If you are able, take both of your hands and stretch your fingers wide. Make your hands as big as possible, feeling skin and tendons stretch. Then bring them together slowly, clasping the two opposing sets together. See the way each fingertip advances well beyond its mate. Now try to let your longest finger touch the opposing wrist. Barring you have extremely long fingers, you will find it a difficult task no matter how much you force it one way or another. This is, in the simplest of ways, how soccer works.Continue reading “The Bones of What We Believe: the Ebb and Flow of a Soccer Match”
Sunday brings the start of the 22nd World Cup. You know, that soccer tournament played every four years by national teams. Anyway, it’s in Qatar, which most people couldn’t identify on a map, much less knew it existed before recent years. It will end on December 18th with the Final, what will end up the most watched sporting event of the calendar year, or maybe all-time. The United States is back in the tournament for the first time since 2014, and yet the buzz around the World Cup feels about as low as I can remember.Continue reading “Nobody Cares About Your World Cup”
Memories are made to fade. Even the strongest of them lose data over time. That’s where music comes in. A song, an album, an artist can act as a time capsule for eras of our lives. They serve as sensational time machines that can conjure up images enough, just enough, to make us feel that moment again. Something truly great can stitch together memories in an un-tattering fabric that yearns to be worn when we need the halcyon digest of youth the most. Listening to channel ORANGE, I always embark on the same somewhat mundane stream of consciousness that, in full, transcends the mundane. It isn’t a memory of summer, it is the summer, and it lives with me still, ten years later.Continue reading “The Best Song Wasn’t The Single: time traveling to the sun-kissed bliss of Frank Ocean’s channel ORANGE”
There are two ways to end a baseball game- either the final out is recorded, or the winning run is driven in. In the 1992 World Series, the last out was a failed bunt by the Braves’ Otis Nixon, easily scooped up by Blue Jays pitcher Mike Timlin and tossed to first. It was a simple play, one that Joe Carter had fielded hundreds of times before. As he clenched the ball, he started jumping around like a kid, elation overtaking his body. Carter had caught the last out of the season.
The following year, the Blue Jays were back in the World Series. Back then, home field advantage merely alternated between the leagues. So that meant game six in 1993 would be played in the American League park. The Phillies held a 6-5 lead going into the bottom of the ninth, hoping to force game seven. Rickey Henderson was at second, Paul Molitor was on first representing the winning run. Mitch Williams ran a 2-2 count on Carter, regaining the advantage on a slider inside. The next pitch was a near carbon copy of the one Carter had missed, but he swung again anyway.
The Beijing Winter Olympics are upon us, and with that comes another political elephant in the room and of course the existential dread of that thing we’ve all been dealing with. Still, the Olympics are a time to honor what is great in humanity, displaying the best of our youth. Over the next two weeks, figure skaters will dazzle us, curlers will inspire us, and those skeleton dudes will have us feeling anxious. Years ago, in the days of Cool Runnings, there was a sport just on the fringe of Olympic competition called Ski Ballet. It was here and gone before it could grab the hearts and minds of the world, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t special. I assure you, whatever you’re picturing in your head, you’re probably correct.Continue reading “90 Seconds of Fame: the Legacy of Ski Ballet”
On 30, Adele’s first album in six years, she grapples with the fallout from her divorce, both in herself and through the lens of her son. There is an art to bring pragmatically selfish. Trying to stay together for the child or separating, the inevitability of trauma forces those involved to consider their own needs as well. The nuance of mental health for all parties involved creates a void that is only filled by the realization that the best thing to do is often the worst thing to do. The album is a loose concept based on the reconciliation and justification of her big decision, and it’s one that hits close to home for a generation speeding headlong into middle age, trying desperately to not make the mistakes of our parents.Continue reading “Still A Child: the Lost and Lonely Youth of Adele”
Basketball was invented by God as a means to give giants something to do beyond losing fights via slingshot. From those early days, it evolved into a use for peach baskets once all the peaches had been consumed. The bigwigs at the ladder factory kept the bottom of the baskets intact for decades, citing a need to keep the game “pure, beautiful, and slower than a tortoise with his hands tied up.” That phrase doesn’t make much sense to me either, but what was once a boring, often cumbersome sport to watch has blossomed into one of the great games on this planet. The NBA, National Basketball Association for long, began seventy five years ago as the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers, losing 66-68. Basketball then isn’t close to what it is now. Baseball added the curveball well over a century ago. Football did the same with the forward pass. But basketball’s true genesis of the modern, perfected sport didn’t come until just 60 years ago when the three-point arc was added in the ABA. It would be 18 years before the NBA officially adopted it and decades more before it altered the game. Now the David sons (part of me will have you laugh at that) can truly be equal with the Goliaths. And here we are, in the amber of the moment, and the damn Bucks are the reigning champions.Continue reading “Diamonds Are Forever (or) The Third Annual Fancy Boys Club National Basketball Association Preview Show”
“So that’ll bring up Rizzo,” a voice offscreen says as the first baseman takes the first pitch. Anthony Rizzo needs no introduction. He is the face of the Chicago Cubs and its un-charged captain. “And now he drills one deep to right field, there it goes, see ya,” the faceless voice declares. “And it gives the Yankees a one-nothing lead.” It’s July 30th, 2021. By this point in the day, MLB’s trade deadline, the Cubs’ championship core of Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Kris Bryant has been dismantled. The weeks before had felt like hospice for the should-have-been dynasty. The greatest era of Cubs baseball anyone can remember was over. Forty-nine days earlier, that core combined for one hit in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. It was deemed ‘Opening Day 2.0’ because Wrigley Field was able to host a full stadium. His helmet still bright blue, his team down 5-4, the captain of the Chicago Cubs stepped into the box against righty Daniel Ponce de Leon.Continue reading “Baseball, Art Out of Time: At Full Capacity”
Monday night, current Cub Javier Baez hit a long fly ball that drove in the winning run. The pitch was from Amir Garrett, who has a sordid history with Baez. Javy sauntered toward first, using his bat to mimic a broom while shouting at Garrett. It ruled. Yeah, I’m biased. I love Javy. But the attention the clips of the moment have received is objectively great for baseball. Still, there are many of you who are mad at Baez for his actions. I am here to help.Continue reading “So You’re Angry at Javier Baez’s Actions Again. Now What?”
Author’s Note: I’m calling it Space Jam 2. I know it’s called Space Jam: A New Legacy, but I’m just gonna call it Space Jam 2.
Welcome to the age of Space Jam 2, a movie that was more inevitable than death and taxes. Yes, after 25 years, the Looney Tunes gang is back to do roughly the same thing they did last time. I enjoyed it. Others didn’t. It’s okay to like or not like a movie. What I don’t understand is the utter disdain for this movie when its predecessor is not a good movie either. Maybe it’s time to take a long, cold look in the mirror and ask ourselves, “when did I get so old?”