Fingers crossed we'll make it seven more years without another archduke getting assassinated!
You can pick NFL games, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick an NFL game's nose.
Dashed these off real quick so I didn't have to say I missed a week...
Like any of this matters, since the Vikings aren't playing.
Here goes very nearly nothing.
Much like the Steelers and Cardinals, I'm in need of a bounce back week!
My best bets and my overall picks were both one game over .500 last week. Ride this gravy train to prosperity, everyone!
Let's see if I can write an NFL picks thing for a few weeks in a row, shall we?
This is the slippery slope many warned of when we allowed Mark Spitz to win all those gold medals in 1972.
Ehh, it's not like you've been using your legs all that much anyway.
We greatly prefer the unsullied integrity of the Vikings' four Super Bowl losses.
Sepp Blatter, JoÃ£o Havelange, Rodolphe Seeldrayers, Daniel Burley Woolfall... why do the names of former FIFA presidents sound like they were created by a drunken random word generator?
Why can't someone be both, like the late Earl Warren?
Guaranteed to make you punt out of bounds!
Vince Lombardi must be rolling in his gra– oh wait, nope, that's just the sound of the dryer.
If only Sarah Palin had looked out her window and warned us.
Sorry, we were busy looking at our phones.
From bad Halloween costumes to the 2012 election to the new Star Wars movies (and more!), enjoy some of our favorite jokes from one year ago.
From Bigfoot to rejected TV pilots to Invisible Obama (and more!), enjoy some of our favorite jokes from one year ago.
Soon to be documented in the TV movie The Pass That Fixed Obamacare!
Just in case you were thinking about trying it yourself.
It was probably because they were all quiet loners who kept to themselves.
From lesser-known diseases to the Secret Service scandal to the Cannes film festival (and more!), enjoy some of our favorite jokes from one year ago.
Minnesotan, comedian and Parks and Recreation writer Joe Mande nails it.—JM
Maybe we'll just keep the focus on the court for a while, fellas.
From Jeremy Lin to high gas prices to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (and more!), enjoy some of our favorite jokes from one year ago.
I'm on board with all of these ideas.—BK
From Black Friday to holiday wish lists to Rick Santorum (and more!), enjoy some of our favorite jokes from one year ago.
The "Air Coryell" Chargers were my favorite NFL team when I was a kid (what can I say, the Vikings turned lousy during that time, and my attention wandered), so this profile of J.J. Jefferson brings back fond memories.—BK
To the victor go
the spoils a brand-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette convertible!
If you know me, you know I don't care a whit about robots replacing umpires, or instant replay, or anything else you want to change about baseball. But we've got to get live transcription of umpire fights, stat.—JS
The author's remembrance of the time she met Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver serves as a hopeful example of the best-case scenario for getting to greet the famous people we admire most.—BK
This summary of everything Pete Rose says and does in his new TLC reality show is almost enjoyable enough to convince me to watch it... but nah.—BK
Clearly they're saving their votes for the year that Arli$$ becomes eligible for induction.
There has been many a column written in the less than 24 hours since the Baseball Hall of Fame voting results were revealed, but this one might be the best.—BK
"I've been told I have a problem. A psychiatrist once said that I gambled in order to escape the reality of life. I told him that's why everybody does everything. But he had a point."—JM
It's possible we were drinking at the time.
Leitch feels steroids and sabermetrics are sucking the joy out of the Hall of Fame voting process, killing what used to be the most fun debate in sports. I agree.—BK
And here's the third and final installment. Why did it have to end? WHYYYYYYYYYYY????—BK
From Herman Cain to Broadway shows to inappropriate Halloween costumes (and more!), enjoy some of our favorite jokes from one year ago.
Part two! Woo-hoo! [Ridiculous, uncomfortably long amount of excited giggling]—BK
Holy crap! And this is only part one of what will be a three-part oral history! [Devolves into unintelligible ravings]—BK
God bless the Internet. Without it, I'd have had no reason to ever hear this piece existed. Instead it has been found, read, and greatly appreciated.—JS
Tebow? More like Te-blows! (The Jets would also like to file a complaint about this blurb.)
Kluwe's new passel of breathlessly swooning left-wing Johnny-come-lately admirers (and who can blame any of you?) probably don't need to read this one; the whole thing is about nothing more than punting footballs.—JM
Not since Bill Simmons proposed the "all-time white basketball players vs. all-time black basketball players" question has a debate been more interesting or fiercely competitive. As a Minnesota homer I can't possibly countenance the inclusion of Yogi Berra over Joe Mauer, but otherwise this is a marvelous exercise.—JM
From the U.S. credit downgrade to the NBA lockout to the HPV vaccine (and more!), enjoy some of our favorite jokes from one year ago.
Everybody, without exception, should read Easterbrook's work every Tuesday. Even if you skip the football parts, you've still got an entertaining and insightful 2,000-word column about pop culture, politics, society and world affairs. The football parts add about 3,500 more words on top of that, and this week many of those words are about the Vikings!—JM
Looks like someone's union is contractually ready for some footbaaalll!
America is the world's preeminent economic force. Pro football is America's preeminent sports pastime. And I maintain that it's because of Steve Sabol. RIP.—JM
Eventually Deadspin will cover ever NFL team in their "Why Your Team Sucks 2012" feature, but I can only imagine it's a lot more fun when the team actually sucks.—JM
Leitch wonders whether what we've learned about concussions and the long-term health damage they cause is making it ethically challenging to enjoy the sport.—BK
From the GOP candidates to unpopular cereals to the debt ceiling (and more!), enjoy some of our favorite jokes from one year ago.
Guess the bar was set too high by Equestrian Eventing.
A hacker took over the Facebook pages of several MLB teams on Thursday, with hilarious results.—BK
What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light? The answer will delight you. Hilarious and fascinating.—JS
In an effort to mine from a history they don't have, Tampa Bay pretended "Rays" was short for a relocated team of "Padres". One fan is unamused.—JS
If you have children or love sports, or both (or, hell, neither), you really really need to read this. Really.—JM
Posnanski, God bless him, tries to answer the question of whether fictional baseball scout Scotty Carson double-crossed the Judge by signing Roy Hobbs in The Natural. Just another reason why the internet is beautiful.—BK
And they're keeping an eye on that Albert Pujols situation in Anaheim.
Rubio's injury was the death of hope for Timberwolves fans this season, and this piece captures that well.—BK
"Sky Andrecheck developed a system to quantify the criticality of each postseason game." Of course he did. I love baseball; I just wish I loved it enough to be one of these math geeks.—JS
If you're younger than Jamie Moyer, who is attempting to make the Colorado Rockies roster, then you have no business feeling old.—JM
Cool story on how embracing advanced statistical analysis saved the career of Oakland A's pitcher Brandon McCarthy.—BK
It's a truly Jeremcredible story.
You should read Drew Magary's "Funbag" column in Deadspin every week. I probably won't link to it every week, but you should read it every week.—JM
"Ricky Rubio has the vision of a hawk and the visage of a muppet." Best. Caption. Ever.—BK
Guess you should've gone to that National Weatherperson's Day party instead.
We could all probably use just a tiny bit more Ken Jennings in our lives.—JM
From Derek Jeter's contract to Santa's naughty list to New Year's resolutions (and more!), enjoy some of our favorite jokes from one year ago.
The part about the trap shooter? That's totally me when I play Nintendo Wii bowling.—JM
"[A]nother of the things about Bobs: they choose to transform their given name of Robert into 'Bob,' and in so doing enter Bobhood of their own accord." That might be the best thing anybody's ever written.—JM
Would it be worth it to be Michael Jordan? To end up as a bitter old dick due to the same competitive fire that made you great? (That's a rhetorical question: of course it would be!)—JM
This brought a smile to my face as a guy who's barely even into baseball. I imagine the guys who are actually into baseball will get a big kick out of it.—JS
Kinda makes you wonder who the Vikings are praying to.
The fantasy playoffs have begun... or, if you went up against Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown in last night's game like I did, they might be over before they even started.
Derek Boogaaard was born – and bred – to be a hockey enforcer. A fighter. A "goon."—JM
He died earlier this year, at age 28, after the kind of short life you'll be astounded to learn some are encouraged to live.—JM
If you're interested in sports at all, any sports, you should probably take the time to read this.—JM
Let's get this over with.
This is a couple of years old, but it's interesting and astounding, and I have no doubt the same stories are happening today.—JS
Just the picks, ma'am. [The full column will be back next week]
But Knight will always have that TV movie where he was played by Brian Dennehy.
Just one more week, and then these pesky byes will be done plaguing fantasy football players forever! Well, or until next season.
