Week of August 24, 2015

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Glad to be a Charlie Brown. Happy Birthday, Dad! -TOB


Twins.com

This is one of the funniest stories I’ve ever read. Durland and Darvin are twins. In 1995 they registered for the URL twins.com. In the 20 years since, all but 3 URLs for MLB baseball teams have been secured by the MLB. The holdouts: The Giants (football team got that one), the Rays (a restaurant in Seattle has that one), and the Twins. While the Giants and Rays situations make sense, the Twins URL makes for a great, absurd, hilarious story. I don’t want to spoil too many tidbits about these brothers – remember, their names are Durland and Darvin – but here are a couple teasers:

  • Aside from living together, at one point they had complementary black and a white humvees.
  • They were in a successful San Francisco band…a “copy” band of course, and nearly made the finals of a national Battle of the Bands in the early 80s against eventual winner…Bon Jovi.

I want a 30 for 30 doc on these brothers, and I want it now. – PAL

Source: “The Website MLB Couldn’t Buy”, Ben Lindburgh, Grantland (8/27/15)

TOB: I cannot recommend this story highly enough. It is completely absurd and I laughed out loud at least a half dozen times.


Under Armour & Maryland: The Next Oregon?

With Under Armour supplanting Adidas as the second largest sports apparel company, its founder and University of Maryland alumnus Kevin Plank is following in the footsteps of Nike’s Phil Knight. Like Knight has done for Oregon, Plank is putting big money into the University of Maryland. Under Armour recently signed a 10-year extension giving the university $33M in cash and gear. Additionally, Plank personally donated $25M for renovations to Cole Field House, which will house an entrepreneurship academy, the sports medicine department, and the Terrapin Performance Center. Money no doubt lifts athletic programs success, and billionaire alumni like Knight, T. Boone Pickens at Oklahoma State, and Plank serve as proof. It will be interesting how soon the investment will pay off at Maryland as a newcomer to a Big 10 Conference that includes the likes of financial giants Michigan and Ohio State, whose annual athletic departments’ budgets exceed $100M. – PAL

Source: “Under Armour Seeks to Do for Maryland What Nike Did for Oregon”, Marc Tracy, New York Times (8/25/15)


College Sports: Too Big to Fail?

It’s been a bad couple of weeks for college football, and it is clear that major college sports are completely broken. As this Newsweek points out, college football is under siege on at least three fronts: (1) the dangers of playing football; (2) whether football players are employees and whether they should be paid; and (3) the value of education to a football player. There are a number of stories over the last two weeks illustrating these points: To wit:

Every single one of these stories is embarrassing for the NCAA, and this was not an unusual week in terms of the number of embarrassing stories. I don’t know how we fix college sports, but the amount of money involved seems to be the root of the problem. There is so much money at stake that corners are going to be cut. That’s not ok, but it seems as though college sports are “too big to fail” and major changes are not coming anytime soon. -TOB

Source: College Football Under Fire From Three Sides”, Glenn Altschuler, Newsweek (08/22/2015)


When Keeping It Jeter Goes Wrong

Russell Wilson is a corporate shill, devoid of personality, only serving as a vessel to endorse products. He is Derek Jeter 2.0 (in the least surprising news of the week, Jeter is Wilson’s role model). But that harmless and boring vacantness took a turn for the irresponsible this week, when Wilson, on both Twitter and an article in Rolling Stone, touted “Recovery Water”, a product for which Wilson is an investor, as helping him to prevent a concussion in last year’s NFC Championship game.

Wilson is an investor in Reliant Recovery Water, a $3-per-bottle concoction with nanobubbles and electrolytes that purportedly helps people recover quickly from workouts and, according to Wilson, injury. He mentions a teammate whose knee healed miraculously, and then he shares his own testimonial. “I banged my head during the Packers game in the playoffs, and the next day I was fine,” says Wilson. “It was the water.” Rodgers offers a hasty interjection. “Well, we’re not saying we have real medical proof.” But Wilson shakes his head, energized by the subject. He speaks with an evangelist’s zeal. “I know it works.” His eyes brighten. “Soon you’re going to be able to order it straight from Amazon.”

Recovery Water is freaking sparkling water, not a miracle cure for anything. In this article, brain researchers and doctors take Wilson to task for his irresponsible claim. Wilson is the worst. -TOB

Source: Russell Wilson Claims His New Water Heals Concussions. That’s Corny and Dangerous”, Adam Kilgore, Washington Post (08/27/2015)


Video of the Week

New life goal: Make one of these compilations.


