Along with being the Official Olympian of AG.com, Wired magazine reports that Usain Bolt is so fast "he broke the mathematical model that had fit 100-meter record data for almost a century" and "could reset how fast researchers believe humans ultimately can run."
My Keeley Hazell scouts finally passed along somegoodlinks this week, although as usual with the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com none of them are even close to safe for work. My advice? Quit your job.
Michael Moen sent in this amusing "progress report" for Bill Smith's first year as general manager:
Craig Monroe should be included rather than Brian Bass, but you get the idea.
If there are any members of the Poker Players Alliance or high-ranking republican politicians reading this right now, I'd appreciate an invite:
The poker alliance will hold another tournament next week at the Republican National Convention in Minnesota. The individual buy-in will be raised to $1,000. But members of Congress and their staff can still play for free.
Sure, some actor named Ben Affleckwon the tournament at the Democratic National Convention, but imagine the buzz it'll generate for the organization when some unknown blogger wins the Republican National Convention version. Or something.
My MinnPost colleague David Brauerreports that the Minneapolis Star Tribune has put the wheels in motion to cancel their relationship with the Associated Press in 2010. Brauer raises some interesting questions about what the decision means for the newspaper's content, but my feeling is that the Star Tribune is making a smart, albeit risky move. AP content accounts for a large chunk of the newspaper, but at this point there's little value in running syndicated material that can easily be found elsewhere.
With newspaper readership declining rapidly and more people than ever getting their news online, the Star Tribune's focus should be on providing unique content that can't be found at any number of other places. Sure, the dwindling number of people who rely upon the newspaper for all their news will miss the AP stories, but that's not the demographic the Star Tribune should be focusing on anyway. Over the long haul, relying less on content that can be found elsewhere will be key to bringing in new readers.
Speaking of newspapers, Jay Mariottiresigned from the Chicago Sun Times earlier this week after 17 years as columnist. Mariotti is an example of nearly everything wrong with mainstream sportswriting and while he may never realize that most people have been laughing at him rather than with him, he does seem to have a pretty good grasp of what's happening to the newspaper industry:
I feel like I'm working for the Titanic. The print product is dead. It all has to be fed into the internet product now. The internet is going to save the written word. We're not positioned for anything. These aren't sour grapes, these are the facts. Yahoo! got something like 30 million hits during the Olympics. These places are for real. They're legit. It's just something we're all going to have to come to grips with. Our fathers may read a newspaper over coffee, but I don't know anyone under 40 who is picking up a newspaper and reading it. I think newspapers that aren't competing on the internet are dead in the water.
It pains me to agree with Mariotti on anything, but the archives here are filled with similar sentiments. Of course, as Deadspin notes it's possible that Mariotti simply threw a hissy fit and then thought up that stuff after the Sun Times shocked him by actually accepting his resignation. Amusingly, the Sun Timespress release announcing the big news included this zinger: "We wish Jay well and will miss him--not personally, of course--but in the sense of noticing he is no longer here, at least for a few days."
Roger Ebert had already been at the Sun Times for a couple decades when Mariotti showed up and suffice it to say that he's not sad to see him leave.
Who knew that Kevin McAllister and Robert Neville were so similar?
After scanning this list I'm proud to have gone 1-for-9, but it's possible that owning a pair of "boots" rather than "shoes" may actually leave me 0-for-9.
A recent Time magazine interview with pornstar Ron Jeremy led off with the obvious question: "How did you get your start in the porn industry?" Much to my amusement, the first four words of his response were: "Like many Jewish boys." My mom has a photo of her with Jeremy and normally I'd post it here, but that fact probably seems a lot more interesting without seeing the actual picture in question.
In order to further pad Kimbo Slice's record against a recognizable, washed-up opponent, EliteXC has dusted off former UFC champion Ken Shamrock, who's 44 years old, hasn't beaten anyone since 2004 while losing five straight fights by first-round knockout, and may have some trouble with medical clearance. Despite all of that, if Shamrock is indeed a 5-to-1 underdog against someone who's yet to beat anyone of any significance, that's probably where my (purely hypothetical) money will be going.
Not to be a massive jerk or anything, but this news seems somewhat ironic.
Alan Sepinwall of the Newark Star-Ledger penned a lengthy preview of the fall television schedule, examining the various new shows, but sadly very little even piqued my interest beyond maybe Sons of Anarchy on FX and True Blood on HBO. My TiVo is thinking about getting a second job.
Friend of AG.com Tom Tango launched his annual "scouting report by the fans for the fans." If you've ever dreamed of being a scout, this is your chance. After going to Tango's database, enter in personal observations about the players you watch on a regular basis to become part of a huge collection of scouting reports compiled entirely by fans. Take a look at the instructions and details, and then head to the Twins page to mark down what you think of, say, Delmon Young's "instincts" in the outfield.
Get the 22nd edition of the New York Times bestselling Baseball Prospectus Annual. Edited by Aaron Gleeman, it features a foreword from Twins pitcher Glen Perkins, a Twins team chapter written by Gleeman and Parker Hageman, and 600 pages of analysis, projections, essays, rankings, and in-depth coverage of all 30 teams.