I don't know if anyone out there is writing better stuff than Weinreb about the Penn State scandal. Despite close personal ties (grew up there, an alum, and appears to still live there), he's maintaining a level of journalistic objectivity that, combined with genuine emotion, makes for riveting reading.—BK
One of the most personal and well-written columns I've read about the horrifying scandal over at Penn State.—BK
Just in case the absence of my football picks column has left you jonesing for (hopefully) amusing sports commentary from somebody who sort of freely admits he doesn't really know what he's talking about.—JM
Sure the World Series has been an absolute classic... but now it's time to read about football!
Baseball alone could have produced a game like the one between the Rangers and the Cardinals last night.—JM
A lot of games this week are going to have that "new quarterback smell."
I sort of rushed this one. Feel free to rush your reading of it.
The Cubs haven't won the World Series in 103 years. Much more remarkably, they haven't played in one since 1945 (only one other team that existed at the time has played in as few as two since then). This is their story.—JM
I don't want to say I'm becoming obsessed with Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe... wait, yes I do!—JM
Both could be prickly and domineering. Both were visionaries in their field. Both did most of their best work in the Bay Area. Both wore black all the time. And both Al Davis and Steve Jobs died last week.—JM
10-6 with the picks last week... inching toward respectability! ("Inching Toward Respectability" will be the title of my autobiography, incidentally)
From Glenn Beck University to the fall TV season to the Ground Zero mosque debate (and more!), enjoy some of our favorite jokes from one year ago.
But no, you just had to watch Harry's Law, didn't you?
50-50 for the second straight week... finally, my picks are not appreciably worse than flipping a coin!
If there has been a better night of baseball than last night in my lifetime, I can't remember it. And if there's a better baseball writer than Posnanski working today, I haven't read him.—BK
We're getting there, folks. Just a few more weeks, and I should have this whole thing all figured out.
Some solid ideas here, but the first one, The Greatest Game Ever, is an absolute no-brainer.—BK
Week 1 is basically my preseason, i.e., the records really shouldn't be of any concern. It's just all about getting your schemes installed. This week, it's for real!
A look at the shifting climate of homophobia in professional sports, and how that may be setting the stage for a "gay Jackie Robinson" in the near future.—BK
The glorious return of my not-so-glorious football picks. Please enjoy responsibly.
Posnanski makes the case that pitcher wins are a necessary connection to history, while still pointing out their many flaws as an indicator of a pitcher's skill.—BK
You mean, if I had devoted every day from age 14 to becoming, say, an NFL punter, I could have an iPad right now? Well, I feel like a chump.—JS
Asking the question: do statistics ruin sports stories by draining the humanity out of them? Posnanski's answer is nuanced – as it should be – and his piece ends with a statistic that reveals ten great stories filled with humanity.—BK
The discussion that partly inspired Posnanski's column, featuring a response from Keri that nicely details how statistics and stories can and should coexist.—BK
If there's a worse time in life to have nothing to do than when you're young, athletic, and rich, medical science has yet to discover it.
I don't know if Bill Simmons specifically crafts his stuff to be the world's most ideal poop reading, or if it just seems that way.—JM
"I wish Jim Thome had hit his 600th home run back when we all still believed in lovable lugs." Here's the thing: I've had the pleasure of watching Thome as a Twin for a year and a half now, and he's such a genuinely great guy that he will MAKE you believe in lovable lugs again, even after all the steroid nonsense.—BK
Wow. It sure looks like the Blue Jays have been stealing signs in their home stadium.—BK
In search of grand meaning in the game of baseball, Posnanski instead finds his answers in the little things.—BK
Are you ready for some post-union-decertification-and-possible-violations-of-antitrust-law football?!
From Mel Gibson to the Russian Spies to the vuvuzela (and more!), enjoy some of our favorite jokes from one year ago.
HOLY CRAP. This is me, except I'm two years older than the author, and I played the game as much with my friend Chris in my 20s & 30s as I did by myself in my teens. I've since moved on to a computer-based game, but finding Statis Pro Baseball was one of the best things that ever happened to me.—BK
I believe, and will continue to believe, that Friday Night Lights is the first television show in the history of the medium that qualifies as "significant world literature." Though the show is over you can expect to keep hearing about it here (so you may as well go watch all the DVDs!).—JM
More and more data is being accumulated about the serious nature of head injuries in sports, particularly in football.—BK
A comprehensive oral history of Friday Night Lights.—JM
The dirtbag owner of the Dodgers, not the author of Angela's Ashes (he can stay). This article covers in stunning detail how McCourt and his wife Jamie essentially did a chop shop job on the Dodgers while MLB just stood by and watched.—BK
Anybody who grew up with a dad will like this piece. Anybody who grew up with a cheap dad will love it. As such, it might be my favorite piece of all time. Happy Father's Day!—JM
The NBA and NFL might both disappear for a while due to labor unrest, so sports fans are going to have to turn somewhere.—JM
We know how many bathrooms Derek Jeter's new mansion has. But, do we really want to?—JM
This will probably be the best piece about a 1988 North Dakota junior college basketball game that you will read all week.—JM
They're not booing; they're saying "South Booeach".
"'I printed out those 6,000-word columns and took them to the bathroom just like everybody else,' says A. J. Daulerio, the 37-year-old editor in chief of Deadspin, Gawker’s sports blog. '[Simmons] changed the way I looked at everyone else’s writing.'"—JM
From the BP disaster to the NASCAR Hall of Fame to the season finale of Lost (and more!), enjoy some of our favorite jokes from one year ago.
Farewell to the Hall of Famer, Minnesota Twins legend, and gentleman. (And for some of us, comedic inspiration in a can.)—BK
Before the basketball season I polled my Facebook friends, asking whether I was allowed to disavow the Minnesota Timberwolves (and nobody argued that the Timberwolves didn't deserve it) and become an Oklahoma City Thunder fan. My Facebook people voted "no." The bastards.—JM
The Lakers exhibited an incredible lack of class and sportsmanship in quitting on their fans and their coach. Does it tarnish the entire Phil Jackson legacy? Probably not, but, still... geez.—JM
A player's suicide sheds more light on the lasting health effects of a career in football, and the NFL's shameful care of its retired players.—JS
Anti-fun laws sure are awesome, aren't they? I'm sure this is the most important thing the Justice Department could be focusing on.—JS
The nerds have found a way in.—JM
Kids and sports and parenting. As always, Joe does an excellent job of making it personal and universal at the same time.—BK
As Kobe Bryant showed us this week, sports is basically the Western world's last bastion of anti-gay bigotry. I imagine it's even more difficult in professional wrestling circles...—JM
You probably don't need to have seen all 40 of Woody Allen's feature films like the author – or even 27 of them, like me – to get something out of this.—JM
Good old Joe Posnanski. Any time an old baseball dinosaur or an idiot sportswriter denounces useful and illuminating statistics, Joe will be there to make him look like the asshole he deserves to be regarded as. And that's not quite what this piece is; this piece is just funny. But still.—JM
From the Winter Olympics to Joe Biden to the Toyota recall (and more!), enjoy some of our favorite jokes from one year ago.
This is how every new uniform for every team should be designed, always. Because otherwise you end up looking like the Oklahoma City Thunder.—JM
You hear a lot about athletes "inspiring" people, but generally that's just lip service. Joe Posnanski writes about one instance in which the inspiration was real and deeply affecting.—JM
Hilarious primer on all things Twins and Minnesota, and I'd dare say you don't even have to be a Twins fan or Minnesota resident to enjoy it.—BK
If you allow for a very, very elastic definition of both "famous" and "alums," this is a fun list.—JM
Feels a bit too good to be true, but when fantasizing about the future of a major athletic talent, don't we always hope they might also turn out to be worth rooting for as a person?—BK
Whether or not you like sports or have heard of the Tampa Bay [Devil] Rays, you'll enjoy this story. Who doesn't enjoy stories about rich guys who are horrible, stupid and insane?—JM
This is some of the most spot-on analysis of the Minnesota Twins organization that I've ever read. And it has me terrified.—BK
A lengthy interview with one half of the "Cheap Seats" twins. Personally I think the legacy of the show will always be that they used some of my jokes in an episode one time... but I suppose that doesn't really apply to most "Cheap Seats" fans.—JM
As much as I love baseball, and as much as I love Ferris Bueller's Day Off, it never in a million years would have occurred to me to pore over game data and movie minutiae in order to determine exactly which game Ferris and his pals attended. I'm glad it occurred to Larry Granillo, though.—JM
From Tiger Woods to Avatar to the NBC late night fiasco (and more!), enjoy some of our favorite jokes from one year ago.
