What I’m reading this week

So I know there are apps and other ways to handle “clipping” things from Twitter and your mobile phone, but when I am scrolling through and see a link that intrigues me, I just email myself the tweet. There’s no need to remember to check another app or anything like that – I’m in my inbox a hundred times a day. It’s a little old-school and probably a little silly, but it’s my comfort zone and I’m owning it.

Anyway, I realized this week I’d sent myself quite a few links, so I thought I’d pass along some of the stuff I found interesting recently:

This ESPN piece trying to understand Italian soccer, hooligans and racism is just beautifully written. The subject matter is baffling, but this is a read that’s totally worth your time. Long form journalism at it’s finest.

Carlos Gomez is having a heck of a year and he’s played enough places that I think you’ll find this interesting: if you hit a ball to center field in Miller Park, the odds are not in your favor that you’ll actually get a hit. According to ESPN.com, of 35 balls hit to straightaway CF, just one of them resulted in a hit. Carlos Gomez has caught 97% of those balls. The major league average is 78%.

But you already knew Gomez was a plus (plus) defender. This year (and the end of last season) he has also figured out how to hit for power. Turns out, his coaches just didn’t know how to harness all his skills before and were pigeonholing him as a ground-ball hitting speedster. 

Did you watch the USWNT play Canada two weeks ago? I have re-watched this Alex Morgan goal a ton of times and I’m still in awe of her first touch. Also, the first few “not touches” if you know what I mean

If you didn’t read this amazing profile of Britney Griner, you should. Great insight into a ground-breaking woman. I don’t watch basketball, but she will always get a hearty “you go girl” from me .

Deadspin ran this excerpt which tells the tale of meeting and hanging out with Muhammed Ali, which on it’s own is just stupendously cool. But then it led to commentors telling stories of randomly meeting with Ali and then I had many warm fuzzies.

That was my first intro to The Stacks at Deadspin. Talk about a rabbit hole. Do yourself a favor and go for a scroll. So much good reading.
Former Badger Hockey player Hilary Knight is probably my all-time favorite. Hard to explain, but I’m still heart-broken she never won the Patty Kaz, especially because her taking time off to play for the US in the 2010 Olympics likely had something to do with that. In those same Olympics it was said she likely has the best shot in the game – she was a Junior in college at the time. Anyway, she plays in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and won their inaugural season MVP. Here’s an interview with her.

In the only vaguely sports related department:

There’s a gorgeous old hotel in Downtown Milwaukee that most visiting sports teams stay at. It’s supposedly haunted. The stories are apparently varied and widespread enough that ESPN the Mag did a story about it. Read all about the Pfister.

I’m a Twitter fiend. I’ll admit it. Yet there is only one account I check in on multiple times daily to make sure I haven’t missed anything – @DUPorterhouse.
Porterhouse is the live bulldog mascot of Drake University in Iowa. He’s a rescued bulldog, winner of the Most Beautiful Bulldog Contest at Drake and very, very photogenic. He’s also an advocate to help end puppy mills bc his native state of Iowa has so many of them.
His mom started him a Twitter account and well, she’s just really good at it. There are tons of adorable pictures and cuteness and Porterhouse consistently makes my day better. He goes to their basketball games and leads them onto the court by chasing the ball. He’s just great.
Seriously, though – here’s a pic of him in Shrek Underoos. Tell me that doesn’t make the whole world better.

From the “not at all about sports” filesL

If you’re a Mad Men watcher and haven’t watched Sunday’s episode, this piece contains spoilers, so be warned. But even if you don’t watch Mad Men, this is a spectacular piece from Tom and Lorenzo that gives a very detailed and interesting cultural look at what it was to be a gay man in 1968.

Supporting women’s athletics, not just paying lip service (Go Badger Women’s Hockey!)

I’m absolutely loving this column Val Ackerman is doing over at ESPNW where she is speaking to prominent male sports executives about the future of women’s sports. It’s at once fascinating, heartening and upsetting. Her most recent is with recent Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke. Burke is probably best known around these parts for his no bigotry stance – he’s one of the few high-level executives out there consistently saying all the right things about why skin color, sexual orientation and really anything other than your athletic ability shouldn’t matter on the playing field.

Ackerman talks to Burke about the rapid growth of women’s hockey. I’m a huge women’s hockey fan and supporter and this was the first I’d heard that Burke was, as well, so I’m always happy to hear that high level men’s execs are also behind the women. I started wanting to break down some of the things Burke says, but ultimately, this quote of his is really what it comes down to for me:

Don’t just say you support Title IX, don’t just say you support women’s athletics; buy a ticket, bring your family. Buy a sponsorship on a team, put some money behind this thing, help it grow. If you really believe in women’s sports, there’s an opportunity to show it in a very direct way. Fans vote with their feet. Show up at a game.

