Friday, July 09, 2010


I'll admit it: I was feeling really, really smug about not watching the LeBron James extravaganza on television last night. Instead I had a nice meal of takeout Thai, and drank heartily of a La Fin Du Monde beer ... as I followed the whole thing on Twitter instead. That's right: I sat there and read the Twitters of people who were actually watching the thing I refused to watch. I don't even like basketball. Next time you're wondering "What's wrong with America?" just look at the signed, framed photo of me that's up above the mantel, and you will have your answer.

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Another from the vast poster archive found in my parents' basement:

In the late '80s, the throwback industry was nowhere near as big as it is now, and when I saw this on a door in a Tucson Mall shoe store, it was a revelation. I didn't think such things were accessible to commoners like me. This was in my "I don't think about anything except for baseball and horror fiction" period and this poster was as good as porn.

They gave me the poster when I asked, probably not without a little confusion, and also special-ordered one of the 1950s Orioles caps pictured. Kind of pointless, because the Orioles had just gone back to a very similar design, but whatever. (It was also a fitted cap, which taught me that I really hate fitted caps)

The poster was for the American Needle and Novelty Company, which is still around, and still making cool old baseball caps. They also sued the NFL in a high-profile case, something that I remember hearing was going to change the landscape of sports as we know it. I haven't noticed the changes yet, unless it's responsible for the LeBron thing.

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#28 -- "The Intuitionist" by Colson Whitehead

#29 -- "Welcome to the Terrordome" by Dave Zirin

#30 -- "A Season on the Brink: A Portrait of Rafael Benitez's Liverpool" by Guillem Balague

Intuitionist: So I finally got around to reading Whitehead, and boy was it good. A jittery, claustrophobic book, all nervous energy and strange twists. Some heavy stuff but still fast reading. I'll get to him again.

Zirin: I don't always like my sports and politics to collide, but this was good (and made me feel a little guilty about not wanting the two to meet). The pieces on Roberto Clemente and the New Orleans Saints were both great, and the soccer chapters downright fantastic. A little overly strident at times but it got me to think of some things a little differently.

Liverpool: Eh. Really good and insightful in the soccer strategy/building a team pieces. Really kind of insipid in the parts about how Benitez is different than other managers and how Liverpool fans are different than other fans. Of course, this was written right after some major successes for Liverpool; I'm reading it after watching them slog through an uninspiring season, followed by Benitez's exit. Pretty dated, just four years on.

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