As my fiancée and I will be celebrating our 2-year anniversary this evening, I plan to salute the Mick in outstanding fashion. (Do heed the reader discretion advisory, if you're that type.)—JS
You've probably never heard of Voros McCracken, but you should have; his statistical discovery has transformed the game of baseball over the last ten years, though sadly, it has done little to transform his own life.—BK
If you're keeping score at home, that's PoopReading.com contributor Brandon Kruse 1, all of these people 0. Happy 40th Birthday, Brandon!—JM
Does it make sense to start an NFL overtime with a surprise onside kick? The article waffles a bit on an answer, but it does present some compelling arguments in favor of the strategy.—BK
It was the best of fictitious times, it was the worst of fictitious times.
My man Bert Blyleven finally makes it in. It reflected pretty poorly on the Hall of Fame that he wasn't in before ("fifth most strikeouts ever" should have been the beginning and the end of the argument), but justice has been done.—JM
All the best – and worst – that the sports world had to offer.—JM
Religious Jedis, the Hoff, the drink once known as "fruit smack," the relationship between roulette and the devil, and a double dose of Sesame Street trivia.—BK
When Michael Schur talks, I listen. (Though fans of Parks and Recreation should know that this conversation is mostly about baseball.)—BK
Once published on the NFL.com's long-gone Blog Blitz website, now published here
I don't think Cliff Lee is some kind of working class hero for turning down a king's ransom from the Yankees; let's be clear, the man will still make more money in five years than most of us will see in a lifetime. But I do like the whole sticking it to the Yankees part.—BK
Because you can't spell "Pay Derek Jeter good" without "Ode to a greedy jerk."
Boston uber-fan – and Los Angeles resident – Bill Simmons writes about how he poisoned his 5-year-old daughter against the Lakers. I could definitely use some of these tips if either of my girls ever start to look favorably upon UCLA...—JM
From the Balloon Boy to distracted driving to the Sarah Palin memoir (and more!), enjoy some of our favorite jokes from one year ago.
I'm thankful for the idea I just got, to recycle some old favorites in the link department. It's Thanksgiving, so just think of them as leftovers. Everyone loves Thanksgiving leftovers, right?—JM
No blurb could do this article justice.—JM
I read, and will probably continue to read, this 1981 profile of Andre the Giant once a year or so.—JM
Yeah... I forgot to look for links, and it was my day to do links. I was up really late. But here: TMQ is like half football and half random miscellaneous fascinating stuff, so even if you're not a sports fan there's plenty here to like.—JM
I suppose you could say that by posting this link, I'm betting that you'll enjoy it.—BK
"As a nameless, faceless shortstop, I have him worth $10 million to $11 million, but as Derek Jeter, I have him worth about $20 million." I already can't wait for next year's FJM Day!—JS
TV's best-ever show began its last-ever season on DirecTV last night. Relive the best moments... but only if you've seen them already, because spoilers abound.—JM
Simmons "broke" the story of the Randy Moss trade by accidentally tweeting when he was trying to send a direct message to somebody. I'm not sure how, but maybe Brett Favre could use something like that as an excuse...—JM
This doesn't happen often, but here's some literal poop reading: a look at how bowel movements are a hidden (and sometimes not-so-hidden) part of sports.—BK
Posnanski feels that the reluctance to use more instant replay and the high-profile blown calls this postseason are beginning to hurt the legitimacy of the game. Can't say I disagree. (And I'm not saying that as a bitter Twins fan; they didn't need the umpires' help to lose.)—BK
Research confirms what you might have already suspected: for baseball batters, the difference between hitting .299 and .300 is a huge motivator.—BK
We have only one known copy of magical Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, and it's only because Bing Crosby was a superstitious Pirates fan and amateur film preservationist. Further proof that Major League Baseball has long been run by morons.—BK
Burns's long-awaited (at least by me) addendum to his Baseball documentary, The Tenth Inning, airs on PBS this week. They're not saying "boo!", they're saying "Boo-urns!"—BK
From Kanye West to swine flu to the Chevy Volt (and more!), enjoy some of our favorite jokes from one year ago.
In honor of the Twins winning the A.L. Central last night (the majority of us here are fans), here's a great profile of Jim Thome, who has been a genuine pleasure to watch this year. (And be sure to click on the awesome cover photo!)—BK
He seems to be the driving force behind the Colorado Rockies' recent penchant for late-season hot streaks.—BK
If you've never read anything by James before, this piece about Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, and why breaking the rules is a very American trait, is pretty much the perfect introduction to his style and tone. (And worth reading even if you're not much of a baseball fan.)—BK
Posnanski, god bless him, takes all the MLB managers and ranks them by how good they were as players. I'm incredibly jealous of this idea.—BK
As the 25th anniversary of Rose's mark passes, Neyer illustrates that it's a much tougher record to break than most people think.—BK
So let me get this straight: we've known for almost 25 years that there's this awesome, hilarious guy Reg Mellor, who can keep ravenous ferrets down his pants for the better part of six hours, and we've done nothing about it – but some slacker doofus tweets his dad's bigoted rants and a year later it's a sitcom?—JS
"Internal NFLPA studies have shown that only 33 to 40 percent of hardcore NFL fans have the impending labor drama on their radar screens." I would submit that if the impending labor drama is not on your radar screen, then you are clearly not a hardcore NFL fan.—JM
You may not care about baseball. You may not care about the demise of the Portland Beavers minor league team. But you must care about something, right? And if you've ever admired someone for being able to do something you wish you could but can't, I think you'll like this piece.—BK
Steve Rushin reflects on the last season of outdoor Twins baseball (1981)... and the first (2010).—JM
Good argument suggesting that the best way to cut down on pitcher injuries in MLB is a stronger dose of prevention before they even get there. Likely tough to pull off, but worth fighting for.—BK
I don't know enough football to say whether the argument lands, but that's a headline! (And, after Googling in vain for a choice Goldblum profile on the heels of The Switch, it was either that, or this.)—JS
Luckily, there's enough green jackets for everyone in the family.
Everyone hopes the injury problems affecting phenom Stephen Strasburg are nothing serious, but as JoPo details, baseball has a long, sad history of pitching injuries derailing talented young careers.—BK
I've always enjoyed Jim Caple so I'm linking to this piece, even though he doesn't deserve it after claiming that Turturro – not Malkovich – played Teddy KGB in Rounders.—JM
You'll have to wade through a few patches of writing only FJM could love, but this behind-the-scenes history of the Madden video game series is pretty interesting (even if, like me, you don't play video games or watch NFL football).—JS
A fun review of some the best (or worst, you decide) facial hair in MLB history.—BK
Lots of cool info on the current production of the movie I never thought would get made (though I'm very excited that it is). And I'd just like to remind everyone that I was the first guy to cast Brad Pitt and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the same film.—BK
You can't spell "Favre indecision" without "divine fiasco." (You also can't spell it without "fine vino sidecar," but that's just silly.)
Fun stuff – especially a neat little tidbit about Stanley Tucci's gift for name-changing advice.—BK
Dude. I mean, I like baseball a lot too, but... dude.—JM
Post-Steinbrenner, Leitch feels the Yankees have no personality left. I could not agree more.—BK
If any baseball player is deserving of a long profile like this, it's Rivera, who is generally considered the greatest relief pitcher in the history of the game.—BK
Yes, there were many reasons to despise George Steinbrenner during his tenure as owner of the Yankees, but you can't deny the man this: he did everything he could to win, and as a Twins fan, there were times (see Pohlad, Carl) when I would have loved to have an owner like that.—BK
The list of things I miss about living in Southern California is small (friends, In-N-Out Burger, access to the mountains), but getting to listen to Vin Scully call a baseball game on a regular basis is definitely on there.—BK
I say it's all temporary and soccer once again fails to catch on here (kind of like, how much televised swimming have you watched since Michael Phelps at the 2008 Olympics?), but for now it's all terribly exciting. And if this piece is any indication, Roger Bennett is the perfect man to help us enjoy it until our World Cup fever dies down (which could happen as early as Saturday afternoon).—JM
The story of Dandy, an offshoot of the Phillie Phanatic that proved to be pretty much his polar opposite in terms of popularity.—BK
Why should soccer fans be the only ones to enjoy teeth-grinding aggravation and temporary hearing loss?
Oh, soccer... is there anything you can't ruin?—JM
Like with most things, I'm naturally inclined to blame Clinton and hippies. But in this instance, try as I might, I couldn't find a way to blame Clinton.
This is one of those inspired ideas that makes you (well, alright, me) jealous: which current Major League Baseball player will be last former Montreal Expo to retire from the game?—BK
They flew too close to the sun on wings of buffalo.