PAL’s song of the week: Bahamas – “Lost In The Light”

Check out our playlist here. It’s good.


Like what you’ve read? Let us know by following this blog (on the right side, up near the top), or:

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“Life gets in the way. And, you know, the songs weren’t that good.”
-Darland Miller
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Week of August 17, 2015

Mantis

#RallyMantis


Dirty, Flashy Money: Miami & Scamming Athletes

As if being a professional athlete doesn’t attract enough leeches, try being one in Miami. It’s not surprising that con men are swindling athletes out of money, but I’m shocked at how easily careless and shortsighted folks get million-dollar checks from people. In this story, Miami Heat employees even facilitated the introduction between the scammers and Heat players Mike Miller, Rashard Lewis, and others. There is a new money culture in Miami that is the perfect breeding ground for scams. Columnist Fred Grimm (not this story’s author) sums up this way:

“So many of us come from other states and other countries that we seem to lack that sense of shame that doing wrong would bring to someone living in, say, small-town America, where people have known you and known your family for years. What we have instead is a place where someone who flashes money and drives luxury cars and lives the high life can find instant social acceptance.” –PAL

Source: Taking the Heat”, Robert Andrew Powell, Grantland (08/18/2015)


Say Goodnight to the Bad Guy

There aren’t too many true “Bad Guys” in sports, but I think I found one. “New Jack” was a wrestler in the underground “ECW” (Extreme Championship Wrestling). The ECW was known for being, well, extremely violent. Absurdly so. New Jack was one of the more violent and infamous ECW wrestlers, and he was not a good person. In one match, he once beat an amateur wrestler unconscious – and then continued to beat him with weapons – including a cheese grater, a garbage can, and a crutch, at one point yelling, “I don’t care if the motherfucker dies!” The amateur, Jason Kulas, did not die. And New Jack escaped any consequences. When asked about it twenty years later, New Jack said, “I was high. I didn’t care. It didn’t matter to me. The fucking fans loved it. I thought it was great.” You know the famous scene in Scarface, when a coked up Tony Montana makes a scene in the fancy restaurant and then turns to everyone staring at him and gives his “Bad Guy” speech? New Jack was/is a true Bad Guy. He did truly insane things, but he was also insanely popular, even getting name-dropped by Weezer in El Scorcho (“…Watching Grunge leg drop New Jack through a press table, and then my heart stopped…”). In a truly fascinating profile, Grantland catches up with New Jack and tries figure out what made (and makes) this Bad Guy, who regrets nothing, tick. -TOB

Source: The Most Violent Man in Wrestling Lays Down His Staple Gun”, Tom Breiham, Grantland (08/18/2015)


A Quality Craigslist Find

Matthew Wallock was trying to find a used hockey goal for his young kids. He found one on Craigslist and went to pick it up. When he got there, he realized that the owners were the parents of NHL star Phil Kessel and US Women’s Hockey Player Amanda Kessel. A nice find. But he realized that the goal could not fit in his car. No matter. Mr. and Mrs. Kessel offered to drive the goal 40 minutes to Wallock’s house. And they did. To top it off, they threw in some hockey pucks and autographed photo of Phil for the kids. But that’s not all! Mr. and Mrs. Kessel then told Wallock that before they owned the goal, it was owned by hockey legend Bob Suter, a member of the 1980 Olympic Hockey “Miracle on Ice” team. Like I said, that’s a quality Craigslist find! -TOB

Source: Phil Kessel’s Parents are Top-Notch Craigslist Sellers“, Kevin Draper, Deadspin (08/18/2015)


Jason Day: An Unlikely Golf Story

This is an old story, but in the wake of Day’s first Major victory at the PGA Championship last weekend, it’s worth taking a look at his unlikely path to the PGA. Unlike most PGA golfers, Day grew up in poverty in Australia. His father, an alcoholic*, died when Day was 12. Shortly thereafter, the son was following in his father’s footsteps as a 13 year-old. His mother mortgaged the house and sought out help to get her youngest boy into a sports academy. His coach at the academy remains his coach to this day, caddies for Day, and has long been a father figure to the 27 year-old golfer. There have been other challenges along the way, and I found Day’s honesty in this story refreshing (he admits that for the first few years as a professional he played for the money because he’d never had any, and sometimes he likes to check his bank account online just to see the money in there). As writer Shane Ryan puts it, “For the poor kid from Beaudesert who started with nothing but a sawed-off 3-wood, the hard part of this journey ended a long time ago. The miracle was getting to the threshold; the price of a major is just four rounds of golf.” Now Day has paid that price, too. – PAL

