The Sun Never Sets: On Roger Federer, Endings, and Wimbledon

Who knows what goes on in any athlete’s head, but he comes across as someone who has genuinely found a way to solve the three brutal overlapping problems that come for any really great athlete late in his or her career. Namely, how to a) keep up the phenomenal and borderline terrifying level of motivation required to commit to nonstop training and preparation after you’ve already realized all your goals, while b) making peace with the fact that you not only aren’t as good as you once were but in fact are doomed to get worse, while c) maintaining a realistic, evolving sense of what you can do so that you know how to plan and when to feel proud, frustrated, optimistic, etc.

The Sun Never Sets: On Roger Federer, Endings, and Wimbledon

15 Questions for San Antonio’s Matt Bonner

15 Questions for San Antonio’s Matt Bonner

Minority Report: The Real Problem of the Atlanta Hawks Implosion

Minority Report: The Real Problem of the Atlanta Hawks Implosion

Saying Good-bye As the Braves Leave Atlanta for ‘Atlanta’ – Grantland.

Nothing in this message is a lie, or even exaggerated, once you realize who the audience is. This message isn’t directed toward the Atlanta city-dweller. The “you, our fans” is not targeted at a person who lives in the city of Atlanta. It’s targeted at everyone in that dark-red blot that lives in the city’s northern suburbs. If you’re a fan who lives in these suburban areas, today is a great day. It has long been a hassle to get to Turner Field — because it involves going all the way to Atlanta to see the Atlanta Braves.

Donald Trump Licked My Flesh, Part 3

Donald Trump Licked My Flesh, Part 3

One of the things I love about sports is that they let you spend time communing with trepidation and panic without making you face any consequences.

Surface Tension

As the different court surfaces are modified to play more similarly, players whose game is well-suited to those physics will dominate more and more. I’d never thought about this before.

Maybe relevant here: The same four players have won every major and Olympic gold medal except one in the past eight years. That’s 34 big titles for Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, and Andy Murray, and one for every other tennis player on earth.

Surface Tension

Understanding a fan’s relationship with management in sports – Grantland

You hit 30, 35, 40, and the life of a professional athlete seems more and more remote. It’s one of a million pasts that never happened rather than a future you can dream about. And the experience of the coach is simply much more accessible to almost every grown-up fan than the experience of any high-level player. And not just because so many fans go on to coach their kid’s T-ball team or whatever; think of it as a lifestyle question. The coach doesn’t have to be able to score from an overhead kick or throw a football 80 yards; he has to run meetings, make plans, juggle lists, and justify himself, same as anybody. He does paperwork. Maybe hops on the treadmill when he can. He’s still connected to the magic of sports, but with him it takes the form of inspired halftime speeches and brilliant late-game stratagems — basically work e-mail lifted to a spiritual plane. More than anything, he has to watch a ton of games: obsess about what’s not working, get mad at players who screw up, praise players who do well.

Understanding a fan’s relationship with management in sports – Grantland

Django, the N-Word, and How We Talk About Race in 2013 – Grantland

While not the same, because it’s much more complex, this “Django Moment” is an evolutionary advancement to my own personal “Jay-Z Moment,” in which the decision has to be made, going into one of his shows, of how to attack the N-word. While most certainly not just tied to Mr. Carter, the overall sentiment of “I’m not black, but I want to say the N-word at this concert, because the rapper onstage is practically begging me to say it along with him” has long been something to note among his ever growing, ever more mainstream fan base. What’s happening in Django is simply taking that premise to the next, more intense level.

Really good stuff from Rembert Browne (@rembert).

Django, the N-Word, and How We Talk About Race in 2013 – Grantland

Supply of Per Capita Football Talent.

This chart comes from a paper presented by Theodore Goudge, an associate professor in the department of geography at Northwest Missouri State University, at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers. It pretty clearly shows what Goudge referred to as the “pigskin cult” of the south.

The paper in question is “The Geography of College Football Player Origins & Success: Football Championship Subdivision (FCS)”, here’s an abstract. Featured in On Urban Meyer’s Ohio State, Wisconsin, and the Big Ten expanding to include Maryland and Rutgers – Grantland.

Tom Bissell reviews Spec Ops: The Line and explores the reasons why we play shooter games. – Grantland

Couldn’t you argue that the men and women who make Battlefield and Modern Combat and Call of Duty are making the world a demonstrably worse place? I think you could. Sometimes I wonder how they sleep at night. Sometimes, when I can’t sleep at night, I play Call of Duty.

Tom Bissell reviews Spec Ops: The Line and explores the reasons why we play shooter games. – Grantland