What was Reggie Bush supposed to do, not be awesome at football? I don't get these NCAA thugs... you should've seen how mean they were to that poor kid from The Blind Side!—JS
Pardon my French, but fuckin' A was this ever Emmy-worthy. Spoilers and embedded Hulu clips abound, so it's not ideal poop reading, but I posted this link anyway because you need to know how bad of a person you are for not watching this show.—JM
There has never been a legitimate argument against the use of instant replay in sports, and now its absence has cost a young pitcher a perfect game and a good umpire the reputation it took a lifetime to build.—JM
I'm not necessarily a huge fan of NBA basketball or of the Star Wars films, but I have at least heard of both of those things. And I think that's just about all you need to be able to enjoy this piece. Not that Posnanski ever isn't enjoyable.—JM
Who studies the relationship between birth order among siblings and its effect on stolen bases in major league baseball? Awesome people, that's who.—BK
Competitive fairness really is one of the best arguments against interleague play in baseball, and Sheehan lays it out quite nicely.—BK
Analyzing the ramifications of American Needle v. NFL. The full impact of needle v. MLB is yet to be seen.—JS
Banks was one of my favorite players when he was with the Twins, and was also a favorite of a Red Sox-loving friend of mine when Banks later pitched for Boston. There was just something about the guy.—BK
Celebrating 62 years of ancillary carbon monoxide poisoning!
Jamie Moyer is still pitching in the Major Leagues – and pitching effectively, for the most part – at age 47. 47!—JM
Joe devotes a non-sports column (though there's still a little sports) to a long, meandering (but always interesting) explanation of why Brendan Fraser just might be his favorite actor working today (seriously).—BK
Just a fascinating look at how baseball has grown more specialized, and the result is more plate appearances than ever ending in a walk or strikeout, which means less action on the field, longer games, and, for many fans, a slightly more boring product.—BK
"The first time she saw [Kirby's statue], she did say the butt was too small." I'm not making that up; that's real. God bless the Minnesota Twins, you guys. Seriously. I can't imagine being a fan of any other baseball team. Even one that's won a World Series recently.—JM
I suspect that "Friday Night Lights" will hold this title until it goes off the air for good. There's really nothing "Modern Family" or anybody else can do, which is a bit of a shame, but "Friday Night Lights" is just so damn good.
The Welsh rugby star came out recently, and the response was almost exclusively positive. I believe it would be so in the United States as well, at least among fans and the media. American sports has no one to blame, then, but the athletes themselves.—JM
Nice look at how baseball is evolving in the post-steroid era. (Hat tip, Matt K.)—BK
Long Bill Simmons article about sports (the NFL draft, specifically). Pretty much the reason this website exists.—JM
Can an athlete really be "hot," or "in the zone?" Science doesn't seem to think so. Oh, science. Must you ruin all of our fun?—JM
These arguments against taxpayer-funded sports stadiums have been made before, and I agree with them... in theory. But in practice, I am in a frenzy of anticipation for my first trip to Target Field next week, and would step over my own mother to get there.—BK
A love letter to the stadium and the team, and from a national columnist, no less. It's a good day to be a Twins fan, folks.—JM
Good, but not as good as it could have been if Smithers had truly sought out the most elite MLB players at that particular point in time. (Best use of advanced baseball statistics EVER.)—BK
Speaking of advanced baseball statistics, Simmons is now on board with them.—BK
The piece itself doesn't really comport with the headline, and the author makes few, if any, salient points. Still, the "please for the love of God don't ruin March Madness" argument can't possibly be made often enough, so, here we are.—JM
Meaty profile of two young, hopeful baseball superstars: Atlanta's Jason Heyward, who is currently in the majors, and Washington's Stephen Strasburg, who should be later on this season.—BK
Nice look at how baseball is embracing a new emphasis on fielding, even if its fans may not be so crazy about the idea.—BK
Celebrating nearly 20 years of making the Kansas City Royals and their fans feel better about themselves.
A classic April Fool's Day article from back when people read magazines—MW
When your NCAA tourney pick goes down (yep, I had Kansas), it's time to start rooting for the lowest-seeded team left standing to wreak havoc on the rest of the field.—BK
The NFL just ruined overtime, and the NCAA might just ruin their basketball tournament next year by expanding to 96 teams. But for now, while we can, let's revel in one last weekend when everything was as it should be...—JM
From March Madness to unwanted Barbie dolls to Christian Bale's profane tirade (and more!), enjoy some of our favorite jokes from one year ago.
Posnanski gives his take on the Kansas Jayhawks' bracket-busting loss to Northern Iowa this weekend.—BK
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, where are you when we really need you?—JM
Long, thorough, interesting... I'd say he found it.—BK
Great point about how baseball writers and fans tend to romanticize and whitewash the behavior of past players while demonizing the players of the present.—BK
Whether or not you follow the NBA – and I don't, really – this an interesting story.—JM
Chad Moeller talks about some of the memorable pitchers he has caught during his 10-year career as a journeyman catcher.—BK
Honestly, they were just grabbing a gummi Venus de Milo that got stuck to that girl's pants!
"Back when she'd just accused wealthy white Duke students of rape, lawyers were volunteering to work for her pro bono should she want to sue for damages. This time around, with a case that's less financially promising, she's relying, according to WRAL.com, on a public defender." Sad, but not surprising.—JM
Penning a guest column, the ESPN play-by-play man argues on behalf of integrating more advanced stats into baseball broadcasts, and I think he gets it exactly right: educate, but don't overwhelm.—BK
Not surprising coming from the people that shot down Skijöring back in 1928.
The Summer Olympics have table tennis and pistol shooting, yet curling is the butt of all the jokes. Hardly seems fair...—JM
Making the case for Thomas belonging in the Hall of Fame. I'm on record as despising Thomas during his playing days (his constant whining and money-grubbing really turned me off), but even I readily admit the guy should be a no-brainer Hall of Famer.—BK
A brilliant idea. I don't watch, but I assume the sap was flowing freely when that luger whanged himself into a support column.—JS
Good argues that, after 15 years of players' union banishment, the guys who were replacement players in 1995 should be allowed to have their likenesses in MLB video games.—BK
Keith Olbermann disagrees.—BK
Fans of other teams make the sad and not even remotely convincing cases for their suffering being greater than those of us who follow the Vikings.—JM
Part II: more of the same.—JM
Isn't it comforting to know that someone is out there making these lists so we don't have to?—BK
And, in some cases, 11 minutes that can really ruin your weekend. (I'm telling you, this "time-in" idea is a winner!)—JS
Being a Royals fan is so painful, it has led Joe to discover a new addition to Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's famous five stages of grief.—BK
One of my favorite SNL sketches of all time (and since today is my birthday, posting this is like a little gift to myself).—BK
From Rod Blagojevich to unpopular holiday stories to the auto bailout (and more!), enjoy some of our favorite jokes from one year ago.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to make a bunch of shit up.
I've been wounded too many times, so I'm just going to assume that as long as it's technically possible for the Vikings to lose to the Packers in the playoffs this season, that's what's going to happen.—JM
Okay, so it's pro rugby in Wales rather than baseball, basketball, or football here in the U.S., but it's still progress, right?—BK
I watch the NFL very, very occasionally and I almost always read Joe's excellent columns about it. But even I know this: the instant replay system is a joke. I don't know if this is the fix, but any suggestions are welcome.—JS
The baseball journalism legend says farewell with his typical humility and grace.—BK
Just the picks. Very busy.
A piece about Brett Favre? That's a linkin'. A piece by Joe Posnanski? That's a linkin'. A piece about Favre, written by Posnanski? You better believe that's a linkin'.—JM
Everyone had a bad Week 13 picking games, apparently. Not just me.
In the clubhouses, that is, where teams are trying to cut down on junk food. Don't worry, you can still eat all you want in the stands. Believe me, I've tried.—BK
See, it's not that I'm not writing anything; it's just that I'm not writing anything here.—JM
The most compelling stories, it's been said, take you deep into worlds that you barely knew existed.—JM
Well, it's not really a proper picks column, per se, but I wanted to make sure to get my picks in for the record, at least.
Please enjoy these placeholder football picks by a young up-and-comer to tide you over until I get mine up first thing Saturday. Wait, did I say Saturday? I meant Sunday. First thing Sunday. Promise.—JM
Looks like somebody's sliced one deep into the rough.
I don't follow sports that closely, but I know stars are overpaid and cities bend over for team owners, spending millions to build stadiums the teams should build themselves. So all this sounds dandy to me.—JS
A look at baseball players who received between 15 and 20 Hall of Fame votes in their first year of eligibility; enough to indicate support from writers, but not enough to keep them on the ballot in the future.—BK
The shit is going to hit the fan someday. It's inevitable; the way things are going is unsustainable. Folks won't just stand for this sort of thing indefinitely. And lots of innocent people are going to get hurt, which will be a terrible shame, but I don't see where else this course can take us.—JM
Reading Peter King is as much a Monday morning tradition as dreading going back into work, or cursing yourself for not working harder in your 20s. Enjoy!—JM
A quick picks column for the three Thanksgiving Day games.
An oldie but a goodie.—JM
Leitch's take on The Sports Guy's ascendance from outsider to bestselling author and cultural phenomenon.—BK
How the statistical revolution in baseball is finally starting to change end-of-season award voting for the better.—BK
The bye weeks are done. Everybody's playing. Life is as it should be.
