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

 

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Week of February 2, 2015

Madbum rocking the Carhartt while slamming suds with Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones. No big deal.

Running & Autism: A Perfect Fit For Mikey Brannigan
Remember those “Faces In The Crowd” pages in the old SI magazines? Well, I’ve just found out they’ve expanded the format for the online version, and – man – it is really cool. Instead of the one paragraph description, SI goes all-in with a full article. This month’s feature is especially impressive – a must-read. Mikey Brannigan was diagnosed with Autism at an early age, and it wasn’t until a chance encounter that the family found the perfect outlet for him: running. The simplicity of the sport, combined with a lot of other factors specific to autism, has allowed Brannigan to do more than compete at the varsity level – he excels. He’s on track to be an Olympic hopeful. How cool is that? – PAL

Source: “High School Athlete of the Month: Mikey Brannigan”, Ali Fenwick, Sports Illustrated (2/4/15)

TOB: Enjoyed reading this, and also enjoyed that it led me to finding this – people featured on Faces in the Crowd who went on to famous athletic careers, including Phil’s favorite (/sarcasm), Joey Mauer.


The Basketball Glass Ceiling Has Been Broken in Russia
WNBA players are not paid very much money. I knew this was true, but even the very best players barely get paid over $100,000 a season. To supplement that income, many WNBA players head overseas in the offseason and play in leagues in Europe and Asia. Amazingly, though, they get paid more overseas. A lot more. Take Diana Taurasi. She was the 2014 WNBA MVP runner-up, and she made just $109,500. But in Russia she made $1.5 million. This has been going on for years. The new twist, though, is that Diana Taurasi’s Russian team, looking to protect its $1.5M investment, is paying Diana Taurasi to sit out the next WNBA season, thus keeping her healthy and fresh for her Russian team. This must be very embarrassing for the WNBA, and worse yet is that apparently foreign teams have been trying to get WNBA stars to do this for years. If more players follow Diana’s lead, the WNBA could be in serious trouble. – TOB
Source: “Diana Taurasi’s Russian Team is Paying Her to Skip the WNBA Season”, Kevin Draper, Deadspin (02/03/15)

PAL: A part of me thinks if some Russian oligarch wants to lose $7 million to fund a women’s basketball team for which no one pays to see play, then that’s on him. A part of me thinks that the US market for a professional female basketball player is somewhere between 50-150k – it’s not even in the stratosphere of the NBA, but – hey – it’s a living, right? And then I think about the LPGA (est. 1950) and the Women’s Tennis Association (est. 1973 by Billie Jean King). While Tommy was right – both tennis and golf are individual sports that derive a large portion of revenue from sponsors, consider the following:

  • According to the LPGA official website, 45 women have earned over $5 million in winnings throughout their career.
  • Look at the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) – 30 women have earned over $10 million in their career
    • The Williams sisters have over $80 million in prize money between them!
    • You know how much Billie Jean King won in her first Wimbledon – what amounts to $857.89.

Women’s professional sports is a longview, social endeavor. It requires support, because it’s more than business. Should I have a daughter, and should she excel in sports, I want to live in a place that allows her dream to become a reality.


10 Steps To Buy A Recruit

Wednesday was National Signing Day for college football, so this story is timely despite its publication date. ESPN televises 17 and 18 year-olds doing their version of LeBron’s “The Decision” on this day – the first day for recruits to officially commit to a college. While the relatively recent glamorization of this day doesn’t sit well with me, the under-the-table work of actually getting player X to sign at school Y is pretty interesting, as this step-by-step, first-person account reveals. We all know that illegal benefits are given to top recruits, but I haven’t seen a story about the system of how to do it been laid out this plainly. This isn’t the story of Nevin Shapiro at Miami – this is the story from the guys who are smart enough to not get caught. One other note – the scroller indicates this story is much, much longer than it actually is. – PAL

Source: “Meet the Bag Man”, Steven Godfrey, SB Nation (4/10/14)


Video of the Week

Vine of the Week


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“I call it the goddamned blessed road. I’ve buried friends. I’ve put friends in rehab. I’ve watched marriages dissolve. There’s a lot of collateral damage in this lifestyle I’ve had for 33 years. I’m going to send myself home safely.”

– Tim Flannery