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Sports

LeBron’s New Commercial and the Genius of His Brand

LeBron James's new Nike commercial is maybe the best commercial ever. Why? It's all about the narrative. 
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How ESPN The Magazine’s Wright Thompson got his remarkable Johnny Manziel story.

I transcribed some highlights from ESPN The Magazine senior writer Wright Thompson's podcast with ESPN Mag editor-in-chief Chad Millman, who got Wright on the phone from Austin, Texas, where he's camped out on the Johnny Manziel beat. (If you somehow missed it, here's Wright's blockbuster Johnny Football profile.)
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East Side Story

A short drive and a world away from the glitz of downtown Toronto sits the East Side Motel. Chris and Anthony Stewart called it home. Until hockey saved them.
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Read It: Patrick Hruby’s Story About Medical Marijuana In Sports

Thought this was a solid report by Patrick Hruby for SportsOnEarth about the benefits that medical marijuana could have for athletes:  Guys popped pills, Vicodin and Oxycontin, serious stuff, at first a few and then a few more. Guys took injections, Marcaine and Toradol, potent liquid lifelines that wouldn’t be out of place in a...
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Read It: ‘Allen Iverson, NBA Icon, Struggles With Life After Basketball’ by Kent Babb

Kent Babb at the Washington Post wrote a good story about Allen Iverson:  Three years after Iverson’s last NBA game, the spotlight has shifted from his play to his flaws. His refusal back then to play by society’s rules was seen as an independent player’s quirks, part of the character and the brand, same as his cornrows...
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About That Awesome New LAA Kramer Sneed’s Name

It's making the rounds online now: Former Los Angeles Angels OF Vernon Wells just got traded to the New York Yankees in exchange for cash and a couple of prospects, OF Exicardo Cayones and LHP Kramer Sneed. Also making the rounds: Those are awesome names, and hey, isn't that one dude named after the Seinfield...
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UNC Fan Cries, Florida Gulf Coast Rocks

Because Mondays are terrible, I give you this: His buddy looks super proud to be there beside him in that moment.  Although I won’t lie, I felt about the same way when Butler went down. I’d picked them to play Duke in the national championship game, so my bracket is dunzo.  But at least we...
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For Some Reason This Is News: Competition Is Good For Kids

From CNN.com this morning:  We have placed too much focus on the importance of comforting children. There are still too many soccer teams that don’t keep score and give trophies to every player. Kids aren’t fooled when adults don’t keep score. They know exactly who got what goal and who missed. Solid full interview available...
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Call It!

FIBA proposed 3-on-3 basketball for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. I and my two younger brothers, Kramer and Logan, are totally trying out. Kramer’s the 6-4, 200-pound relentless winner. Logan’s the 6-2, 190-pound pure shooter who can also dunk. And I’m the 6-1, 195-pound guy who tries to drive and gets blocked and just tries...
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Contest: Great Moments In Sporting Failure

I feel like giving away a copy of my book, The Edge of Legend. Therefore, I declare a contest.  Tell me, in the comments, a story of a time when playing a sport that you just totally failed. The story that makes me laugh, cringe, or openly weep the most wins the book. I pay...
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@BIGSPORTSWRITER On the State of Sports Discussion: ‘The Great Ones Are Weary of Those Who Read Them’

@BIGSPORTSWRITER, our mysterious masked Twitter hero, got to thinking about the state of sports discusison last night, particularly how people can't just debate, they have to WIN. It began when he was talking about watching Ken Griffey Jr. and Andruw Jones play and bemoaning the sudden descent of AJ's career. People reacted with their usual...
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American Idol Winner Scotty McCreery Sets Career High For Single-Game Strikeouts

Obviously inspired by my interview with him coming out in that week’s issue of ESPN The Magazine, American Idol winner Scotty McCreery Friday night struck out a career-high eight batters in his Senior Night start for Garner Magnet High School against Southeast Raleigh.  I already rambled about Scotty in a previous blog post, and I swear,...
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Mad People

People who read my GQ profile of Carolina superfan Greg Cauley are saying things about good ol’ Greg. Some are good. Some—not so much. Some Christians have even gone so far as to full-out condemn him for the way he lives. I know, I know. It's silly. But I felt compelled to respond, so that's...
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Who Kenny Powers Is Based Off Of, Whether He Could Beat Up Ricky Vaughn, the Sport Danny McBride is Actually Good At, and How He Learned To Pitch

Danny McBride didn't know how to throw a baseball when he started filming for the cult HBO comedy Eastbound & Down. For the uninformed: McBride plays the salty-mouthed, mullet-wearing burned out pitcher many believe is modeled after notorious former Atlanta Braves closer John Rocker. I was lucky enough to snag an interview with McBride for...
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Now You Can Watch the Game That Inspired ‘Hoosiers’

You can now watch, in all its grainy black-and-white glory, the final few minutes of the very game that inspired Hoosiers, possibly the greatest basketball movie of all time, the 1954 Indiana state championship in which Milan High (enrollment 162) defeated Muncie Central (enrollment 1,662) 32-30. (Clip and details after the break.) 
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Team USA Super Scorer Abby Wambach is Sort of B.A. [Video]

  Abby Wambach is, alongside Team USA goalkeeper Hope Solo, the newest sports sensation here in America. Scored some crucial goals and whatnot, and now she's leading USA into battle with Japan for the World Cup. The Japanese should be afraid. Very afraid. The below video comes from the United States's 2-1 upset loss to...
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“Grossly outnumbered [we] stood to fight.” A Vancouver Police Officer’s Response to Vancouver Rioter’s YouTube Apologies

  On June 15, the Boston Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks to win the NHL Finals and the Stanley Cup. The residents of Vancouver did not take it well, taking to the streets in what soon became a full-blown riot full of burning and overturned cars, destroyed stores and far too many innocents left wounded....
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Jose Canseco, 46-Year-Old Player/Manager/Curious Person, Still Playing Baseball

  As you'll see in the below video, it's before a crowd of what appears to be zero. As he even says, some of the pitchers he faces are half his age, are young enough to be his sons. But as he also says, and I'm paraphrasing, "If you find something that makes you feel...
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Medium Cheddar

Pull into the Panera parking lot. See them in the corner of the lot, where plenty can, but they're all alone. He wraps his arms around her shoulders and she wraps hers around his torso. They hold on for six, seven, ten seconds. I just watch them. It's the journalist in me. Sometimes it makes...
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Good People Don’t Need Jesus (But You Do)

Instead of reading something I wrote today, head over to jeffpearlman.com, where Jeff Pearlman—hence the name of the site—interviewed an Ashland pastor and amazingly hardcore Cincinnati Reds fan named Drew Snyder, author of Good People Don't Need Jesus (But You Do).  They were tremendous. They cover everything, from the beginning of time, to science, to...
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