I've been featuring an awful lot of Joe Posnanski on the site recently, but as long as he keeps writing stuff you ought to read, I'll keep linking to it.—JM
From the presidential election to the explosion of the iPhone to the futility of the Detroit Lions (and more!), enjoy some of our favorite jokes from one year ago.
Joe Posnanski agrees with me, and with math.—JM
I had to look around a while before I found anyone willing to defend Bill Belichick's going for it on fourth down last night, but I had a hunch that the pot odds were in his favor. And, according to math, apparently, they were.—JM
I could have won money on the NFL last weekend, but I voluntarily chose not to. Details inside...
I love this silly fantasy redesign of the NFL's dullest helmets because a) uniform design is the only part of pro football that holds my interest for more than 90 seconds; and b) it would make Tom Brady look like Super Dave Osborne.—JS
"Hey, if the game is rigged, rig the game." Indeed. The Yankees have a decidedly unfair advantage (though who could blame them for taking advantage of it? Not this Twins fan, for one...). That they hadn't won in nine years only shows how unwisely they used their overwhelming financial advantage before getting it right this season.—JM
Bad week last week. Good week this week? One week, two week, red week, blue week! (Sorry; I haven't been getting much sleep...)
A look at how the Yankees' ventures into free agent pitching have been expensive disasters, and whether their luck may finally be turning. (Though a certain heavyset, initialized left-hander could always add to the legend with a bad Game 7. A man can dream, can't he?)—BK
Read your Peter King, kids. It puts hair on your chest!—JM
The author believes it's because Pedro knows he's not done in this game. I'm not completely convinced of that yet, but as many have learned over the years, you bet against Pedro at your peril.—BK
Happy Halloween, everyone, and Happy Week 8 of the NFL Season!
Two authors – one a Vikings fan, one a Packers fan – offer their thoughts on Brett Favre's return to Lambeau Field in purple and gold. This'll have to do for now, NFL fans; my picks will go up on Saturday.—JM
It's come to this: I'm linking to my own stuff now. But this one is worth it, if I may humbly be allowed to say so.—JM
One of these games will obviously have to be bumped off the list when Brett Favre and the Vikings visit Lambeau Field on Sunday...—JM
Seeing Coach Taylor in the East Dillon red and black in the photo accompanying this article was every bit as disorienting to this Vikings fan as seeing Brett Favre in purple and gold for the first time. That's how deeply "Friday Night Lights" gets under your skin. Seasons 4 starts tonight and it's only on DirecTV for now, but Seasons 1 through 3 are available to watch on your computer via Netflix. There's simply no excuse anymore, folks.—JM
Why the NFL's salary cap system isn't working as flawlessly as some would have you believe.—BK
Man, I thought of such a witty, insightful blurb for this space, but now I can't for the life of me remember what it was.
A column that praises the integrity and fortitude of USC coach Pete Carroll while simultaneously bashing the BCS? Um... yes please!—JM
Yeah, yeah; two football links. Quit whining, they're both good. In an excerpt from his new book of essays, Klosterman explains why he – and we – love football so damned much.—JM
"We have lost 40 per cent of the shafts of our long bones, because we have much less of a muscular load placed upon them these days." And as hard as this is to believe based on that quotation, this piece is not about porn.—JM
Worth reading, if only for the insanity that was former NFL coach Dick Vermeil.—BK
I was waiting for a dramatic Pete Carroll victory to pull this goodie from the archives; I think Saturday's odd combo of "suspenseful" and "trouncing" will do. (Ignore the dopey premise and title – you'll enjoy an insightful profile of a fascinating guy.)—JS
Sometimes, don't you just kind of feel bad for people who don't like football?
Gladwell asks the provocative question: how different (for the competitors) are dogfighting and football?—BK
The answer to this question: yes, but just barely.—JM
In which the handsomeness of AFC East quarterbacks does not go unremarked upon.
Granderson doesn't name names, if you're looking for that sort of thing, but he tackles an issue that I've long seen as a very important one. Fortunately, I don't think we're too far away from pro athletes being openly gay, and having it not be a big deal.—JM
It was an exhilarating, frustrating, exhausting, and ultimately, for the Twins fans among us, triumphant game last night. Wojciechowski calls it an "instant classic," a phrase I've always been reluctant to embrace, but in this case, yeah, maybe it was.—BK
Please indulge Joe and I in a little "farewell to the Metrodome" (at least for the Twins) excess this week. Posnanski does a great job of nailing the "hate it but I've grown to love it" attitude many of us have toward the dump, and how, at the end of this baseball season, it's refusing to go away quietly.—BK
The ball beeps and the bases hum, allowing blind players to take part in a pretty physical version of baseball.—JS
We're set up for either the best two days in Metrodome history... or the worst. Or I guess somewhere in between.—JM
An important reminder that ESPN's 30 for 30 starts airing this week, and that it has the potential to be unbelievably awesome.—BK
You don't necessarily have to be a football fan to enjoy this column (trust me, my knowledge of the NFL is cursory at best), especially because of a brilliant "Most screwed-up celebrity kids in 2025" fantasy draft tangent that pops up in the middle. (My apologies to Joe for possibly stealing a Simmons link.)—BK
10-6 last week... let's keep it up. Let's creep steadily toward non-mediocrity.
If I'm PoopReading.com contributor Jameson Simmons, then the BCS is my Leno. Or my Twitter. The BCS is like a million tweets from Jay Leno being read aloud by Julianne Moore.—JM
He even threw a couple of careless balls that should have been picked off, and heaved a key fourth quarter pass a good yard in front of the line of scrimmage; let no one say that Minnesota fans didn't get the entire Brett Favre experience on Sunday!—JM
Smashing a sand-smoothing vehicle into an outfield wall and nearly tipping over a wheelbarrow full of infield dirt were two of the ways the author embarrassed herself while working as a member of the Washington Nationals grounds crew.—BK
Hope you like limericks. This week, it's nothing but limericks.
Ignoring the brain trauma problem in retired players and hoping the problem goes away would be bad enough, but what the NFL is doing is even worse.—JM
"FNL" Seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream on Netflix, so you don't even have to wait for the DVDs to come in the mail. There's no excuse anymore. Get off your ass like I did last week, and start watching this show. (more "FNL" info to come very soon in a "Best Show On TV" piece if "Glee" is bad again next week)—JM
Why left-handed quarterbacks have a hard time in the NFL.—BK
And we're off to a .500 start...
Don't let the title mislead you; this is about sports. Or, more specifically, about Posnanski debating fellow writer Ken Rosenthal about the debate over whether Joe Mauer should be AL MVP. (I think he should.)—BK
O but to live so long and so well, and to be so certain of God's grace.—JM
It's not Tuesday morning anymore, but everything should still apply.—JM
How the "Wildcat" offense has infiltrated the NFL, and what it means for the future of the game.—BK
Are you ready for some [guy's picks column about] footbaaaaaaaaall?
The Flem File takes a look at one man's obsession with football at the dawn of another glorious NFL season.—JM
Inspired by LaGarrette Blount's post-game coldcocking of a Boise State player, Page 2 takes a look at other such incidents. If you are in a position to watch the videos that are linked in this piece, all the better.—JM
Simmons. Vegas. Read it.—JM
Bill Simmons writing about Vegas; that's like Julia Roberts going on Letterman. You just don't miss it.—JM
Believe it or not, the internet turned 40 this week. DJ Gallo has some thoughts about how today's sports world would be different if the internet had never come about...—JM
A question I have asked many a time while watching a baseball or football game.—BK
Obviously Tecmo Bowl Bo Jackson is in a class by himself, but there are 11 others to bear mentioning as well.—JM
As with many baseball players of the late 90s/early 2000s, it's easy to suspect performance enhancement. But this article wonders whether Garciaparra's introversion played a role in his decline.—BK
Time to lay the hammer down, bitches!
The creator of "Hypothetical Horatio" weighs in with a half-dozen points, only a few of which are suggestions about how to fix the NFL, but all of which are dynamite.—JM
How Hunter's success in baseball (first with the Twins, and now with the Angels) and the revelation of a half-brother brought a troubled family together.—BK
The origins of having his first name rather than his last name on the back of his jersey, and why he thinks infield hits are sexier than home runs.—BK
You know, besides the prestige that comes with joining an organization that has lost four Super Bowls.
I've only started watching more than nine minutes of football a year (between Super Bowl ads) since I got an HDTV, but even I can tell that this would be an awesome improvement to the game.—JS
Hell yeah, he does! Eat it, Wisconsin!—JM
Some fellow Vikings fans aren't as excited as I am about Brett Favre coming to town. I try to explain to them why they're wrong.