Source: “Just Another Day, Shane Ryan, Grantland (07/17/2014)


“Like a Band of Gypsies We Go Down the Highway…”

Because of political wrangling over upgrades to their stadium, the Biloxi Shuckers (in their first year in Biloxi), the AA affiliate for the Milwaukee Brewers, began their season on a 58-day, 54-game road trip. David Fleming (not of SF Giants announcing fame, of course) followed the team on the trip – which ended up even more eventful than he could have imagined. A great look at a team enduring the ups and downs of minor league baseball, magnified by the longest road trip in American sports history. Long, but highly recommended. -TOB

Source: On the Road Again”, David Fleming, ESPN the Magazine (08/17/2015)


Video of the Week

Hopefully this kid learns a lesson here, or he’s gonna be grow up to be an unbearable jerk. For now, this is hilarious – as he smarmily shakes off his catcher and then gives up a dinger.

PAL’s Song of the Week: D’Angelo – “Sugah Daddy”

Check out all of our picks here.


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“Let me tell you something about these tattoos, okay. That is Buddhist, that is Nordic, that is Hindu, that’s just gibberish. They are completely conflicting ideologies, and that does not make you a citizen of the world, it makes you full of shit!”

– Sarah Marshall

Week of August 9, 2015

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Never not funny.


Searching for The Great Unknown in Alaska

Kayaking the Yukon River: Eva Holland is a solid writer – really enjoyed this one

At 445 miles, the Yukon River Quest in is the longest canoe and kayak race. If that’s not enough, the distance has to be covered in 84 hours. I read somewhere that adventures have now become races. There are fewer “firsts” to conquer. The highest mountains have been climbed. The globe has been circumnavigated – by plane, by all types of boats, even by exclusively human power. One dude literally ran around the world. But adventures – especially ones of endurance – are not about they take to complete.

Holland, an adventure writer from Alaska, has become one of my favorite writers since we started 1-2-3 Sports! She’s covered all sorts of endurance, adventure, and extreme sports, but she’d never experienced what she covered until taking on the Yukon River Quest with team of eight women this past spring.  “I’d signed up to paddle the River Quest because I wanted to experience the world I so often wrote about. I wanted to see the midnight sun set, and then rise again, on an empty stretch of wild river. I wanted to know what it felt like to hallucinate from exhaustion. I wanted to push my body to a point where I didn’t recognize it anymore. Most of all, I wanted to know: Could I do it?”

Holland’s story is viscerally written, hilarious, and inspiring. Joel Krahn’s photography ain’t too shabby either. Who’s up for an adventure?  -PAL

Source: “Hellbent, But Not Broken”, Eva Holland, SB Nation Longform (8/11/15)


2015 Baseball Players: Here’s a Real Brawl

There are so many incredible elements to the brawl between the Padres and Braves.

  1. Braves pitcher Pascual Perez (what a great name) beans the Padres batter with the first pitch of the game, and continues to pitch. Perez is thrown at in all three of his plate appearances.
  2. Bob Horner of the Brave is on the DL with a broken wrist, but that doesn’t stop him from coming onto the field and getting into it.
  3. Fans jump onto the field and get really get into the brawl after dousing the players in beer – always a good indicator of mayhem.
  4. A lot of WWF pointing and posturing, but it’s followed up by legit scrapping.
  5. So many non ironic mustaches.
  6. Bonus: Former Giants coach Tim Flannery is in the thick of it. The dude plays guitar, surfs, and throws down.

Source: 31 years ago today, the Brave and Padres had the greatest brawl ever”, Jason Foster, Sporting News (8/12/15)


Video of The Week: 


PAL’s Song of the Week: Benjamin Booker – “Violent Shiver

Check out all of our Songs of the Week here. Tommy’s wife likes it, but she didn’t love last week’s pick, so I have to prevent a losing streak.


“Well, it’s sentimental tacky crap. Do we look like the kind of store that sells I Just Called to Say I Love You? Go to the mall.”

– Barry

 

Week of August 3, 2015

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An Interview With Mike Krukow

An excellent radio interview with Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow, as he discusses dealing with his muscle disease, discusses the exciting debut of Giants rookie Kelby Tomlinson, the return of Matt Cain, and more. Worth a listen. -TOB

Source: Krukow Opens Up to Radnich About Muscle Disease”, KNBR (08/04/2015)

PAL: One of the simple pleasures of living in this city is having Kruk and Kuip narrate the sport I so love. I just love these guys, and my heart goes out to Kruk, but he’s a gamer. He speaks so frankly (“It sucks, it does.”), and he remains upbeat and passionate – always passionate – about the Giants.


