It’s December, the time every year when Magazine editors and web producers say, “Fuck it, let’s just make a list.”
Here’s a list for 2012:
4-Indianapolis Colts Wide Receiver TY Hilton
7-The San Jose Mercury News
8-Spraining your ankle
10-The cereal aisle at the Food Emporium on the corner of 82nd street and 3rd Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan
11-Traffic (the band)
12-Clark’s Desert Boots
13-The Pythagorean theory
16-The Never Ending Story Part 2 (How can there be a part 2 if the story never ended in the first place?)
19-The number 19
21- Traffic (the thing with the cars)
22-An 84 year old man
23-A Ford Focus
24-Mispronouncing someone’s name on purpose
25-“Former Lives” by Benjamin Gibbard
Agree? Disagree? What’s your list?
SI’s senior baseball writer, Tom Verducci, talks about the added difficulty that a clean player like McGriff will have getting into the hall of fame, now that “tainted” guys like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens are on the ballot with numbers that dwarf some of those put up by the “Crime Dog.” But, how does Tom Verducci know that Fred McGriff never took steroids? McGriff has failed as many steroid tests as Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza. ZERO. A good portion of his career overlapped with their’s. But Piazza and Bagwell are suspicious, while McGriff isn’t. Why? Because he’s thin? Because, in Tom Verducci’s mind, Fred McGriff couldn’t have cheated? This is why I hate the steroid conversation.
Sportsman of The Year by Lee Jenkins
It’s LeBron. Pretty hard to argue with. Jenkins writes about Lebron’s maturation since “The Decision.” But one quote stands out to remind me (and maybe you) that, despite his gold medal, his MVP award, his championship and his success as a pitchman, James still isn’t a MENSA candidate away from the court:
You know how in school, around the classroom, there’s always the alphabet? The capital A and lower case A has an apple. The Capital B and the lowercase B has a ball. I always looked at the L, because of my name, and it had a lion. That’s why I love lions.
That’s why I love lions? WHAT? That’s something that an idiot says.
The Power of Ten by Alexander Wolff
Wolff profiles ten athletes who are giving back. I have only heard of 6 of them.
As Big As It Gets by Tim Layden
Layden previews Notre Dame-Alabama. Its a game with deep historical significance, involving the two most storied programs in college football history. I will not watch.
The Oral History of Johnny Football by Andy Staples
Enough with the oral histories! It’s gone from creative way to tell a story to hacky writer’s crutch in less than two years. (By the way, check out SCP’s oral history of reading the oral history of ESPN, “Those Guys Have All The Fun.”)
One on One With Jim Calhoun by Seth Davis
The title is pretty self explanatory. Not much exciting here. Calhoun is secure with his legacy at UConn. He thinks he ran a clean program, despite evidence to the contrary.
Blessed Are The Geeks by Albert Chen
I guess SI is going sport by sport on the statistical analysis thing. Joe Sheehan has baseball covered. Last week’s profile of Rockets GM Daryl Morey shed some light on the NBA’s use of advanced stats. And this week, Chen highlights efforts to introduce it into the NFL.
Pandamonium by Jordan Conn
Pablo Sandoval is fat and lovable and that rape accusation didn’t stick!
Immaculate Memory by Roy Blount Jr.
We can talk about Blount’s article, which is sort of confusing discussion of how he used to be friends with members of the Steelers and now he doesn’t go to practice and also sometimes his son is there and maybe it used to be better but also some of the guys now are cool. But, I would rather focus on the advertisement that appears on page 143 of my Sports Illustrated this week, in the middle of this article, written by an aging sports writer for aging sports fans in a magazine who’s print readership probably averages somewhere in their late 40’s or early 50’s.
Do they honestly think anyone who is reading this issue of Sports Illustrated will put it down so they can buy tickets to Kim Kardashian’s Las Vegas New Years Eve party? And, more importantly, does Kim Kardashian want people reading this article to show up at her Las Vegas New Years Eve party? Imagine your Dad, who just got wistful thinking about the ’74 Steelers, downing Red Bull and Vodka at “The Mirage.”
KNOW YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC BREAKDOWN, KARDASHIAN!!!!
Point After by Steve Rushin
Rushin writes about a topic near and dear to my heart: adults who wear sports jerseys. He and I agree. You shouldn’t do it. At this point, I will reiterate Justin’s Jersey Rule:
YOU CAN NOT WEAR THE JERSEY OF AN ATHLETE WHO IS EITHER YOUNGER OR PHYSICALLY SMALLER THAN YOU ARE.