Until this morning, I was not aware that Third Eye Blind is still a thing. That’s when I spotted the numerous headlines hailing the band’s heroic performance at some sort of RNC after-party. According to Vox, the band was guilty of “surprising guests with messages of gay rights and science and serenading them with some of the band’s more obscure songs.” Off with their heads.*
Concerning news out of Cleveland for those invested in the future of American democracy: city police have begun to stockpile riot gear in advance of hosting the Republican National Convention in July. The news bodes ill not only for those interested in maintaining a civil discourse both within, and between, political parties, but also for those distressed by the increasing militarization of municipal police forces across the country.
The traditional consolation prize for losing in the Championship round of the NFL playoffs is a trip to the Pro Bowl. It’s no Super Bowl, but a free trip to Hawaii is nothing to sniff at (unless you’re Marshawn Lynch). But this year, after their heartbreaking overtime loss to the Seahawks, a few Packers ended up with a trip to the Super Bowl anyway.
I’m sorry, did I say Super Bowl? I meant the Key & Peele Super Bowl Special:
Via Washington Post:
Johnny Manziel’s season was ended prematurely last week when the Cleveland Browns placed him on the injured reserve list with a hamstring injury. But that doesn’t mean that his responsibilities to the team were over and, when Manziel was late to get treatment on his leg Saturday morning, he was fined by the Browns . . .
[T]he Browns had to send security staff to Manziel’s house to try to locate him. While it’s true that Manziel’s season is over, it’s a terrible misstep for a player whose partying ways were famous in college and during his first season in the NFL.
LeBron James made headlines Friday* when he informed ESPN of his Decision not to let his sons play football because of “the health dangers”. Presumably, James is concerned about “the health dangers” posed by concussion and other violence-induced head injuries that have driven down participation in youth football programs by over 10% in over just a three-year span (2010-2012). Those are legit.
But don’t let James fool you into thinking he is taking some sort of principled stand against the dangers of participating in sport.
My most recent post was about the conflict in the Middle East. So was the one before that and the one before that. And two of the next three before that. And so on. Not quite two solid months of football in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, but I could easily pull off a similar streak if given half the chance. It’s hard not to write about geopolitical issues that affect people I love (that is, people), and I still have a lot more to say.
But the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can too often resemble rival fans supporting their favorite teams — the message of my previous post notwithstanding — so to distance myself from falling completely back into familiar patterns, I hope to periodically punctuate my commentary on the real conflict with frivolous asides about meaningless sports. In other words, what I usually like to talk about. At a minimum, I hope the breaks will provide me with a reminder that war is not sport.
All that said, I can’t help myself. It’s impossible to discuss my topic tonight without thinking of what’s happening on the shores of the Mediterranean. Without further ado, I present the ongoing trade negotiations between Cleveland and Minnesota. (Bear with me.)
LeBron isn’t the only basketball player making headlines in Cleveland. Earlier this week, number one overall pick Andrew Wiggins earned some of his own when he pulled off what has been described as “a 360-Degree, Behind-the-Back Dunk” while warming up for the Cavaliers:
Just one problem: that’s no 360 degree dunk. Yes, it was very nicely done, and I certainly couldn’t pull it off (duh), but he hardly spun 360 degrees in the air. I can’t argue this better than the first comment posted on the above article:
Seahawks fans breathed a deep sigh of relief last week when rumored holdout Marshawn Lynch showed up to his team’s involuntary offseason minicamp. He didn’t actually participate in the practices (putatively due to an injured foot or some such excuse), so his contract situation is far from resolved going into the 2014 season, but his appearance gave Seattle good reason to feel optimistic about his future with the team.
Down by the Bay, by contrast, it might be time to get nervous. The absences of Vernon Davis and Alex Boone are drawing the headlines — especially after Head Coach Jim Harbaugh “stepped in it” by excoriating them to the press — but were I a fan of the Niners, I’d expend most of my worrying on the man who’s supposed to be running the show.
The baseball season is (roughly) one day old, but that didn’t stop Yahoo! Sports from publishing an article titled “Winners and losers from the ‘real’ opening day“:
While some are looking to tomorrow’s special event as some sign of apocalypse, I’d be the first to admit that I’m pretty excited for the coincidence of Thanksgiving and Chanuka. What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than by encroaching upon its native turf? (Zing.)
This post was prompted by a recent email that turned up in my inbox, with a deceptively-simple subject line — one word: “Thanksgivikah.” I didn’t think much of it as I got to typing my reply, but the moment I pressed send, I noticed something a little off. You see, I had concluded my email in kind, by wishing the recipient a “Happy Thanksgivvukah!” and couldn’t help but do a double-take at my own spelling of the word: Two v’s? That couldn’t possibly be right.
Or could it?
Two years ago, this blog thoroughly covered the debate over the proper spelling of Hanuka/Chanuka/Hanukah/Chanukah/Hanukkah/Chanukkah/Hanukka/Chanukka in a post titled Google’s War on ‘Chanuka’. One of the highlights of that post was Avidan Ackerson’s deterministic finite automaton that helped define all of the possibilities (for Google to declare war against).
This year, Avidan and I have again teamed up to compile all the possible spellings of the seemingly-simple but deceptively-diverse portmanteau of Thanksgiving and Chanuka. Behold, DFA v2.013: