Happy Monday, kids. So Shawn Marion is your newest Cleveland Cavalier. Pretty cool, huh? But first…
Tear gas and tanks—in suburbia. Like the majority of America, I too have been enthralled by the news that continues to pour out of Ferguson, Missouri. Craig and Jack discussed the Watertown-like captivation that has taken over Social Media and I have found myself completely disinterested in trivial matters like a mid-week Indians game, instead turning my phone-flicking focus to updates on items like imprisoned journalists and peaceful protesters having assault rifles pointed at them—you know, just in case.
I’ve read this piece by Rembert Browne three times now (There’s a reason it is still on Grantland’s front page). I’ve read this piece by Jaleni Cobb (truth is, I recommend any piece penned by a journalist worth his or her weight when it comes to words). When the National Guard has to come in to your town while many questions remain unanswered. For instance: Six times? Really?
Take it away, John Oliver:
I want to say a lot more about this topic, but I think it’s best to wait until all of the dust (and tear gas) settles—if the last week has been any indication, there will be much more to unfold over the coming days. The Guard may ultimately stop the physical unrest, but the mental anguish of the last week-plus will live on for quite some time. For now, I think TD put it the best.
As my 7 yr old son watches the national news, he's asking me why the police are arresting people in Ferguson. I have zero answers.
— T.D. Dery (@TD1TribeKU) August 17, 2014
We all know the history by now—Graham, Sipe, Kosar…Weeden—but “Crash Course for Johnny Football” by Matt Tullis is not only the latest longform piece to be published over at SBNation, but it’s an entertaining (yet depressing) read for Browns fans who are caught up in the fact that the most discussed rookie in all of football may very well not take a starter’s snap until after the team’s bye week. While there is a bit too much in the way of Dawgpound Mike, it’s an educational read for NFL fans who may not realize how storied the Cleveland franchise is. For those who have watched every bit of it unfold, try not to pay too much attention to the Charlie Frye corollary. You may lose your breakfast.
The closing ceremonies to the 2014 Gay Games took place this weekend. Former Tribe beat writer Anthony Castrovince (who has been doing great work over at Sports on Earth) discussed the games and the city of Cleveland just a few days ago. I really enjoyed this line: “While nobody’s clamoring to see the Gay Games’ medal counts, they have been, in a sense, sports at their comprehensive, community-building best. For they arrived at a place that hasn’t always been a bastion of cultural compassion and gave it a chance to put on a smiling, welcoming face — an invitation that was readily, heartily accepted.”
There’s a Center for Investigative Reporting? Awesome. Here’s this week’s edition of #ActualSportswriting
“What to think about Ray Rice” by Kevin Van Valkenburg (ESPN): “The coach is hesitant to talk at first. We’re standing on the practice field, away from the rest of the media, watching members of the team — Rice among them — file into the locker room after a recent workout. Harbaugh suspects what he’s about to say might only fan the flames of anger. He knows most people don’t want to hear him say he still believes in Rice. Or that it took him “two seconds” to decide he would stand by the running back as long as Rice told the truth about what happened the night of Feb. 15 in Atlantic City.”
“How a small-time handicapper concocted a wild MLB game-fixing tale” by Lance Williams and Brian Tuohy (Sports Illustrated & Center for Investigative Reporting): “Before it was over, their investigation would lead to a tense standoff by the side of an Arizona desert road, where more than a dozen armed officers confronted two frightened young women with a baby in an effort to track down James Hunter. The outcome would hinge on separating fact from fantasy in the interpersonal dynamics between two former youth-baseball teammates from a small New England town — one of whom grew up to become a major league pitcher, the other a sports gambler.”
“The Influencer: What makes Chip Kelly so successful?” by Chris B. Brown (Grantland): “With Kelly, it’s usually about more than what we see. What makes him so interesting is his ability to seamlessly mesh old-school tactics and NFL-style attention to detail with an approach that attacks the very structure of defenses. College football has produced a lot of innovation over the last 10 years or so, but many of the great college innovators lack the attention to detail to succeed in the NFL.”
“How bullpens took over modern baseball” by Jonah Keri and Neil Payne (FiveThirtyEight): “The New York Yankees faced a tight spot on July 9 at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Their newly acquired starting pitcher, Brandon McCarthy, had gutted his way through 6.2 innings, lacking his best stuff but still holding the Indians to four runs, just one of those earned. Locked in a 4-4 tie, manager Joe Girardi turned to his bullpen, knowing it had no margin for error.”
And just because: Dumb Tigers fans.
Have a good one, folks.