As regular* readers know, I was out of town this past week. On that note, congratulations to Beltway Buddy, who guessed, “the train ride home on Day 5,” as the answer to our recent “riddle.” He was closest to the correct answer without going over. According to both the Bible and “The Price is Right,” that means he’s the winner. His prize, one guest SCP post on the topic of his choice**
*”regular.” Get it? It’s a reference to both the loyalty of some readers and a callback to my previously stated discomforts.
**I still get editorial oversight
In the past, I’ve skipped the SI review on weeks when I was away. There’s no time to read the magazine during vacation, let alone come up with observations that are both hilarious and insightful. Add that to the fact that, when I returned home on Friday, I found that this week’s Sports Illustrated never came. A full reading of the magazine had gone from taxing and rushed chore to physical impossibility.
Honestly, I wasn’t disappointed. I turned my mind off during vacation and haven’t really turned it back on fully yet. I’d rather skip the review than half ass it.
But, fate stepped in. Actually, it wasn’t fate. It was John, from 200 Miles From The Citi. He offered to write the body of the review, which meant all I would have to worry about was the intro. And though my initial inclination was still to say no, I was swayed by his enthusiasm. He seemed really excited about the idea. I couldn’t turn him down. (Here’s the great thing about John: He doesn’t have levels of excitement. He either is or he isn’t. Having a new daughter, watching his brother play guitar, coming up with the idea for a blog post. I was with him for all three this past week, and he seemed equally enthusiastic about them all. It’s quite endearing.)
Sports Illustrated, June 27th, 2011.
(Reviews by John. Additional thoughts, in italics, by Justin, who hasn’t read any of the articles.)
John starts with a comment on this letter:
I was surprised to read the comment from Dr. Michael Hier about not recalling any nonmedical person having had as much of an impact on fund-raising and cancer awareness as Armstrong. In 1980, 21-year-old Canadian Terry Fox, who three years earlier was diagnosed with bone cancer and had his right leg amputated above the knee, ran across Canada to raise money for cancer research. Fox ran 3,339 miles over 143 consecutive days before the spread of his illness forced him to abandon his dream. Still, he raised more than $24 million before his death in 1981. The Terry Fox Run is now an annual event held in some 60 countries. To date it has raised more than $550 million for cancer research.
David Bannon, Toronto
I had never heard of Terry Fox until this week. The first time was in the letter to SI from Toronto’s David Bannon, and the second time was as I was finishing the ESPN book for Justin’s SCP book club
– in the 30 For 30 section, I guess Steve Nash did one on Fox’s journey. But I thought Bannon could have worded his letter differently, more to inform, as in, “Besides Lance Armstrong, Terry Fox…..” rather than, “I was surprised to read [the comment not recalling any nonmedical person having had as much of an impact as Armstrong]“… I have a feeling many Americans who read SI still don’t know about Terry Fox.
Rory’s World by Michael Bamberger
I like Rory McIlroy a lot. This article made me like him even more. But it’s interesting that an article in which the entire gist was that it was unfair to both Tiger Woods and McIlroy for a comparison to be made at this point, because Woods has accomplished so much, spent so much time saying just why McIlroy is not Tiger Woods. I would rather have read just about McIlroy, and save the comparisons to Woods for another article.
I probably would have gotten halfway through this article before I realized I was just repeating the words in my head and wasn’t actually retaining any of it. That’s what usually happens when I read wrap ups of major golf tournaments. I know I’m supposed to be enthralled by the drama, but I usually glaze over when I’m reading someone recount a golf shot. It’s like hearing someone talk about their poker game or fantasy football team or dog. I’m not going to invest my brainpower in that.
Do You Believe In Jose Bautista by Joe Posnanski
I listen to the Poscast – Joe Posnanski’s podcast – and he’s been talking about writing this article for at least three episodes. So in that sense, I’m glad to finally read this article. Overall, I come away believing Jose Bautista is not taking performance-enhancing drugs. I needed to read something like this about him, because I really wasn’t sure.
It bothers me that the first national profile of Jose Bautista seems to be focused mainly on whether or not he does steroids. It also bothers me that I’ve listened to Joe Posnanski’s podcast. The man is a GREAT writer, but that talent doesn’t translate to the spoken word. Speaking of Podcasts, if you don’t listen to WTF with Marc Maron, you are really missing out.
Hub Fans Bid Tim Yahoo! by Brian Cazeneuve
Love the title. It gets the award for one of the most clever SI article titles ever. The Bruins were tremendously likable in the Finals, and no one more than Tim Thomas. That’s all captured in this article. I liked the comment from the girl at the clinic he hosted a few years ago, when after he did a demonstration she said, “But wait, that’s wrong.” He really hasn’t done anything in the traditional way, but he’s certainly found success with it.
The title’s cute. I’m guessing the editors thought it up a month ago, then asked Cazaneuve to write an article that fit it.
The Power To Rule by Grant Wahl
I wouldn’t have read this article.
The Barrio Boys by Alexander Wolff
Articles like this, which are stories I don’t much care about (really, do I care about the 1949 Texas state high school champs?) are all about the writing. And this was well-written. I never got bored and I wanted to know what became of those players. Kudos to Alexander Wolff.
Another one I probably would have gotten halfway through and then stopped. At some point, though, John would have asked me about it and I would have lied and told him I read the whole thing, then just agreed with whatever opinion he had. I don’t know why I do things like that. Would he think less of me if I admit an article was long and I didn’t get through it in one sitting, then never bothered picking it back up? No. And yet, I continue to do things like that. Why?
Point After by Joe Posnanski
Clearly Posnanski was waiting and watching for McIlroy’s performance on the 10th hole on Sunday once it became clear he was going to run away with the Open so he could compare it to McIlroy’s Master’s 10th hole on Sunday. It was a good moment to capture, but Bamberger wrote about the moment earlier in the issue. I feel like some of the thunder was stolen. I did appreciate reading more about how promising McIlroy’s career is, though.
That sounds about right.