May 13, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• If only click on one link today, make it this photo of Kevin Garnett and his date at prom.

• According to a recent study people who sit for most of their day are 54 percent more likely to die of a heart attack, which is exactly why I've done all my blogging lying in bed for the past 10 years. Gotta be smart (or at least super lazy) to beat the system.

Cedric Daniels meeting Frank Reynolds is proof that television producers can read my mind.

• FOX no doubt gave Gus Johnson more money and a higher overall profile than he previously had at CBS, but the one thing they can't offer is an announcing gig as perfect for Johnson as calling the NCAA tournament. He deserved to get paid and CBS never fully appreciated what it had in Johnson, but selfishly I'll miss him calling buzzer-beaters every March.

Kyle Lohse plays a pretty convincing Tony La Russa, but his cover was blown when he failed to make more than two pitching changes in an inning.

• Maybe I'm just getting old, but the idea of a state full of Masons and Avas is disconcerting.

Brock Lesnar's mixed martial arts career is once again in limbo after his June 11 fight against Junior Dos Santos was canceled yesterday due to more health problems.

• As a former baseball card fanatic who later became a stat-head this illustrated history of how the statistics displayed on the backs of cards have evolved over the years is a must-read from Larry Granillo at Baseball Prospectus.

• ESPN and FOX teamed up to keep NBC away from college football.

• You've probably never heard of Jesse Heiman, but you've definitely seen him on screen:

He's a five o'clock shadow away from having the perfect look to play the lead in my life story.

• Pandora now has stand-up comedy stations, which I've been listening to non-stop all week.

Ozzie Guillen, romantic wine connoisseur.

• Congrats to the Minnesota Daily for being named the best student newspaper in the country by the Society of Professional Journalists. I'll probably never get over repeatedly being turned down by the Daily while in college--the final rejection count was nine, including three in-person interviews--but the reason I wanted so badly to join the staff in the first place is because it's a tremendous newspaper that churns out quality writers and reporters every year.

• Speaking of journalism school, Rick Reilly had awful advice while giving the commencement address at the University of Colorado school of journalism and mass communication:

When you get out there, all I ask is that you: Don't write for free! Nobody asks strippers to strip for free, doctors to doctor for free or professors to profess for free. Have some pride! What you know how to do now is a skill that 99.9 percent of the people don't have. If you do it for free, they won't respect you in the morning. Or the next day. Or the day after that. You sink everybody's boat in the harbor, not just yours. So just don't!

Every job I've ever gotten and every dollar I've ever earned ultimately stems from starting this blog as a 19-year-old and devoting myself to writing hundreds of thousands of words for free. Through that I gained an audience that otherwise wouldn't have been available to me, which allowed me to improve through experience and eventually get my work in front of people who actually pay. Listening to Reilly's advice would have been the worst decision I've ever made.

• When is the last time a longtime couple breaking up had both men and women this excited?

• On a related note, this breakup means there has to be a new "most confusing couple" vote.

Jon Heyman of SI.com has an odd way of evaluating contracts.

• Sad to hear about the death of 34-year-old former University of Michigan star and NBA player Robert "Tractor" Traylor, whose need to pull up his shorts after every dunk made me a fan in the mid-90s. Traylor had a fantastic college career, but his NBA days will likely be remembered most for the Mavericks picking him sixth overall in the 1998 draft and then swapping him to the Bucks for the ninth pick, a little-known German teenager named Dirk Nowitzki.

Alexi Casilla's first experience with hail earlier this week at Target Field was amusing:

"I'm trying to get better with my hands."

• These pictures of a pregnant Jessica Alba at the beach with her infant child are probably the most visually confusing things my brain has ever had to process.

Bill James was a guest on The Colbert Report.

• Mets catcher Josh Thole deleted his Twitter account after getting too many mean messages, which is funny because I've become obsessed with Twitter partly thanks to the interactions on there generally involving a higher level of discourse and a lower percentage of trolls than blog comment sections. In fairness to Thole, my Twitter followers may just be nicer than Mets fans.

• Young Me/Now Me is an interesting website where people match photos from their childhood with the same pose as adults. I'd contribute, but there aren't any pictures of me in bed typing on a laptop from 1988.

Jay Mariotti is no longer a newspaper columnist, but he's still a scumbag.

• As part of their combining with NBC Universal the regional Comcast sports networks will soon be re-branded as, for instance, NBC Sports Philadelphia and NBC Sports Chicago.

Kent Youngblood of the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote a lengthy piece about the Twin Cities' sports radio landscape, which has undergone a ton of changes over the past year. I'm biased because 1500-ESPN occasionally invites me on their airwaves, but more than that I've always been a huge fan of talk radio and increased competition leading to more options and better content is a good thing for everyone.

