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Weekend Reading: The Not-Quite-Olympic Edition

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Well, sports is pretty much all that’s been on my mind this past week.  Surprisingly, though, most of these links involve non-Olympic sports matters.  Next weekend, I’ll surely be able to pull together an all-Olympics list of links.

  • Outsports is keeping a list of openly gay and lesbian Olympians in Beijing, but the list is only up to 10 so far.  Nine of those are women (including a partnered couple on Norway’s team handball team).  We can do better, guys!
  • Amazingly enough, I’ve never linked to Popular Woodworking before, but I bet you know why I am now: All those broken bats in major-league baseball.  Nearly every game I’ve attended this season, a bat has broken, shattering way into the infield.  Everyone’s saying the problem is the quality of the maple being used in the bats.  But not so fast, says the publisher of Popular Woodworking.  He’s blaming current player preferences for longer, lighter bats that are big on the business end.  He does think ash might be safer, as it’s less likely to break so dramatically into pieces.  (Link via Kottke)
  • What nickname will Oklahoma City’s NBA franchise use?  Some reports have said it’ll be the Oklahoma City Thunder—a reference, I guess, to Plains-y weather.  But now there’s news that the NBA has sought trademark rights to six nicknames: Barons, Bison, Energy, Marshals, Thunder, and Wind.  That’s a pretty unimpressive group.  Energy sounds silly, and Wind would invite jokes about passing wind.  I just don’t get Barons.  (Oil Barons, maybe? But that would make more sense in eastern Oklahoma.) And aren’t Bison too big and unwieldy to be good point guards?  Still, I like the idea of some cute buffalo-oriented merch.
  • Sherman Alexie, who fought so hard to keep the NBA in Seattle and out of Oklahoma City, lists 61 things he learned during the federal trial that preceded the move.  Some of the 61 will make sense only to somebody who closely followed the litigation; others probably only make sense to Alexie.  It’s still pretty entertaining.  I used to be a big fan of Alexie’s writing, but he has looked nutty at times during all this.  Also, someone should tell him that a non-Oklahoman does not use the term “Okie.”  It’s offensive.  (Link via Bookslut)
  • I’m not a particular fan of American-rules football, but I followed the media frenzy over quarterback Brett Favre’s un-retirement—his second or his third?—from (or it that to?) the game.  I can be indecisive, too, so part of me always understood Favre’s annual vacillations about retiring.  But the decision seemed to have been made after last season, and a good one it was: Favre left the game when he was respected and still playing well.  Of course, that’s all gone now, as Favre first tried to force himself back on his unwilling team and then accepted a trade to the New York Jets, putting an odd, unappealing coda on what would otherwise have been a spectacular career as a Green Bay Packer.  Nevertheless, I would’ve just attributed this to understandable indecisiveness and, perhaps, to an unwillingness to accept aging.  That is, I would’ve read all this fairly charitably, until I read this startling quote in the New York Times, right after the trade:

    When Favre was told that more than 3,000 of his No. 4 Jets jerseys had been sold online, he said, ‘That’s all?’ Still, it was the busiest day ever at the N.F.L.’s online shop, and the Jets sold more Favre jerseys in one day than the total number of their jerseys sold since January.

    That’s all?  Ok, that does it.  This is all about ego—an ego that, somehow or other, can’t get enough attention even in the most glorious of retirements.  I’m taking Favre off my list of the Good Guys™.

    This is going to end badly, I’m afraid, like a Greek Tragedy.  I don’t want to be watching when it happens.

Written by Jimmy

August 9th, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Posted in Gay,Links,Sports

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