three pieces about being a sports fan. The first two are about growing up and losing touch with the teams you loved in your youth. I’m so thankful I’ve fallen back in love with the Royals, and had before they got good again.

Confessions of a Former Diehard


Then David Simon tracked down one of his childhood heroes in hopes that a mutual act of penance would save the teams in the two cities Simon has called home from a curse built on a promise he failed to keep 40 years ago.

The frauds of memory, the limits of penitence. And baseball.

I’ve not always loved Oasis, but I’ve always loved an interview with Noel Gallagher. As usual, this one is awesome. Or fuckin’ awesome as he might say.

To close out, 25 Things You Never Knew About ‘Christmas Vacation’

Friday Vid(s)

For some reason this week I was thinking not backward, to Christmases past, but ahead ten years or so to Christmases future. When M. and C. are in college and home for their breaks and L. is wrapping up her high school years. I wondered if I would still have my love of the various pop culture elements of the holiday season, and would greet the girls – and their friends who popped over to say hello – wearing thick cardigans as I offer them hot chocolate and other holiday treats, all while playing songs that are 40, 50, hell, nearly 100 years old in some cases. “Your dad sure loves his Christmas music, doesn’t he?” a visiting friend might ask one of the girls.

So to shake things up a bit, we’ll kick off this year’s Holiday edition of the Friday Vids with a couple new ones. Or two new versions of classics and then something completely different.

“Winter Wonderland” – Scott Weiland
Weiland released a Christmas album four years ago, which generated a lot of “Huh?” reactions in the music world. Especially when folks listened to the album and found Weiland in full Bing Crosby/Andy Williams/Dean Martin mode. Was he serious, or taking the piss out of the classic, crooner Christmas album?

As you may have heard, Weiland died yesterday. Which was not a terrible surprise given the way he lived. I’m still not sure what to think of his Christmas music, but it’s worth a spin today.

“White Christmas” – Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
From their thoroughly enjoyable, brand-new holiday disk.

Nick Offerman’s Yule Log.
Performance art I can get on board with. Forty-five minutes of Offerman sitting quietly in front of a fire, sipping Lagavulin whisky. I explained this to S. last night and she said, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.” I disagree!

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