• Newish podcast recommendation: "The Mental Illness Happy Hour" with Paul Gilmartin, who talks to comedians, actors and artists about depression and other serious stuff in a funny way.

• One of my favorite MLB reporters, Yankees beat writer Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger, is now also contributing columns to Baseball Prospectus. The lines, they are a blurring.

• As perhaps the only 20-something male who watches the underrated show, I'm happy that NBC picked up Parenthood for a third season despite mediocre ratings.

• Fat-O-Meter update: I'm down 55 pounds since March 7 and am getting dangerously close to being merely "really fat." My initial goal was to have my pounds lost be higher than the Twins' win total, but that may not be so impressive this year. Right now they're on pace for 56 wins.

• How much rain would be required for this to happen to the Twins' entire season?

• Finally, in honor of that Daily-sized chip on my shoulder , this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Shot Down" by The Sonics:

  • Eric

    Sports talk radio has come quite a long way from the days of The Fabulous Sports Babe.
    Mike Max does a credible job at ‘CCO, Dark Star was good for the vintage grizzled-bookie-with-a-cigar-stub-in-the-mouth angle, and Paul Allen is great when he’s talking Twins or Vikings…
    My main issue with all of it is that while our local stations are great with guests and analysis, there are some other stations around the country that I am guessing are still in the “Morning Zoo” stages of sports talk. Can’t have credibility when every story gets interrupted by sound effects and boob jokes…or can you?

  • Bobby

    Long time reader, first time commenter Aaron. Just wanted to add that you are not the only 20-something who was happy to see Parenthood get picked up! Such a great and sadly, underrated show. Reminds me of Friday Night Lights in that aspect. Always enjoy reading your columns, especially the Link-O-Rama’s. Thanks!

  • marietta mouthpiece

    Maybe all the new Masons in the state was a parental anti-Brewster movement prior to the firing? A harkening back to those salad days of Liberty, Sun and Independence Bowl appearances when the relevancy of Golden Gopher football could be at least fibbed about?

  • JS

    I love Parenthood! But I’m 30.

  • Pedro Munoz

    Rick Reilly’s bad advice is totally self-serving. You and anyone who sets up a website and starts writing (for free or otherwise) are his competition. If all he has to deal with is the mainstream sports sites, he can write the same old drivel and get away with it. Using Reilly’s metaphor,the only people whose boats will get sunk are crappy writers like Reilly.

  • Abe

    I realize you don’t have kids but Alba’s child is definitely a toddler, not an infant. If she had an infant and was visibly prego at the same time that would be amazing.

  • Kevin

    Also long time reader, first time commenter … I’m 26 and love Parenthood — great cast. Casilla’s hail experience reminds me when people out west get snow. Glad there’s more people like you then Rick Reilly… Greatly appreciate all your incite

  • Longtimefan

    Did you know Jay Mariotti to be a jerk before this report?
    The Chicago press is a lot harder on their sports teams than the Tribune-Pioneer is with ours. I enjoy the Chicago sports pages, but I don’t recall having any objections of Mariotti by reading his column. Got a story on him?

  • Ben

    I like parenthood too (20 something).

    Similar to the walk-and-talk style that made West Wing and Sports Night different from other shows, Parenthood has a unique style where the actors talk over each other constantly. Whenever they have arguments on that show I find myself wanting to yell at the TV for them to shut up.

    Hmm, I just realized Peter Krause was in both Sports Night and Parenthood.

  • WalterSolbcheck

    Gleeman…if you don’t think you hit the wave at a good point and are as much a product of luck as skill….I’d like to see 19-year-old Gleeman start this blog in 2011 and see what happens…

    I get what Reilly was saying, I’m saying. The written word has become devalued and the marketplace over-saturated. I’m guessing you cut off part of his speech that would give that particular part of the statement some more context.

    And Reilly’s been terrible for years.

    Also, enough with the lionizing of Gus Johnson – another person that is lucky the internet came along when it did (add your boy Simmons to the list).

  • Kurt

    Whoever makes the calls at AM-1130 KFAN needs to give life-long contracts to Paul Allen, Dane Cole, and Dan Barreiro. Those 3 are outstanding on the radio.

  • Pat

    who’s “Dane” Cole?

  • Kurt

    lol The Common Man Dane Cole, from Woodbury! He can be heard on AM 1130 KFAN the Fan from Noon to 3. His whole life is sports sports sports and he likes to talk about the 94/394 quick slip. He’s Dane Cole, man, Dane Cole.

  • Pat

    guess I’m missing the joke there..maybe I should start getting out of bed before 5pm each day

  • Kurt

    Meh, no joke, sir. Simple misspelling on my part. Basically a mockery toward you for annoyingly pointing out the misspelling. It’s obvious who I was referring to, pretty futile to ask.

  • ML

    Yes, futile to ask about Dan Cook. I love his stuff!