A profile of 16-year-old German baseball prospect Max Kepler-Rozycki, who recently received a record bonus for an amateur position player outside of the U.S. and Latin America. And the best part? The team that signed him was the Minnesota Twins.—BK
At least we know that the folks in Wisconsin will have plenty of cheese to go with their whine.—JM
An interesting take on the contract negotiations between the Washington Nationals and the top pick in the baseball draft, Stephen Strasburg.—JM
It's so easy to gag away a major golf championship, and Sunday's results probably make it seem all the more remarkable that it took Tiger Woods this long to do so.—JM
Doug Glanville writes it, we link it. This time, what happens to former ballplayers, even those ready to retire and start a new life?—MW
This piece contains a glaring factual inaccuracy, referring to the LSU football team's "national championship run in 2003." There is no actual "national championship" at the top level of college football, of course, and the January 2004 bowl season proved conclusively that if such a thing did exist, USC would have won it fairly easily. But other than that, this is a fun read.—JM
The Hall of Fame Game happened over the weekend. I know! We're only a few weeks away from real, actual NFL football. I can't believe it either!—JM
A look at how the current failure of the Oakland A's has some in baseball taking joy in the "downfall" of GM Billy Beane, and wondering whether the concept of Moneyball is dead. (It's not, mostly because people continually misunderstand the lessons of that book.)—BK
The Sports Guy breaks down the offseason of the NBA, a league I don't really follow, using quotes from Almost Famous, which he borderline-hilariously proclaims "the movie of the decade." Still... new Simmons is new Simmons. Plus, this is only part one!—JM
Why getting inducted into the Hall of Fame isn't just a great honor for baseball players, it's also a financial windfall.—BK
The Sports Guy devotes his final ESPN the Magazine column (just the Magazine; not ESPN.com, let's make that clear) to celebrating his dad's retirement.—BK
It really is a great site, and Sean Forman's success is deserved, as it sprang from hard work, dedication, and a quality product.—BK
"Time remains undefeated."—JM
With Rickey Henderson's Hall of Fame Induction just a week away, several of his former teammates share their memories of the eccentric superstar.—BK
If I've got a link in the Sports category, you can bet it's a nerdy link. (How can you not love nerd athletes?)—JS
I have every reason to believe that I would be capable of becoming a big cricket fan. I mean, I'm sure I won't, but, still.—JM
A nice profile of Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer, and an example of what newspapers can still do well, particularly with sports: the author knows the subject and he knows the town, and it comes through in the writing.—BK
San Francisco's Jonathan Sanchez threw a no-hitter on Friday night, and thanks to MLB Network doing live cut-ins after the 6th inning, I was able to watch it. It was an amazing game, almost like something out of a movie, and this article captures some of the details that made it so special.—BK
ESPN's "30 For 30" has to be one of the best ideas in the history of television, and apparently a lot of the credit goes to PoopReading.com favorite Bill Simmons.—JM
Neyer looks at some of the theories about why Major League Baseball has seen a 26% rise in injuries over the last three years.—BK
My two cents: you'd generally say a golfer has it tougher, because he's got to beat 100 guys to win a tournament, while a tennis player only has to beat six. But if Roger Federer had to beat 100 guys, I have no doubt that he could do it.—JM
The past and future of competitive eating injuries, and one of the best titles ever.—BK
A slightly hysterical overview of parallax in the TV depiction of baseball pitching: more accurate vs. easier to watch.—JS
Without overstating the case, I can say that reading Bill Simmons' annual NBA Draft diary is one of the highlights of any true sports fan's year.—JM
As a warning to the presumptive #1 selection in the upcoming NBA draft, Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers season ticket holder Bill Simmons breaks down the post-1976 history of the team that holds this year's top pick. It's as comprehensive as it is horrifying; that is to say: very.—JM
I've always tended to join the torch-wielding masses when it comes to Fehr, hating him for his part in the 1994 strike and the steroids problem in baseball. But you can always count on Joe Sheehan to play the contrarian to conventional wisdom, and that's why I love reading his stuff.—BK
I've never been particularly interested in tennis, but I find Roger Federer's quest for all-time greatness compelling nonetheless. Maybe because your typical American sports fan seems to be ignoring it completely.—JM
A book excerpt from Wertheim's tome about the epic 2008 Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Father's Day is coming up, you know...—JM
Pitch counts in baseball have evolved from a beneficial cautionary guideline to an overly simplified rule and a way for managers to avoid criticism in the press. Joe and Bill like how Nolan Ryan and the Rangers are trying to change that mindset, and I concur.—BK
Bryce Harper, the 15-year-old phenom from Las Vegas who, among other things, once hit a 570-foot home run. (And no, this isn't another Sidd Finch fake out.)—BK
An interview in The New Yorker with Bill Simmons on the NBA Finals and his upcoming book.—JM
Really, not to toot our own horn here, but if you like baseball, and you like movies, then I don't know why on earth you wouldn't want to read this.
Sometimes membership does not have its privileges.
How do you make sure you have tons of great emails from prominent celebrities to answer in your preview of the NBA Finals, which start tonight? Simple; you make them up!—JM
Dumb title. As Randy Johnson goes for the 300th win of his career, a look at how much pitching inside and hitting batters has helped him get there.—BK
Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates once pitched twelve perfect innings... and then lost. Being a baseball geek, I've known that for years. This is an in-depth look at the game, suitable for those who know the story and those who don't.—JM
The difficulties and rewards of attempting to visit all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums in a single season.—BK
Celebrating bee week with a look back at a classic spelling bee post. (In a just world, Joe would be posting this link, since he first introduced me to it. And yet.)—JS
I'd heard about this before, and I think it's awesome.—BK
Jesse "The Body" Ventura over real gubernatorial candidates, "American Idol's" Kris Allen over everyone else, VHS over Beta, and more...
I know it's not football season, and I know it's not 2008. Still, this is one of the greatest things I've ever seen. Also, the Major League Baseball draft is coming up, and I'm going to steal the living hell out of this idea.—JM
Coming on the heels of three straight soul-crushing walk-off losses to the Yankees, it's a little tough to find consolation in the fact that the Twins organization is filled with stand-up guys. I'd embrace a few douchebags if it meant more wins – particularly in the postseason.—BK
A few years ago, Bill Simmons and Malcolm Gladwell had an epic email exchange that covered mostly basketball, but also covered anything and everything else. Yesterday, they did it again. This is Part One...—JM
...and here's Part Three.—JM
Posnanski makes a compelling argument against knee-jerk hatred of egomaniacal baseball agent Scott Boras. I'm still going to hate Boras, but I'll try to mull it over for a minute before I do it.—BK
Dozens of baseball professionals, including ex-A's manager Art Howe, have signed on to play themselves. Even if you don't care about Moneyball, you have to admit this is one of the most fascinating projects out there.—BK
On the heels of Manny Ramirez's suspension, Esquire reruns their offseason interview with Jonathan Papelbon, in which the Red Sox closer refers to his ex-teammate as a "cancer."—BK
Lots of stuff to cover this week, folks. We've got sports, we've got TV; well... mostly just sports and a little bit of TV.
I suspect that Bill Simmons wrote this column a few years ago and just held onto it until the time came to run it, like newspapers do with obituaries for really old celebrities.—JM
ESPN.com's "The Sports Guy" is dead serious about wanting to be the general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves. There's not a chance in hell it could happen, of course, and that's quite a shame.—JM
At least, the numbers don't suggest that they do.—JM
Even Sean Hannity will open up the Times to read Doug Glanville!—MW
Gladwell's back! Gladwell's back! And he's got a nice little (or actually, not so little) piece about how underdogs win by exploiting conventional thinking – for example, by making liberal use of the full-court press in basketball.—BK
ESPN's Tuesday Morning Quarterback has nice things to say about the late Jack Kemp, with whom he was (slightly) personally acquainted.—JM
You don't become a lying, deceiving egomaniac overnight, so one must assume Brett Favre has always been like that. Of course, if he comes to my beloved Vikings, he'll instantly become my favorite football player of all time.—JM
My descent into Facebook madness continues unabated...
When Bill Simmons writes about the NBA, it's like when Julia Roberts goes on Letterman; you just don't want to miss it.—JM
Think the slumping economy might mean a nice cut in ticket prices for your favorite team's games? Turns out that might not necessarily be the case...—JM
We don't get much Tuesday Morning Quarterback between January and August, so I suggest we all get while the getting is good.—JM
Peter King tells us all we need to know about the NFL draft. Probably. I mean, if there's more to know that he hasn't told us, I wouldn't know it.—JM
Gay marriage, Kent Hrbek, and "Chuck."
(this blurb should not be taken to mean that Kent Hrbek is getting gay married to a guy named Chuck. I mean, I haven't specifically heard that he isn't, but, in this particular case, I think we can take the absence of any evidence that he is to mean that he is not)
I've been looking for this for years; it's finally online. It's as good as I remember.—JM
Demetri Martin has been cast as Paul DePodesta? Wow. Even if I had dared dream they'd make a Moneyball movie, there's no way I'd have envisioned Steven Soderbergh, Brad Pitt, Steven Zaillian, and Demetri Martin as the team responsible for bringing it to the screen.—BK
TMQ returns from hibernation with his annual NFL draft column! Rejoice!—JM
If you like Pac-Man, this'll keep you entertained for quite a while. If you don't, then greetings! How are things in Communist Russia?—JS
Now we just wait for the Jared Allen quote saying "Yes, yes, this lion is much more frightening. I am now afraid to sack Daunte Culpepper."—MW
How do you get two byline links in the same week here at PoopReading.com? By making at least one of your pieces about Michael Schur, of course.—BK
Bill Simmons is right: Dwyane Wade is Jack Bauer.—JM
First they came for the wrestlers, then they came for the baseball players...—JM
Apparently, the Long Island University basketball team would have represented the United States at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, but they chose not to go, and their story remained largely unknown.—JM
Marinovich's story remains a sad cautionary tale: an obsessed father tries to create the perfect football player, and in the process, quite possibly destroys his son's life.—BK
I was too young to fully appreciate the Mark Fidrych phenomenon as it was happening; Joe Posnanski was nine, and he remembers the pitcher with the perfect mix of childhood hero worshipper and baseball historian.—BK
This piece was written last summer, but it's just as true now. I don't know what made me think of it; maybe I just wanted to be needlessly provocative.—JM
Yes, I've linked to a piece by a right-of-center columnist. But it's okay, folks. You can unbunch your panties: this one is just about baseball.—JM
I whine about an obscure baseball urban legend and recommend a show on DVD.
The former MTV "Singled Out" host and son of a Hall of Fame bowler contends that advances in technology are making bowling too easy. Maybe he's right; any idiot can bowl a 129 nowadays. Right, Mr. President?—JM
Ted Williams was a piece of work, with a mix of rage and ego that made him a borderline sociopath, and that comes roaring through every inch of this super-long profile of the Hall of Fame hitter, now available online for the first time since it originally ran back in 1986.—BK
Okay, this review loses its snarky zing after a while, but I'm pretty sure the ninja is fighting a shark in a water hazard. If you tell your grandchildren about one thing, let it be this.—JS
How some MLB teams are starting to embrace advanced statistical analysis of fielding as a way to get a competitive edge.—BK
A look at the status of Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. Hm, the International Olympic Committee meets Chicago politics... one can only imagine how exquisite the corruption will be.—JM
As this piece accurately points out, "there are only four people alive so familiar to Minnesotans that they can be referred to by a single moniker: Jesse, Prince, Dylan — and Sid." (thanks to Cousin Adam for the link)—JM
In honor of this, the foolingest of days, here's some classic poop reading that's my choice for the greatest hoax of all time.—BK
I first came across this December 1981 Sports Illustrated profile of Andre the Giant ten years ago or so, and I've read it at least once a year since then. It's one of the more interesting things you'll ever read, and it'll keep you in poop reading for about a week. Enjoy!—JM
Oh, the Forest Face. Songs will be written about the glory of the Forest Face, and passed down from generation to generation.—BK
A sports team with stupid uniforms finally suffers real consequences; plus, trifling thoughts on "American Idol" and "Dollhouse."
Jim Caple takes a look at what the failures of newspapers, and the corresponding loss of baseball beat writers, means for the fan.—JM
A meaty profile of San Diego State pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who has clocked 103 mph on the radar gun and might someday throw the fastest pitch ever.—JM
This ESPN "Outside the Lines" piece, which digs a little deeper into the peculiar story of a 73-year-old college basketball player, ought to keep you busy for quite a while.—JM
The Sports Guy takes a shot at using sports-style statistical analysis to answer the question: Who is the greatest living actor? (Hat tip, Chris C.)—BK
Self-diagnosis in 25 easy steps. Remember, doctors say early detection is the key.
In which you find out who I pick to win it all. And I know the suspense has been killing you.
Exploring the concept of baseball stadiums as architecture via a look at the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field.—BK
This'll get us to the Sweet Sixteen; tomorrow I'll take us the rest of the way.
Levels of sexual innuendo not seen since the heyday of Minnesota Twins outfielder Randy Bush.
The Netherlands eliminating the Dominican Republic from the World Baseball Classic? That's almost like... well... see, this is hard, because if it were any other impossibly massive upset, you'd say, "That's almost like if the Netherlands eliminated the Dominican Republic from the World Baseball Classic!"—JM
Silver gets back to his roots with a look at how smarter management has fostered a financial revolution in baseball.—BK
The awesomeness of the idea is diminished a little by the author's atrocious spelling.—BK
How revenue concerns and bloated contracts have most NBA teams watching from the sidelines this season.—BK
A little kid's question at the Baseball Hall of Fame prompts a father to conclude that the job of the Hall of Fame voter is not the same as the job of a dad.
Those French people think they're so hot, but you know what? They're not.—JM
Strikes and scandals haven't just hurt the game; they've hurt the moviegoing public.
I'm of the opinion that you can't assume any player is/was clean, but if you have to pick a slugger to make that assumption about, Delgado seems like a good choice.—BK
Family commitments have kept me from writing anything new the last day or two, but I figured I'd put up this oldie but goodie. Not to be immodest, but it might be my favorite thing I've ever written.
The great Dan Kois attempts to apply the lessons of Michael Lewis's famous Shane Battier piece to his own pickup basketball game.—JM
Listing the four people most strongly associated with each team over the course of that franchise's history. A great idea, one that I wish I thought of first.—BK
And here's the National League version.—BK
A look back at the NBA legend's brief foray into Major League Baseball.—BK
Some (#1) are quite bolder than others (#2). That said, it's never too early to start thinking about baseball season, is it?—JM
A nice take on the fallacy of trying to rewrite the baseball record books.—BK
You don't have to love the Mariners to get a warm tingle down your spine when you read this piece about the return of Ken Griffey, Jr. You merely have to love sports.—JM
As a topic, it's a horse that has seen better days, but the style of the piece and his theory on the difference in fan/media outrage between baseball and football players make it worth checking out.—BK
Through a profile of the Rockets' Shane Battier, Lewis digs into the emergence of statistical analysis in the NBA. Can we just have Michael Lewis write all the in-depth sports profiles? Please?—BK
A list that includes two famous players whose bans you might not be aware of (I certainly wasn't).—BK
If Alex Rodriguez is the most hated man in sports right now, hockey player Bryan Little of the Atlanta Thrashers should be the most beloved.
In honor of pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training this weekend, here's a beautifully-crafted explanation of how 12 baseball pitches work.—BK
Leitch gives an in-depth recounting of his infamous April 2008 appearance on HBO's Costas Now.—BK
I don't really follow the NBA when my Minnesota Timberwolves are bad (i.e., I don't really follow the NBA), but I feel like I get all I need to know from The Sports Guy's annual trade values column.—JM
Finally – and definitively – all-time great Super Bowl #17 through all-time great Super Bowl #1. And I don't want to hear any arguments out of any of you.
The former Texas Ranger waxes in context about A-Rod's decision to go Jose Canseco on us from 2001-03.—MW
In which I take you on a magical journey from the 27th-best Super Bowl ever all the way to... the 18th-best Super Bowl ever. Don't worry; the good ones are coming soon.
Gotta love the subtitle: "Nobody liked him before the steroids, nobody likes him now."—BK
The title pretty much says it all.—JM
Surely the only place to find Jerry Seinfeld, Wilco and Bill Belichick thrown together... that is, until my one-act play gets produced.—BK
Some say the Steelers-Cardinals Super Bowl was the greatest ever played. Spoiler alert: it wasn't. You'll have to wait until later in the week to find out what was; for now, though, read about all-time-best Super Bowl #43 through all-time-best Super Bowl #28. Why #28? Because that's when I got tired.
The NFL season isn't really over until Gregg Easterbrook writes his Super Bowl column and hands out the Longest Award in Sports. Enjoy.—JM
May as well let the King sum up XLIII for us, no?—JM
A profile of director Bob Fishman that details the incredible amount of effort that goes into making a successful TV broadcast of an NFL game.—BK
Which is not to be confused with the best-selling male adolescent sex guide, The Yanking Years.
Come on, Steelers. You've got to win. For anything to make any kind of sense, ever again, you've just got to.
