Archive for August, 2010

The Case for Tiger Woods; Or, We’re Disagreeing with Joe Posnanski?!?!

“The greatest struggle an athlete undergoes is the battle for our memories. It’s gradual. It begins before you’re aware that it’s begun, and it ends with a terrible fall from grace. It really is a battle to the death.”

–William Goldman

It hasn’t been a very good year for Tiger Woods.

Perhaps you’ve heard, but within the last 12 calendar months, Woods lost a major he led after 54 holes for the first time in 15 tries, crashed his SUV into a fire hydrant outside his Orlando home, had a deep history of infidelity and sexual philandering thrust into the public eye, issued multiple forced and awkward apologies, and attended sex rehab. And in the time since sex rehab, Woods has not won a single golf tournament.

This has led NPI-favorite Joe Posnanski to openly wonder why everyone still believes in Tiger Woods, why he was still the favorite to win the PGA Championship even though he’s coming off the worst performance of his career, why when he put a poll on his website, only 3% of respondents said Woods would “definitely not” break Jack Nicklaus’ career record of 18 grand slams (Woods has 14) when these days he looks “like everybody else.”

It has also led me, for pretty much the first time ever, to disagree with Joe Posnanski.

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Got A Secret? About Last Night’s “Pretty Little Liars” Finale

This whole time that I’ve been watching Pretty Little Liars–roughly four transcendent weeks by now*–I’ve been thinking, of course, a lot about Twin Peaks. The series, after all, are very similar. Both center on murdered girls from a small town with secrets. Both feature, for their time, attractive casts. Both involve the woods frequently. Both often hone in on marital problems. Both contain a character who rides a motorcycle and who was at least rumored to be romantically linked to the deceased while later becoming romantically linked to one of her friends. Both dead girls are very similar in personality, particularly their fondness for secrets.**

*In case you were wondering, I did find the time to finally go back and see the first three episodes.

**This is the time to overlook their very large differences, the main one I think being that Twin Peaks was a show essentially about small-town life with the mystery serving as an entrypoint whereas Pretty Little Liars doesn’t really care about developing Rosewood. And oh yeah, there are no owls in PLL.

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Monday Medley

What we read while lamenting the destruction of traditional marriage…

  • Further proof that William Faulkner can write about anything, as if we needed it. Remember the words of Moe Szyslak: “William Faulkner can write an exhaust pipe gag that would really make you think.” Our favorite sentence from this Faulkner Sports Illustrated piece from 1955? “But [the ice] looked not expectant but resigned, like the mirror simulating ice in the Christmas store window, not before the miniature fir trees and reindeer and cosy lamplit cottage were arranged upon it, but after they had been dismantled and cleared away.”
  • We are far from the first ones on this, but sometimes, taking two things that independently aren’t funny, like say, Kanye West tweets and New Yorker cartoons, and putting them together equals comic gold.

600

A-Rod: The latest member of an exclusive club.....

Here’s something you may not be willing to accept: Barry Bonds is probably one of the five best hitters to ever play professional baseball, regardless of his use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Bill James called him “certainly the most unappreciated superstar of my lifetime.” Bonds was, according to James, by far the best player of his era. It should be noted that Bill James wrote this after the 1999 season—that is, he wrote it before five consecutive seasons in which Bonds had an OPS over 1.100, an OBP of at least .440 (and over .500 four times), and (in)famously set the single-season home run record, with 73 home runs in 2001. Continue reading

Got a Secret? About Tuesday’s “Pretty Little Liars”

Tuesday night’s episode of Pretty Little Liars was called “The Perfect Storm.” This was an apt title for three main reasons:

  1. The episode contained a storm.
  2. The title makes a timely reference to the work of author Sebastian Junger, who recently released a new hardcover, War.
  3. The episode itself was perfect.

How brilliant was Tuesday’s PLL. Let us count the ways.

1. !!!

I thought my notes for those 44 action-packed minutes were already a little exclamation point heavy, and that was before the crazy surprise at the end. For once, PLL’s end pointed toward an answer, instead of opening more questions, by implicating Lucas in the destruction of the memorial (because his shoes were muddy)!

2. But…

As mentioned earlier, there was a storm outside. Anybody’s shoes can get muddy in a storm. And I really like Lucas. It would suck if he were “A.”

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Monday Medley

What we read while not marrying Chelsea Clinton…

  • Our disappointed reaction to the headline: “Oh, they meant verbally and NOT physically.”
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