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.

How the Brewers alienated their female fans and regressed to 1958 or so…

I thought I posted this last night, so my apologies for being late to get this to you all, but if you follow me on Twitter, you’d have seen me ranting the past two days about an even the Brewers are putting on called Brewed for Her. That event, in and of itself, doesn’t thrill me, but to each her own. Unfortunately for the Brewers, it’s not as simple as that and it made me ranty to the tune of about 3300 words.

Won’t you please come over and check it out?

Brewers Brewed for Her Event: Sexist, Offensive and Just Really Bad Marketing

I had planned to post my diatribe here, but was lucky enough to be able to post out to BrewCrewBall, the SBN Brewers blog I contribute to. While I know I’ve got my target audience of upset female sports fans here, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try to enlighten a new group of folks. Nor could I pass up the chance that someone in the Brewers Org would see it.

I have been overwhelmed by the support (and lack of negativity) and kind words I’ve received from many corners of the internet since publishing this piece over there yesterday afternoon. I’d love to here from you ladyfolk that put up with this sort of thing on a regular basis, though.

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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Highs and lows on talking about women’s fandom

You may have already heard about the piece the Rangers posted on their fan site this morning called “A Girl’s Guide to Watching the Rangers.” The piece was so awful and ill-received, they pulled it within about an hour. You can still read the full text here.

We’ve seen this sort of mysogynistic crap on the internet before, but never before has it been Tweeted out by a professional team. My guess is that the fan site did this and the parent company knew nothing about it, but that’s not really an excuse. Clearly they’re going to have some content review policies put in place.

This BuzzFeed reaction piece is pretty great, if only for the tweets they include that show some pretty darn smart (and snarky) Rangers fans reacting to this drivel.

I was all set to spend my lunch hour penning my own reaction when MaggieSox sent me the link to this piece over at Stanley Cup of Chowder that ties together all kinds of lady fandom issues into one really well-written package. Forget whatever crap I’d have given you – read this instead.

Really, I was going to past a few of the better parts here for you, but I ended up copying most of the text, which ain’t right, so just do yourself a favor and go read it.

I commented over there and I’ll re-post it here:

I’d like to say that there’s no reason you couldn’t substitute any sport’s fandom into this piece and not still get the point across. Female baseball, football, soccer … fans go through the same “prove yourself” mentality.

Texy has it right in saying that we have to stop hating on each other – how can we ask guys not to judge us when we’re judging the hell out of each other?

And I’ll admit this was a hard thing for me to come to terms with, especially when it comes to the pink hat crowd – I always felt like I was justified in my anger because they were making it harder for me, a “real fan.” But we all started out somewhere – I know I’m hardcore, but I certainly didn’t come out of the womb spouting about crappy PP or WAR. So now I try to be open-armed to all the ladies who want to watch and I’ll do my best to make them feel welcome and help explain anything I can.

 

Maggiesox is the one that’s always telling me I can’t judge on the pink hatters and I’ve spent a long time defending my right to find them problematic, but really she’s right and I need to learn to be accepting of all female fans. They’re not giving me a bad name and there’s nothing wrong with the way the find their way to fandom.

I’m still annoyed at all the folks that won’t just wear their team’s colors (I’m looking at you, orange Yankee hat-wearing dude), but ultimately if they want to spend $40 on that hat, that’s their prerogative, right?

Sometimes being a pushy broad pays off

The other Ladies… and I had a Google+ hangout the other night and I realized I’d never told this story for you folks. Forgive me for being lazy, but I wrote it up for Uni-Watch a few years ago, so I’m going to just post that test. I was using the Uni angle there, so I included quite a few pictures of the gear I received.

This content was originally posted on uni-watch.com in 2008. Link here.

I went to college in New Orleans, which was the site of Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002. A few months prior to the game, I learned that they were hiring security personnel to work during the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, with a chance to work at events on gameday and possibly even at the game itself. I don’t exactly project the kind of imposing presence that security people usually have (I’m 5’4″ on a good day), but it sounded cool, so I applied and ended up getting hired.

Follow the jump for the rest of the story
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On objectification and hypocrisy

715685483This image is apparently on the front of a Lululemon store – a store where many women go to find workout clothes – in response to the end of the NHL lockout.

Lululemon is a purveyor of women’s workout clothes. They sell men’s clothes, too, but they’ve enjoyed tremendous growth recently and seem to be the go-to spot for women runners and those who practice yoga and need $98 yoga pants.

A quick Google search will bring you all kinds of questions about the company and its former CEO (who’s now chairman), which I didn’t even know when I thought to write this post.

I did want to ruminate about whether the above window display was appropriate. Apparently “hockey butt” is a thing (researching this post was all kinds of educational) and athletic women will use it themselves to describe their physique, which can be hard to clothe and fit.

Regardless, I was just thinking that if a store known for dressing men had said this about women athletes, we’d all be pretty upset.

And I’m aware that this blog spends plenty of time ogling male athletes, so I don’t really have a leg to stand on. And as a whole, I’d say we Ladies… try hard not to force controversy, stir the pot or otherwise look for problems where their aren’t any. But I still thought it was an interesting discussion point to have.

On the completely superficial/semantics side, while hockey player’s behind might like nice in their jeans  – on the ice, in their breezers, I’m pretty sure we’re not getting a good view of that. So whether or not the NHL has games is really irrelevant to my ability to check out pretty glutes, right? If fact, when they were locked out, they likely spent more time in street clothes…. you see where I’m going.

I just think that if I take a hypothetical that has female tennis players locking out and then returning to the job and Athlete’s Foot had a window display celebrating the return of tennis that mentions the short, tight skirts or tight, tennis hiney, a large to-go would ensue.

In the interest of not being hypocritical, I feel like we need to at least talk about whether or not this is a problematic display, right?

So what do you think? Am I stirring up issues that don’t exist? Or should be we be at least a little upset with this public display of objectification?

 

Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 23: All the Staals

Since we’re all missing the NHL and I’m running a little late with this post, Christmas Eve seems like a good day to give you Ginger dreams.

Mama Staal done us right by producing not one, but four adorable hockey hotties to make your spirits bright.

One again, SquareHippies.com gets the credit for most of the below images.

Staal-Brothers-jodan-staal-11515597-850-566
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