I’d like to start this week by thanking John for filling in last week. And to pre-thank him for filling in next week. We’re going to have a special guest fill in on October 2nd too, so look out for that.
But, readers, we have a big week ahead of us as well. It’s network TV premiere week. After a summer of rest, our DVR’s will, once again, be working every night. Luckily, the schedule seems to have shaped up so that there aren’t too many conflicts. In almost every case, there are no timeslots with more than two shows that are worth watching.
In ALMOST every case…
But what should we do on Thursday at 8? CBS has decided to start a sitcom night. They have green lit “Sh*t My Dad Says,” which looks unwatchable. And apparently they realized how bad it looked, because the network decided to provide it with a very strong lead in. “The Big Bang Theory” is now on at 8.
Obviously, it’s a great show. But so is “Community” on NBC. And so is “Bones” on Fox. And there in lies my dilemma. On Thursdays when I’ll be home, it’s no big deal. I’ll record two of the shows while watching the third in my bedroom. But, I’m not going to be home this Thursday night. What should I do? WHAT SHOULD I DO? I’m honestly not sure.
I am sure that I just finished this week’s Sports Illustrated.
I’ve never discussed the Pop Culture Grid before, but, now, the time has come. This week we get answers to life’s pressing questions from Cole Hamels, Ahmad Bradshaw, some soccer player, and a female golfer.
MLS players and female athletes always come away from this thing looking the best. They seem to have better senses of humor and are far more worldly in their outlook than other athletes. Maybe it’s because they travel the world more or don’t make as much money, so they’re less insulated. NHL players are better than average and NBA guys can sometimes surprise you. Baseball and football players almost always come off uneducated and small minded, though. They either watch Martin re-runs all day or are redneck morons who disparage the President and listen to country music.
Worlds Collide by Tim Layden
Here’s an article that seems tailor made for me. Instead of a basic rundown of last week’s game, it takes a bigger world picture at the personalities that make up the various NFL teams. Layden even interviewed Chuck Klosterman, the writer who best encapsulates the mix of sports and pop culture that I’m such a fan of.
So, why was I left unsatisfied? Perhaps it’s because the concept seems so obvious, a little stupid and maybe kind of racist. Some teams seem good and some teams seem evil. But what makes the teams “evil” seems to be that players have big personalities. Ochocinco is a bad guy but Bill Belichick is a good guy? One has a reality show and a personality and the other is a poor sport who dresses like a 9 year old, never smiles and broke up someone’s marriage. Which one is bad
Also, isn’t it possible that Wes Welker”s lack of facebook, twitter and tv show appearances can be chocked up to him just being a really uninteresting guy? It doesn’t automatically mean he’s a role model for young players.
The Scarlet Leader by Austin Murphy
Get it? It’s a Nathaniel Hawthorne joke.
This was a perfectly good profile of Terrelle Pryor, though the Ohio State quarterback’s teammates seem a lot more interesting. The Quarterbacks coach has quintuplets, the kicker is a former pro soccer player, the cornerback is an academic All-American who’s parents fled from African civil war 35 years ago and the defensive tackle is Ironhead Heyward’s kid. Pryor seems like a nice kid who runs fast.
The U.S. Open From Hell by S.L Price
The opening of this article is pure poetry
Talent dazzles. It’s the rare gift, the thing parents pray for, scouts seek and agents sign, but the mean fact about top-level tennis is that every player is fast and hypercoordinated. Talent comes cheap. Those who know the unique quiet that fills the dying days of a Grand Slam tournament locker room never talk about Rafael Nadal’s speed or strokes, not at first anyway. They talk about his willingness to change, to put in the hours. They always begin with the work.
That bit of prose more than makes up for the fact that my attention kind of wandered while I read the rest of the article.
Off to a Blazing Start by Tim Layden
The garbage can in my kitchen is full right now. It’s not overflowing, but every time I put something in I have to push all the trash down. At this point, there isn’t much give left. The bag has already started to sag below the lid and is no longer folded over one side of the can. There is also a pizza box and a cereal box that I need to bring down to the recycling bin. But, at this moment, I have no intention of taking any of it out. And that is because, at this moment, I can’t muster up the energy to put on my shoes. Not even a pair of flip flops. So, people that run 1500 meters? I can’t relate.
The Man With A Plan (Nascar Chase Preview) by Lars Anderson
The Amazing Race by L. Jon Wertheim
I loved every word of this. I loved the disparate characters of Lajoie and Cobb. I love that people bet on the batting race. I love that average was the only stat that mattered 100 years ago. I love how unscientific it all was. Every time I turned the page while reading this I took a quick glance to see if it was the last page of the article. And I was honestly disappointed when I reached that last page.
POINT AFTER by Selena Roberts
The story of Jeremy Tyler is an interesting one and it’s well told here. Kudos to Selena Roberts. (It feels weird to write that.)