Italians Are Officially Insane

Look at this sport! Look at it! The game starts and the players just start fist-fighting. Brawling! It’s like a cross between MMA/Boxing, Rugby, and No-Holds Barred Pool Basketball. My brother Pat O’Brien sent me this video last weekend and I couldn’t believe it. Watch for a little bit. Bodies begin dropping and littering the playing field. I found the sport on Wikipedia. It is called, “Calcio Fiorentino.” The rules are stated as: “…the players try by any means necessary to get the ball into the opponent’s’ goal.” They aren’t kidding. -TOB

Source: Calcio Storico 2014”, Youtube

PAL: I think this might be the truest form of sport I’ve come across. That’s not necessarily a good thing, but it’s a sight to behold. Watch a few minutes from the beginning, middle, and end. You will be at once shocked, disgusted, and enthralled.


What Might Have Been: Jimi Hendrix – Sports Illustrator

Jimi Hendrix was not human. More specifically, none of us shared anything with Hendrix – at least that’s what I thought – but I guess the tabloids are right. “Stars – they’re just like us!” What the hell am I talking about? The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has five Jimi Hendrix drawings from from when he was 15, all of them depict various teams from the Pac-12. Check them out, if for no other reason than to see proof that this legend was human at some point in his short life. – PAL

Source: Have you seen Jimi Hendrix’s college football drawings?”, David Lombardi, ESPN.com (8/5/15)

TOB: As a diehard Cal fan, I do love this. It popped up on the internet a few years ago, and every so often it makes the rounds. I like to pretend he really liked Cal, and the others were just out of pity. Reminds me of a video clip of a Tom Hanks interview where he says he’d rather win the Heisman as a Cal running back than an Oscar (Hanks grew up in the East Bay).


Don’t Make Fun of MJ. It Makes Us All Feel Old.

Teenagers really suck, don’t they? This little chump has the gall to go to Michael Jordan’s basketball camp and during the Q&A make fun of MJ’s shoes (which are dope, btw) with some meme that no one over the age of 17 knew. How you gonna play MJ like that, son? -TOB

Source: “Michael Jordan Victimized by Meme-Wielding Teen”, Tom Ley, Deadspin (08/04/2015)

PAL: A part of me kind of likes this kid – actually – I support this chump 100%. MJ’s fashion sense – including his shoes – is atrocious. This kid’s calling it like he sees it, and I see it the same way.

TOB: Here are the shoes MJ was wearing. Those are nice!

Simple! Clean! Undeserving of scorn!


Story Update: Junior Seau

After much excoriation, the NFL/Pro Football Hall of Fame have reversed course, as Junior Seau’s daughter will be allowed to speak at his induction this weekend. 1-2-3 Sports! pats itself on the back for the part it played in righting this wrong. -Staff

Source: Junior Seau’s Daughter to Speak at Hall of Fame Induction”, Steve Almasy, CNN (08/01/2015)

PAL: This speech is a great opportunity to honor her father and use the platform to speak her truth. I hope she speaks from her heart, and if that includes speaking about CTC, then so be it. If not, that’s absolutely fine, too, but make them take the microphone from her hands. For an entity as paralyzed by the fear of PR fallout as is the NFL, I doubt they are capable of doing anything in the moment.


Video of the Week: 

Rays rookie gets the silent treatment after his first career home run, but he does not let them stop him from celebrating.


Bonus Video of the Week: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:13312264

This is a great 30 for 30 short on Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of John, Bobby, and Ted, mother of Maria, and her extraordinary efforts to improve lives through the Special Olympics. It might get a little dusty in the room.


PAL’s Song of the Week: The Tallest Man On Earth – “Sagres”

Check out the 1-2-3 Song of the Week playlist. Tommy’s wife really likes it, and you will, too.


Like what you’ve read? Let us know by following this blog (on the right side, up near the top), or:

Email: 123sportslist@gmail.com

Twitter: @123sportsdigest

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“Look, Buttermaker, you’re not my father and I’ll not move an inch to play baseball for you any more. So why don’t you get back into that sardine can of yours and go, go vacuum the bottom of the Pacific Ocean? I’ve got business to take care of. You’re blocking my customers with your car.”

– Amanda Whurlizter