– Brian Burke

I can’t stress enough how important this is and I’m going to go ahead and call each and every one of your out. When was the last time you went to a women’s college or professional game? Do you donate to your local college’s scholarship programs? Buy season tickets? Go to a game? Even at the high school level? Do you support fund raisers or pay admission?

If you do, do you drag your friends along? Do you extol the virtues of your favorite game or team? Do you introduce your friends and family to a sport or team they’re not familiar with and get them as excited about it as you are? Do you take your sister or niece or grandkid to as many different sports as you can and foster their love in a way that we didn’t get when we were little?

Because I didn’t used to do that and this year I made a concerted effort to change that. I’ve always been a hugely vocal supporter of Wisconsin women’s hockey, but I’d never put my money where my mouth was before now.

Follow the jump for more on Badger women’s hockey, Team USA and $5 world class talent
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I heart Joe Pavelski

Heading into today’s action, San Jose Sharks’ Joe Pavelski was leading the Stanley Cup playoffs in points and goals scored.  He’s also from a town just outside Steven’s Point, WI called Plover whose population is just about 10,000.

And he was a member of the University of Wisconsin 2006 National Championship team.

While everyone knows Dany Heatley, Brian Rafalski and Chris Chelios – the most famous Badger alums, Pavelski is by far the most successful of the newest wave of UW players in the NHL. While Brian Elliott is working his way up, and Adam Burish is certainly famous in Chicago, Pavelski has quietly become the leader at San Jose. All this from a kid who probably wasn’t one of the first five or ten names someone could list off that 2006 roster.

In last night’s game, Pavelski scored two goals and had an assist and was 13-3 in the faceoff circle.

In the first series of the playoffs, Pavelski kept San Jose’s hopes alive by scoring the goal that forced overtime in the series clincher, as well as the OT game winner.

In scoring twice last night, Pavelski notched his third straight multi-goal game, a feat that hasn’t happened since Mario Lemieux did it in 1992.

Follow the jump for more on Pavs, Badger hockey and college players in the NHL

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Crappy sports weekend – redeemed!

Heading to Miller Park for tonight’s Brewers/Cards game I was in a sports funk.

My Wisconsin Badgers had lost the hockey National Championship, the Bucks had lost to the Celtics – and I work with two obnoxious Boston fans, and the Brewers had lost two straight to division rivals the St. Louis Cardinals – the first on a blown Trevor Hoffman save and the second in embarassing 7-1 fashion to a rookie pitcher on Fox Saturday baseball.

To top it off, the Brewers are historically awful during nationally televised games and they were about to face Chris Carpenter.

If it weren’t for the bobblehead giveaway, I might not have gone to the game at all.

Follow the jump to find out why I’d have hated myself if I’d stayed home

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Wisconsin Badgers Hockey! (and other Frozen Four teams, too)

This weekend 16 teams competed in the college men’s hockey regional tournaments and we now have a Frozen Four field set.

Wisconsin, Miami (OH), RIT and Boston College will be playing for the National Championship on April 8 and 10 at Ford Field in Detroit.

Follow the jump for more info on the teams

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Ladies… Linkups: Vick-Free Edition

No Foodie Friday this week. Sorry. But since you’re here why don’t you think about having chicken tonight? Check out this recipe from one of my fave writers (and the reason I got into blogging) Catherine Newman. [Dalai Mama Dishes]

Fenway Park – it’s not just for NHL hockey! College hockey teams – mens’ and womens’ - will hit the ice outdoors in January. [ESPN] 

Given Cutesports’ recent piece on plunking, I thought this was mighty interesting. Heh. [3:10 to Joba]

I refuse to apologize for my adoration of Derek Jeter, just as I refuse to apologize for enjoying the Doobie Brothers’ “Minute By Minute” album. The title track is classic, and Michael McDonald is certainly no Michael Bolton (and that’s a good thing!) Here’s yet another reason why the Captain makes me smile. [The LoHud Yankees Blog]

Jeter aug09 in Seattle

The future Mr. Bee (Reuters)

 

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Technically it’s still morning, so here we go. First off, Notre Dame got totally hosed in hockey last night. There was a goal that made it 3-2 Boston College, which puts quite a different landscape on the last 15 minutes, but the goal was called back and BC scored right away to make it 4-1. Maybe next year, ND.

In The Masters, Tiger is 6 shots off the lead at -5. The top two guys are cuties Trevor Immelman and Brandt Snedeker. I think Snedeker looks like a My Buddy doll. Tune in at 2 pm on CBS (their “coverage” not starting til 3:30 yesterday and 2:00 today is just total crap) to see who wins!