An interesting read, and remarkable in that it will most certainly be the last piece of writing in human history to address sports legwear length without bringing up President Obama's basketball "dork pants."—JM
A smart, reasoned take on that whole girls' high school basketball imbroglio down in Texas.—BK
There's not much football left this season (i.e., one game), which means there's not much Gregg Easterbook left this season. Read him while you still can!—JM
It's been a while since I linked to Peter King, but I figured if anybody would be able to make anything of the NFL's pre-Super Bowl off-week, it would be him.—JM
Which team will really be the reason the Cardinals lose the Super Bowl next Sunday; the Pittsburgh Steelers... or the Pottsville Maroons?—JM
Typical MLB crisis management: identify a problem long after it has become obvious to everybody, commission a half-assed study, refuse to share the resulting data, then institute unsatisfying new rules that piss people off.—BK
This list was written before the NFC title game, so the Cardinals aren't on it. And even if the Cardinals win the Super Bowl, they belong on it.—JM
Pretty much everyone went 1-3 last week; I went 2-2. So, at least that's something. Plus, I single-handedly fix the NFL's overtime problem.
Much like I had to do seven days ago, The Sports Guy tries to pick up the pieces after an 0-4 weekend with the NFL picks.—JM
The world's best, longest, and least-about-football football column is almost done for the year; don't miss it while it's still around!—JM
Kaufman calls out baseball writers on their habitual disdain for statistical innovation. The man certainly knows how to curry my favor.—BK
I enjoy Baseball Hall of Fame debates, as long as we acknowledge that it's all just time-filling silliness. Because as long as Bert Blyleven isn't in (he was denied induction again today), no one can actually take this seriously.—JM
A solid argument against the idea that baseball desperately needs a salary cap to maintain competitive balance.—BK
Anything's better than the system they have now. Am I right, ladies?
This is the week we turn it around. I feel good about things. I mean, if I can go 0-4 last week, I can just as easily go 4-0 this week. I mean, you'd think so, right?
I know next to nothing about the NBA, and even I can find a lot wrong this this piece. Still, it makes for a good read, as do most things dealing with the Lebron-to-New York topic.—JM
Kaufman watches this week's MLB Network rebroadcast of Larsen's World Series perfect game and wonders if it says more about the state of the game in 1956 than the pitcher himself.—BK
Gift bag fever spreads into the BCS bowl games.—BK
Looking back to the 1930s for clues about how baseball might weather the current economic downturn.—BK
What can the Detroit Lions learn from eight other NFL teams that have suffered through disastrous seasons? Plenty.
I would have sworn that it was "on a pile of money with many beautiful women," but, I looked it up and Brandon had it right. I shouldn't have doubted him. Anyway, here's some crap about football.
A professional athlete and a burgeoning screenwriter. I suppose he also sleeps on a pile of money with many beautiful ladies.—BK
The tradition continues – a Vikings win equals a Peter King link.—JM
Merry Christmas and Happy Inevitable Late-Season, Playoff-Missing Collapse, Vikings Fans!
A take on the Mark Teixeira signing that, unlike those of most other baseball columnists, doesn't involve Chicken Little imitations or the rending of garments.—BK
UniWatch is the non-sports-fan's dream come true – provided said non-fan is a geek for trivial minutiae (and he damn well ought to be).—JS
One day after a gut-wrenching Minnesota Vikings home loss to the Falcons, it's only fitting that we link to a recap of a "HIMYM" episode wherein a plot point involves the mother of all gut-wrenching Minnesota Vikings home losses to the Falcons.—JM
If you don't want to hear from a pessimistic Vikings fan who can imagine several nightmare scenarios whereby his team misses the playoffs... then don't read this. Otherwise, enjoy!
An amusing history of franchise names that, thankfully, weren't. Although, spoiler alert: nothing they could have called the Minnesota Wild could possibly have been as bad as the "Minnesota Wild."—JM
Will the 2008 Detroit Lions one day join this illustrious list? That is, if they haven't already?—JM
The Sports Guy writes about The Wrestler, the one Oscar-season movie I'm going to be sure to see.—JM
Mostly by burying it in a deep, deep hole, it appears.—BK
Mmmmm, football good. Politics bad.
A NASCAR enthusiast argues in favor of euthanizing the sport. (And I can never resist a throwaway dig at the BCS.)—JS
Every time the Vikings win, I link to Peter King here on the homepage. The Vikings have won four in a row... I'm afraid to stop!—JM
Two winning weeks in a row, everybody. The force is strong with this one. Read on...
Simmons went 5-11 with his NFL picks last week. I went 9-7. I'm just sayin'.—JM
Comparing the degree of difficulty in identifying potential greatness in two vastly different fields: NFL quarterbacking and teaching. How awesome is Gladwell?—BK
Ripken comes clean about one of the most awesome baseball cards ever.—BK
Lamenting the dearth of originality since the days of Hoosiers and Field of Dreams.—BK
Checking in with Joe's former co-workers from Cheap Seats.—JS
You know our (well, my) policy: when the Vikings win, it's fun to read about the weekend's NFL action. Have fun!—JM
Finally, a winning week last week, folks. Can't nothing stop us now!
Bill Simmons is back, and so are his "Ramblings." Rejoice, America.—JM
This article offers up a very appealing excuse for why my football picks have stunk this season: I'm too smart!—JM
A Bill James assertion about baseball and character leads to a rogues gallery of dirty rotten scoundrels.
ESPN changed things up this year, adding drama to the final table and giving the "November Nine" some extra celebrity. But did it make for better poker television?—JS
When the Vikings win, we here at PoopReading.com are more interested in reading NFL weekend-in-review stuff. Well, two of us are; the third cares no more for football than he otherwise does. Anyway, enjoy Peter King!—JM
Just in case his lawyer hasn't done a very good job of reading the fine print.
Why college recruiters are more successful than NFL scouts at finding gridiron talent.—BK
I didn't have a losing week last week, folks! Everything's coming up Mulder!
Laying out the Hall of Fame case for Mike Mussina in sabermetric style.—BK
Included herein: several paragraphs of boring commentary about NFL officiating, followed by 32 Zooperstars. What are Zooperstars, you ask? Well, you're in for a treat...
A terrific Q&A session that will make you miss them all over again.—BK
A farewell homage to the boys over at firejoemorgan.com.
Because making the team better doesn't really seem to be an option.
This is the week. I can feel it, guys; my picks are good. My picks are solid. This is the week.
Remembering the former MLB pitcher and Indians radio broadcaster with just the right mix of lighthearted sentimentality.—BK
Part one of a two-day mailbag extravaganza from Simmons. Part two comes tomorrow.—JM
Interesting article about Obama's passion for the game, and what it might say about how he'll lead.—JM
There's definitely a movie in here. Get Will Ferrell on the phone, somebody!—JM
Do you realize that the Vikings are tied for first place? Yes, those Vikings. The ones who stink. I know, I can't believe it either. Read about this and other NFL developments the one and only Peter King.—JM
I pretty much mailed it in this week, folks. I'm not going to lie.
In an off week for yours truly, please to enjoy a real NFL column.—JM
The author of "Positively Fifth Street" writes about his 2008 World Series of Poker experience.—JM
Bill Simmons doesn't foresee greatness for Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden, but hopes he's wrong.—JM
Ranking the Wild Card Era MLB postseasons. The scoring system is more than a little arbitrary, but it's still a fun concept.—BK
Everyone should vote... to read my NFL picks column! (Get it? 'Cause... the election?)
Because there's nothing Americans love more than earning free stuff without having to do anything for it.
I haven't had a winning week in a while; that means I'm due, right?
An oldie but a goodie, FJM takes a look at one wacked-out Pittsburgh columnist's outsized obsession with superbike racing.—JS
Bill Simmons offers up a modestly titled fantasy basketball preview column.—JM
Another entry in the ongoing series.—JM
Williams' deal signals labor strife while Dallas faces chemistry issues.—JM
Asking the burning question: what's with all the dumb baseball commentary on television? I could not agree more.—BK
I feel really good about this weeks picks, you guys. Of course, I wouldn't tell you if I didn't...
Bill Simmons on the [plural possessive form of "Red Sox"] latest insane, ridiculous, history-defying comeback.—JM
Hint: It does not date back to my forefathers, who were not bartenders to the Czar.—BK
NBA fantasy has never quite worked for Bill Simmons. So he fixed it.—JM
Those poor Patriots, they look plain awful.—JM
With dark clouds approaching, can the Cowboys weather the storm?—JM
Because my guess is as good as yours.
Our "length" meter only goes up to three rolls, but, this Bill Simmons mailbag should keep you busy for an awfully long time.—JM
Elgin Baylor's legacy should be that of a pioneer who paved the way for the modern NBA.—JM
Could Eli Manning be better than his big bro? Yes.—JM
Running backs calling the plays and taking snaps? Just another Sunday.—JM
I always say that you don't really know anything until Week 5. Well, it's Week 5... and I'm still confused.
And we're off and running with another season of the NFL and, perhaps even more importantly, another season of my NFL picks column!