Posts Tagged ‘rick reilly’

The Double Bonus: Sweet Sixteen/Elite Eight Recap!

It’s the Double Bonus Podcast! Today John S and Tim are recapping the Regional Semis and Finals: They’re discussing more Harrellson/Zoubek comparisons, the pantheon of Duke Sweet 16 losses, the unfair maligning of Jimmer Fredette, the genius of Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart, and, most importantly, the Elite Eight run by the Gonzaga women. Click here to listen to the sweet sounds of the Double Bonus!


In Quasi Defense Of LeBron James

Is choosing teammates worse than inheriting them?

I don’t want to be put in the position of defending LeBron James. As I’ve said, I’m not happy about his decision—it’s basically a sports tragedy. So while I generally agree with those criticizing him, I can’t help but notice some unfair attacks.

Most of these deal with claims about LeBron’s personality. Fans have a tendency to do this a lot: They project personality traits and character flaws onto athletes based on no real knowledge of the players as individuals. If a player strikes out in a key situation, he must be unable to handle pressure. If a basketball player misses the open man, he must be a selfish person. If a football player happens to be the quarterback of a team that loses, he must not be a motivated individual. In a few instances, there is some merit to this—sports would not be nearly as special if it didn’t give us insights into the human psyche.

Far more often, though, it is utter schlock. Continue reading

Monday Medley

What we read while reconnecting with our Buddhist roots…

  • Tim swears he wrote his ode to curling long before Dan Wetzel and Rick Reilly did their own. And that he hasn’t spent his entire weekend honing his strategy and touch curling online. (By the way, Reilly’s piece is notable for his characteristically condescending portrait of the typical American sports fan via an italicized interlocutor. Nobody disrespects the device of interlocutor as frequently and as frustratingly as Richard Reilly.)

In Defense of Grammar

Hi, I’m Tim, and I’m a language pedant.

I’m a corrector; you know, one of those guys that corrects you when you say something incorrectly. Think you can get away with disinterested/uninterested mishaps around me? Just ask Rick Reilly. Use reference as a verb when you mean refer and you’ll get a scolding. Same goes for legitimize instead of legitimate (that’s a long a sound at the end: legitimāte). Don’t get me started on the subjunctive mood. I prefer my friends be accurate there, and I don’t think this is particularly unique of me because nothing can be particularly unique.

The Elements of Style sits within reach on a shelf of my desk; I don’t have time to go walking to the other side of the room (and the real bookcase) in case of a grammatical emergency. In my abandoned novel, William Strunk, Jr. was a prominent character.*

*Probably one of the reasons for the adjective “abandoned.”

Although I’m what most would call a stickler, there are some suggestions I don’t always listen to. And clearly, I like to audaciously flaunt some of the basics. Can’t end with a preposition? Please. No starting with a conjunction? Ever hear of transitions? I can’t remember the last time I didn’t split an infinitive. This isn’t Latin.

Nevertheless, Ammon Shea’s attack on “language pedants”—his words—in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine felt personal. Shea expresses his frustration with “inveterate correctors” and reveals his own plan to topple them: via precedent!

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In Awe of Rick Reilly*

*Awe isn’t always good.

Devoted readers of NPI,

I tried. I tried not to resort to basic article-bashing and name-calling. I tried to take the high ground and ignore glaring flaws in logic and basic ignorance of how sports work.

I tried, and I failed.

I didn’t want to have to go all Fire Joe Morgan on Rick Reilly’s “In awe of the Williams sisters” backpage column in the latest ESPN The Magazine. But that’s the thing in this business: Sometimes you’ve got to get dirty.

I hope you understand.

Your pal,


(Subhead) “It’s U.S. Open time, and the choice is obvious: Venus or Serena?”

Honestly, I’m not trying to be a dick, and it’s possible that Reilly didn’t write his article’s subhead. But I think this sentence forgets what the word “choice” means. Saying the “choice is obvious” and then posing a question is somewhat hypocritical. “It’s Election Day, and the choice is obvious: Obama or McCain?” As Reilly goes to lengths to show, the “choice” is really hard. The “choices” meanwhile are obvious.

I don’t think the rest of the article requires this level of grammatical attention.

Continue reading